Brushing with electric toothbrush

Table of Contents

How to use an electric toothbrush

Have you ever learnt how to use an electric toothbrush? Or how to brush your teeth properly with any kind of toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes can be better than manual ones, but only if they are used correctly.

If your brushing technique is poor, there’s no toothbrush in the world that will completely clean your teeth for you.

I’m going to show you exactly what to do, starting with a few basic pros and cons of electric toothbrushes.


  • Easy to use.
  • More efficient at removing plaque than a manual brush.
  • Helps reduce staining.


  • Can be expensive.
  • To charge, it needs a shaver socket or an adapter and an ordinary electrical socket.

What to use to brush your teeth properly

You will need fluoridated toothpaste, and the brush itself. I usually recommend Oral b 2000. It moves just as fast as the top of the range brush, it just doesn’t have as many features. But you only need the one anyway!

How to use an electric toothbrush

The path that the brush should follow around your mouth is exactly the same as for a manual toothbrush (see guide here).

Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle with a little pressure, and hold on each tooth for 3 to 5 seconds.

Start from the outside of the back of your upper teeth on the right, and brush all the way around the outside of your upper teeth until you reach back left. Then guide the brush under your very back teeth to brush the inside from back left to back right.
Move the brush down to the lower teeth and repeat the process by starting at the back inside right, to back inside left and then outside left all the way around to outside right.

Then finally you can scrub the biting surfaces, applying a little more pressure.

You don’t need to rinse, just spit out the toothpaste. And you can finish by brushing your tongue by starting near the back and brushing towards the tip.

Electric toothbrushes have a two minute timer, which should be enough to brush all your teeth, but if you need longer to make sure you’ve brushed each individual tooth well, that’s fine. And they also have a red indicator light which shows if you’re applying too much pressure, so do pay attention to that.

Toothbrushing tip and tricks

The most common mistake people make when brushing their teeth is to move around a lot. They do a little bit on the bottom, then brush the top right biting surfaces, then back to the bottom, then front teeth. This is an ineffective use of time and not very efficient. Brushing should be methodical so you know each tooth is getting exactly the same amount of time spent on it.

Do floss before brushing – fluoride cannot penetrate through sticky plaque, so if you’ve not removed it from in ­between the teeth, then they’re not as protected as you might think.

Don’t rinse after brushing – all the ingredients in toothpaste are there to help care for your mouth. When you rinse it out you’re getting rid of them.

Don’t scrub your teeth – watch your pressure.

Do use a medium textured toothbrush.

Do use fluoridated toothpaste.

Change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months.

Avoid battery powered brushes – these tend to die after about three weeks and don’t deliver the power needed to move such a small head.

Do make sure you brush for the whole 2 minutes.

I can show you how to brush your teeth

If you have any questions about how to brush your own teeth, or perhaps want guidance about how to instruct or supervise your child’s brushing, I’m always happy to show you the correct techniques as part of your routine hygiene appointment. Just book in and I’ll see you soon.


Have you recently started using an electric powered toothbrush? Whether you’re new to the electric toothbrush or you’ve been using one for many years, you’ll want to ensure you’re using it properly to gain the maximum benefits.

There are many valuable reasons to switch to an electric powered toothbrush:

  • Most have built-in timers that help you ensure you brush for the full recommended two minutes.
  • Powered toothbrushes literally make thousands more brush strokes than you could manually, resulting in more plaque removal and a healthier mouth.
  • Easy to hold and maneuver, they’re more effective at reaching tough-to-reach areas of your mouth.

To really get the most out of your brushing routine, you’ll need to brush with the proper technique. This article will teach you how to use an electric toothbrush most effectively.


Enjoy a clean and healthy mouth by brushing properly with your powered toothbrush. Here are four tips to get the best results:

1. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gumline, where the gums and teeth meet.

2. Gently and lightly pull the brush along the gum line, allowing the vibrations to clean the area thoroughly. There’s no need to vigorously brush back and forth as you would with a manual toothbrush.

3. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Word to the wise: Don’t turn the brush on until it’s inside your mouth – otherwise, you could shoot that pea-sized dab of toothpaste across the bathroom!

4. Use the timer. Most electric toothbrushes have built-in two-minute timers. Some, such as Philips Sonicare, beep throughout the two minutes so you can spend an equal amount of time brushing each quadrant in your mouth.


Watch this brief video to see a demonstration showing how to use a Philips Sonicare toothbrush:

No matter which brand you choose, you can count on improved oral health if you learn how to use an electric toothbrush properly! Now that you’ve chosen an electric brush over a manual one, make sure you use it two times every day.

Of course, you can’t count on brushing alone – maintain a healthy hygiene routine by flossing daily and scheduling dental exams and cleanings twice a year.

Flossing & Brushing

To have good dental health, you need a mix of personal dental care, and the care of your dentist.


Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.

Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar. Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example.

How to floss your teeth

Step 1
Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder.

Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.

Step 2
Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.

Step 3
Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles. After flossing, roll it up in a tiny ball and put it in the garbage. Never flush floss down the toilet.

Step 4
Brush your teeth after you floss – it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Flossing Problems and Solutions

Gums sometimes bleed when you first begin to floss. Bleeding usually stops after a few days. If bleeding does not stop, see your dentist. Floss can shred if you snag it on an old filling or on the ragged edge of a tooth.

Try another type of floss or dental tape. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice. If your floss still shreds, see your dentist.


Regular, thorough brushing is a very important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing removes the bacteria that promote tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease.

Ideally, you should brush after every meal, because the bacterial attack on teeth begins minutes after eating. At the very least, brush once a day and always before you go to bed. Brushing your teeth isn’t complicated, but there is a right and a wrong way.

How to brush your teeth

Step 1
Brush at a 45 degree angle to your teeth. Direct the bristles to where your gums and teeth meet. Use a gentle, circular, massaging motion, up and down. Don’t scrub. Gums that recede visibly are often a result of years of brushing too hard.

Step 2
Clean every surface of every tooth. The chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.

Step 3
Don’t rush your brush. A thorough brushing should take at least two to three minutes. Try timing yourself.

Step 4
Change your usual brushing pattern. Most people brush their teeth the same way all the time. That means they miss the same spots all the time. Try reversing your usual pattern.

Step 5
Use a soft brush with rounded bristles. The right toothbrush cleans better. Choose a size and shape that allow you to reach all the way to your back teeth. There are many different types of brushes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you. CDA recommends you replace your toothbrush every three months.

Horizontal scrubbing at a 45 degree angle with a pencil grip: Scientists publish guide on how to brush your teeth

Brushing our teeth – we all do it, once in the morning, once before bedtime, and we all think we know the best technique.

However, it would seem that after all we don’t and, more worryingly, neither do our dentists, the people who make our toothbrushes, nor even Her Majesty’s Government.

A new study, by dental experts at University College London, has condemned “unacceptably inconsistent” advice from national dental associations, manufacturers and dentists themselves on the simple matter of brushing teeth.

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Across 10 countries, researchers identified no fewer than six basic methods of brushing, and a bewildering variety of advice on the most important aspects of dental hygiene: how often to brush, how long to brush for, technique, and the vexed question of to rinse or not to rinse.

The authors said there appeared to be “no consensus among professional bodies on the best method of toothbrushing for the general population or for people of different ages or with particular dental conditions”.

“Such diversity in recommendations should be of serious concern to the dental profession,” the study, published in the British Dental Journal, concludes.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, who helped write the Government’s official guidance on oral health, admitted that experts “struggle” over toothbrushing recommendations.

“When you actually look at the science there is no clear evidence around what method might be best, and the recommendations on toothbrushing intervals also vary hugely around the world,” he said.

In the UK for instance, widely followed advice says to brush for two minutes twice a day. But many countries recommend three minutes, while most South American countries advise brushing for one minute, three times a day.

“I think the toothbrush manufacturers have been guilty of not doing as much research as they might and in the scientific community it’s probably not seen as a sexy area of research,” said Dr Carter. “Hopefully what will do will focus some scientists on doing some more robust research on both the various techniques of brushing and the brushing intervals.”

The most-commonly recommended method is known as the modified bass – which involves horizontal brush movements, accompanied by vertical and sweeping motions to create circles. However, no large studies have been carried out to determine whether it is really more effective than other simpler methods – including the most basic scrub technique taught to children.

Dr John Wainwright, the study’s lead author and a practising dentist, said that “all too frequently” he encountered patients concerned that his recommendations differed to what previous dentists had told them.

“What I feel we need is better research into what the easiest to learn, most effective and safest way to brush is,” he said. “The current situation where not just individual dentists, but different dental organisations worldwide are all issuing different brushing guidelines isn’t just confusing – it’s undermining faith and trust in the profession as a whole. For something most people do twice a day, you would expect dentists to send a clearer, more unified message to their patients on how to brush their teeth.”

There is no consensus over the very best way to brush, but UCL’s Professor Aubrey Sheiham recommends:

  1. Brush gently with a simple horizontal scrubbing motion
  2. Avoid brushing too hard, hold the brush with a pencil grip, not a fist
  3. The British Dental Association (BDA) add that brushing should take two minutes, twice a day
  4. BDA experts also recommend spitting, not rinsing, after brushing.

So you’ve invested in a fancy electric toothbrush, in the hopes it will keep your teeth and gums sparkling clean – but do you know how to use it properly?

It sounds like a silly question but, according to Theodora Little, a dental hygienist at Curaden Dental Clinic, a lot of people aren’t using their electric toothbrushes effectively.

‘While most people brush their teeth twice a day, the majority don’t actually do it correctly, usually because they’ve never been shown how’ says Theodora. ‘You can maximize your oral hygiene by adopting the correct technique’.

So how should we be doing it?


Well, firstly you need to get your timings right. Theodora recommends imagining the mouth in four parts: top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. You should be spending 30 seconds on each (to help you with this, some toothbrushes from Oral B and Phillips now have built in timers, or get a digital clock in the bathroom).

The actual positioning of your toothbrush head is also important. ‘Place the head of your electric toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line, ensuring the bristles are in contact with both the surface of the teeth and the gum line’ says Theodora, ‘this is the most efficient brushing technique’.

On each of your four sections, work along the front of the teeth and gum lines, then along the back, before finally focusing on the biting surfaces.

Remember, scrubbing away with your electric toothbrush is not necessary – instead it’s simply a matter of holding it in place for a few seconds before moving along to the next tooth. ‘Let the brush do the work for you, very slowly gliding along tooth to tooth’ says Theodora.


She also emphasizes the importance of only applying gentle pressure to the tooth. ‘A common mistake people make when brushing is to apply a harsh pressure combined with a vigorous brushing technique. This can contribute to tooth surface loss and gum recession’ explains Theodora.

So there you go – perfect cleaning technique sorted!

(Images: Getty)

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Q: Do electric toothbrushes actually work better than regular toothbrushes?

A: Overall, studies show that electric toothbrushes do a better job with cleaning. I tend to agree and have seen patients who have had difficulty with home care have an overall decrease in plaque, calculus and stain when using an electric toothbrush. I think it’s a combination of the brush being more effective and patients brushing for longer because of the two-minute timers that many of these brushes have.

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With that being said, you do not need to have an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth effectively. A manual brush will do a great job if used properly and for the two-minute recommended brushing time.

Always select a toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles. A small head is also preferable to more easily reach behind the last molars.

— Dental hygienist Denise Stepka, RDH

The Top 5 Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

Do you use an electric toothbrush? If not, what are you waiting for? If you’ve been on fence about switching to an electric toothbrush we’re here to help. Today we’re going to review the top 5 benefits of using an electric toothbrush.

1. An electronic toothbrush keeps your teeth, gums, and tongue cleaner and healthier

We’ve been taught to brush our teeth thoroughly ever since we were little. Despite our best efforts, though, we’re not brushing as thoroughly as we would like—this is due to the fact that the bristles on manual toothbrushes cannot reach to remove all of the plaque and tartar built up between your teeth.

An electric toothbrush’s rotating head features bristles which can reach further thanks to the combination of motion and equal pressure from the brush itself. Equal pressure is important—far too many manual brushers do a good job on one side of their mouth (a right handed person often brushes the left side of their mouth more thoroughly) but struggle to keep the other side of their mouth as clean. That’s where our second benefit comes in…

2. An electric toothbrush makes for longer, more thorough teeth brushing

Most electronic toothbrushes are set for equal time for each quadrant which ensures a better, longer brushing and a great, clean feeling.

Kids are often one of the biggest beneficiaries of electric toothbrushes. Many kids brush but don’t get all of the food buildup between meals. Kids with braces are especially susceptible to this happening. An electric toothbrush is a good compromise since you can count on it getting all of those hard to reach places that kids miss with manual brushing.

3. An electric toothbrush does the work for you

Old habits die hard. Although we mean well our manual brushing can often be too hard for our gums and our own good. An electric toothbrush not only times your brush (as stated above) but takes the guesswork out of teeth brushing too.

4. An electric toothbrush is a great way to fight gingivitis and gum disease

An electric toothbrush is an excellent tool in the fight against gingivitis and gum disease in your mouth. How? An electric toothbrush can find those hard to reach places that you miss with a manual toothbrush. You’re not just brushing longer and better but you’re brushing smarter, too.

5. Using an electric toothbrush can help you get rid of bad breath

Bad breath is a symptom of food and plaque which have become lodged in the nooks and crannies between your teeth and along your gums. An electric toothbrush and regular flossing can work together to get rid of bad breath by finding and eliminating the food between your teeth.

Where can I buy an electric toothbrush?

We recommend Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes here at Blue Back Dental. We have them available for patients, too. We invite our patients to purchase an adult Sonicare toothbrush at a special price of $85, or $40 off the retail price. We also have the Sonicare for Kids toothbrush for $65, which is also a discount off the retail price. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist if you have any questions.

Not a patient at Blue Back Dental? No problem! Schedule a free consultation by filling out the form below or like us on Facebook for more dental tips.


The Proper Way to Use an Electric Toothbrush

Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective tools for keeping our teeth clean and our mouths happy. To properly clean your teeth you should be brushing for a full two minutes, brush the fronts and backs of your teeth, and make sure you aren’t neglecting those hard to reach teeth at the back of your mouth.

Unfortunately, most people don’t brush for the full two minutes, and often miss some of their teeth entirely. That is where having an electric toothbrush comes in handy.

The Benefits of Going Electric

When we brush with manual toothbrushes we average about three hundred strokes per minute. An electric toothbrush is capable of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of strokes in the same period of time. A systematic review published in the Journal of Dentistry looked at twenty-nine different studies that compared the effectiveness of manual and electric toothbrushes and found that electric toothbrushes were significantly more effective at reducing plaque buildup and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes.

Everyone can benefit from using electric toothbrushes. However, electric toothbrushes can be particularly effective for:

  • Individuals who have trouble using their hands. Electric toothbrushes require less effort and dexterity to use and can help you ensure that you are cleaning your teeth effectively.
  • Young children. Most young children are still developing their brushing technique, so they may not be brushing effectively. Many children also find electric toothbrushes more fun to use than manual toothbrushes, making it easier for parents to encourage children to brush their teeth.
  • Individuals with braces. Electric brushes can effectively clean behind and around the braces, and their smaller heads make it easier to reach those hard to reach places.
  • Individuals with a lot of tartar buildup. If your dentist or dental hygienist has mentioned that your teeth have a lot of tartar buildup you may not be brushing as effectively as you should. An electric toothbrush can help you refine your brushing technique, and keep your mouth happy and healthy.

Using Your Electric Toothbrush Effectively

Many electric toothbrushes come with a built-in two-minute timer, which can help you ensure that you are spending enough time brushes. Some models even include timers that chime every thirty seconds to prompt you to move on to the next section of your mouth. When brushing you should divide your mouth into four sections:

  • The front of your teeth
  • The back of your teeth
  • The chewing surfaces of your teeth and behind your back teeth
  • Your tongue and the roof of your mouth

When using an electric toothbrush it is not necessary to press hard or scrub while brushing. Instead, gently guide the brush along as it scrubs. Some electric toothbrush models include pressure sensors, which will let you know if you are pressing too hard.

Depending on the size of your teeth and the size of the brush head your electric toothbrush should brush about one tooth at a time. Take your time while brushing so you can ensure you are being thorough.

How to Use Your Electric Toothbrush

  1. Before you begin brushing make sure your electric toothbrush is charged. Most models are equipped with a charge indicator light to let you know if your brush is ready for use. You should also floss your teeth before you begin brushing. This helps to loosen any plaque or food particles that are sitting between your teeth and makes it easier for your toothbrush to sweep them away.
  2. When you begin brushing hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, just like you would with a manual toothbrush. Starting with the outside surfaces of your teeth gently guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth. Make sure you hold the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before you move on to the next one. While brushing, make sure you follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of your gums.
  3. When you have finished the outer surfaces of your teeth repeat your actions on the inside surfaces, and then again on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush behind your back teeth.
  4. When you have finished brushing your teeth take a few seconds to direct the brush head along your gum line and on your gums. This will help remove any remaining plaque. Be careful not to press too hard when brushing your gums or you may irritate them.
  5. Finally, use your brush to gently clean your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This will help remove any lingering food particles and help you freshen your breath.

Brushing your teeth effectively is a critical part of any oral hygiene routine, and helps fight plaque and prevent gingivitis and other gum diseases. Electric toothbrushes can make this task easy, and help you ensure that you are removing any plaque or food particles every time you brush.

  • An electric toothbrush could help you brush better and more consistently than using a manual toothbrush.
  • If you want clean teeth and healthy gums without breaking your budget, you can’t go wrong with the highly effective Oral-B Pro 1000 electric toothbrush.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You only need to brush and floss the teeth you want to keep.” While the words are undeniably tongue-in-cheek, there’s considerable truth to them. Proper oral care, which includes twice-daily brushing and once-daily flossing, is critical if you want to hang onto your choppers well into old age.

Do you really need an electric toothbrush?

Most dentists agree that a properly wielded manual toothbrush can do nearly as good a job as an electric toothbrush. The problem, however, comes with the “properly wielded” part. Most people fail to brush the full recommended two minutes, don’t carefully work the brush around the entire set of teeth and the gum line, and don’t brush gently and yet with speed. By contrast, a good electric toothbrush:

  • Oscillates or strokes thousands – even tens of thousands – of times per minute, as compared to the typical 300 strokes per minute when brushing manually
  • Removes more plaque than a manual toothbrush
  • Has a signal or timer of some type to motivate longer brushing
  • Is easier for people with arthritis or other hand weaknesses to use
  • Is likelier to reduce gum disease than a manual toothbrush

We want you to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you seven electric toothbrushes that we feel are the best choices for the most people. In addition to our own testing, we visited the top consumer websites, listened to actual product owners, and considered advice from dentists and dental hygienists when making our decisions. So go ahead and break out your favorite toothpaste. Healthy, clean white teeth are on their way.

Here are our top picks for the best electric toothbrushes:

  • Best electric toothbrush overall: Oral-B Pro 1000
  • Best mid-priced electric toothbrush: Goby Electric Toothbrush
  • Best electric toothbrush with replaceable battery: Quip Plastic Electric Toothbrush
  • Best high-end electric toothbrush: Oral-B Pro 7500 Electric Toothbrush
  • Best electric toothbrush for kids: Philips Sonicare for Kids
  • Best flosser kit: Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush
  • Best electric toothbrush for gums: Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control

Updated on 5/22/2019 by Les Shu: Updated the formatting and prices. Added Quip Plastic Electric Toothbrush as the best option with replaceable battery.

Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.

The Oral-B Pro 1000 is the best electric toothbrush because it’s budget-friendly, highly effective, and compatible with a wide range of replacement brush heads.

The Oral-B Pro 1000 is a no-frills electric toothbrush, but it gets the job done, and it gets it done well. It comes with a CrossAction brush head that reaches into every nook and cranny between and within your teeth to scour away up to 300% more plaque than a manual toothbrush would remove.

If you prefer another type of brush head, however, there are plenty to choose from; the Oral-B Pro 1000 is compatible with nine different Oral-B heads, including whitening, sensitive, extra gum line cleaning, deep clean, orthodontic care, and floss action. Just twist and pull to switch out the brush head.

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The toothbrush handle has an easily accessed on/off button, and the brush vibrates gently every 30 seconds to let you know it’s time to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth. The sections include the inside of upper teeth, outside of upper teeth, inside of lower teeth, and outside of lower teeth. Press too hard, and the toothbrush will stop rotating – overly vigorous tooth brushing is a major cause of gum irritation. When you let up the pressure, the brush will automatically begin to spin once again.

The Wirecutter chose the Oral-B Pro 1000 as their top-pick electric toothbrush, and Health also selected this electric toothbrush as its number-one choice.

On Amazon, the Oral-B Pro 1000 is one of the best-selling electric toothbrushes, with nearly 5,500 reviews and an average of 4.4 stars. Buyers like the brush’s simplicity, its effectiveness, and its reasonable price. Many also appreciate being able to swap out the brush head for one that better suits their needs.

Expect to recharge the Oral-B Pro 1000 about once per week. You’ll see a flashing red light when the battery is getting low. The recharging base is very small, so there’s no need to clear much counter space.

Pros: Great price, effective at removing plaque, many types of compatible brush heads

Cons: Not as fast or as powerful as some newer electric toothbrushes

The best mid-priced electric toothbrush

Foto: sourceGoby

The Goby electric toothbrush works great, costs less than other premium models, and lets you subscribe to brush heads so you pay less over time.

Electric toothbrushes aren’t all crazy expensive anymore, thanks to startups like Goby. We tried the Goby Electric Toothbrush and loved it.

I usually use a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush, which costs more than $100, so I was blown away by the $60/$75 price tag of the Goby toothbrush. Equally surprising was just how good it was. I love the two different speed settings and how the moving bristles polish away stains on my teeth and any tartar or plaque that builds up.

The brush heads are a lot more affordable, too, at $6 compared to the $30+ price of Philips brush heads.

The electric toothbrush kit comes with the toothbrush, brush head, hygiene stand, USB charging shell, USB converter, and a hygienic brush cover as a one-time purchase for $75. Alternatively, you can choose to subscribe and pay only $60 for the brush.

If you subscribe, you’ll get a new $6 brush head with free shipping delivered once every month or every 2 or 3 months. You’ll save $15 on your electric toothbrush, and if you opt for 3-month deliveries, that comes out to $24 – making that not such a bad deal if you plan to replace your brush heads throughout the year (which you will more than likely want to do).

Read our full review for more info on Goby. – Malarie Gokey

Pros: Affordable, easy to use, great design, subscribe to brush heads

Cons: Not as many fancy settings as high-end ones

Buy the Goby Electric Toothbrush for $60 or $75

Foto: sourceQuip

The Quip is a sleek-looking toothbrush that’s great for use at home or when traveling. It is affordable, yet it’s very effective and more substantial than disposable options.

Quip is one of the many new companies looking to disrupt traditional industries – electric toothbrushes, in this case. You can argue that it doesn’t do anything different than other similar products, but it’s hard to find an electric toothbrush this good-looking.

The plastic version has a nicely contoured handle that’s easy to hold and slim enough to fit inside a travel dopp kit. It takes a single AAA battery, so there’s no need to carry around a charging station. There’s only one mode, so it’s a no-brainer to use. There are no rotating heads, but the sonic vibrations are more effective than brushing manually, and a 2-minute timer (four 30-second pulses, with a short pause in between) ensure you get the recommended brushing time (it’s accepted by the American Dental Association).

I use a silver metal version of the Quip, which is similar to the plastic model in terms of usage. Admittedly, it doesn’t feel that much different than the Oral-B manual toothbrush that I also use, but the vibrating bristles make brushing my teeth feel cleaner in less time. But, it’s definitely nowhere as powerful as my old trusty Oral-B electric toothbrush (which I’ve stopped using because I can’t find the charging base).

I like the auto-off function so I don’t accidentally drain the battery, but I do use a rechargeable AAA since it lasts longer. Overall, it’s a comfortable toothbrush to use, and I can safely use it in the shower. When the bristles wear out, just swap out the head.

In the Insider Picks review, our writer said, “Quip solved my two biggest problems with teeth brushing: making sure I was brushing long enough and replacing my toothbrush regularly. It keeps me honest, and I just let my mind wander for the four minutes a day I spend maintaining my oral hygiene.”

Target customers gave the Quip a 4.9-star rating (out of 5), with 63% recommending the product. The 1-star customers felt the Quip was gimmicky when compared to a Sonicare. Yes, most budget electric toothbrushes will seem less solid and effective than a premium model, but you’re also not spending $50-$100 for a complex tool. The whole concept around Quip is to get people to brush more (and to sign up for its $5 three-month refill plan).

On the Consumer Affairs website, Quip toothbrushes have an average rating of 4 stars, with a majority giving it 5 stars. One person who worked in a dental practice for 30 years found the bristles to be soft and the overall product easy to clean, not to mention space-saving. The few dissenters found the product gimmicky (or the marketing clever) or it isn’t powerful like premium Oral-B or Sonicare toothbrushes; one person also didn’t appreciate the customer service. However, there are substantially more fans.

The Quip isn’t innovative by any means, but for people who don’t brush regularly or replace their toothbrush often enough, the Quip is a nice (and stylish) solution to those problems, particularly if you subscribe to the refill plan. At $25 from Target, it’s an affordable option that’s better made than cheaper electric toothbrushes. It’s also a terrific choice for travel – leave the pricier electric toothbrush at home. With that said, Quip can get costly if you opt for the metal or special editions and you add-on the extras.

Insider Picks reporter Connie Chen compared the Quip to other similar electric toothbrush startups. See how it compares.

Read our full review. – Les Shu

Pros: Low price, great for travel, sleek design, replaceable head and battery, comfortable to use

Cons: Not the most powerful, no adjustable settings, plastic version has limited color options

Buy the Plastic Electric Toothbrush with anticavity toothpaste from Quip for $25 (with subscription) or $40

Foto: sourceOral B

The Oral-B Pro 7500 Electric Toothbrush makes superlative use of technology with onboard sensors, timers, and a powerful app.

If you’re an unabashed technology fan who also happens to be deadly serious when it comes to oral health, you have just met your new toothbrush. The Oral-B Pro 7500 Electric Toothbrush makes use of all the latest developments in electric toothbrush design, including a carefully designed brush head that uses three distinct motions to dislodge food bits, break up plaque, and polish away stains.

While in use, the circular brush head oscillates, rotates, and pulsates, leaving your teeth fresh-from-the-dentist clean with every brushing. All this action also helps promote ideal gum health. But while the Oral-B Pro 7500 electric toothbrush packs plenty of power, what it won’t do is concentrate too much of that power: The toothbrush has a built-in pressure sensor that stops its motion and illuminates a light ring set into the handle if you are pressing too hard, thereby protecting tooth enamel from undue damage.

The toothbrush is a fine choice for people with varied oral health needs, as it can operate in five modes, which are gum care, daily clean, deep clean, sensitive, and whitening. And if those unique features were not enough, the Oral-B Pro 7500 also uses a 30-second vibrating timer that helps you brush each area of your mouth for the proper dentist-recommended amount of time.

But in many ways, it’s the features that aren’t even actually built into the toothbrush that make it a standout. The Oral-B Pro 7500 electric toothbrush is Bluetooth enabled and can link to an app on your phone or tablet. Using said app, you can track your brushing habits and can set goals for yourself. When you have a clear sense of how you are managing your oral health over time, you have the best chance of enjoying a lifetime with minimal tooth or periodontal issues.

An owner named Jean said this was her third Oral-B electric toothbrush in 30 years and was the one she “liked the best” thanks to its “durability, price,” and the many features. A buyer called Amanda said it “works just as well as the professional toothbrush the dentist uses.”

A DentistryBlogger review noted the Oral-B Pro’s long 40-minute operating life between charges, while the product testers from Ezvid were impressed with the features enabled when the toothbrush “pairs with your smartphone” and helps “keep track of” your brushing habits. – Steven John

Pros: Protective pressure sensor, triple action cleaning, connects to app for comprehensive monitoring

Cons: Expensive option

Buy the Oral-B Pro 7500 Electric Toothbrush on Amazon for $129.95

Foto: sourcePhilips

Getting your children to brush properly twice per day can be a struggle, but with the fun Philips Sonicare for Kids, they might actually beg to brush their teeth.

Kids and good oral hygiene is typically not a natural combo. Most kids are either reluctant to brush or do a poor job at cleaning their teeth. The Philips Sonicare for Kids makes brushing fun, however, turning a routine task almost into a video game, thanks to the free Bluetooth-compatible app that encourages and rewards good brushing techniques.

Like all Sonicare toothbrushes, the kids’ brush uses patented sonic technology for up to 75% more effective removal of plaque and debris than a manual toothbrush. It has a built-in two-minute timer and alerts the child to switch quadrants every 30 seconds while brushing. There are two speed settings, and the brush comes with eight stickers to customize the handle.

But where the fun really starts is with the free app that not only teaches kids about the whys and hows of good oral hygiene, it also turns brushing into a game. Your child will get to adopt a “Sparkly,” a cute little creature that gives brushing tips while your child “brushes” the Sparkly’s teeth. The app also tracks performance, making it easy to reward good hygiene. Just set your smartphone or tablet where your child can watch while brushing.

With nearly 1,000 reviews on Amazon and an average of 4.6 stars, there are definitely a lot of happy parents and kids out there brushing with the Philips Sonicare for Kids. Over and over, buyers comment that their kids went from brushing-resistant to actually wanting to brush their teeth. Many state that their child’s dental appointments are much, much better since switching to the kid’s Sonicare.

Says one pleased parent, “My 2.5-year-old began brushing happily and thoroughly every night just so he can see his “Sparkly” monster get a present. He is so excited and he used to dread brushing.”

The Philips Sonicare for Kids is recommended for ages three and up if the child is using the brush on their own. Younger children should have assistance from mom or dad, however.

Pros: App makes brushing fun, brush head is sized for children’s mouths, very effective at removing plaque and debris from teeth and gum line

Cons: None to speak of, although your child will eventually outgrow the cutesy app

Buy the Philips Sonicare for Kids Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush at Target for $39.99 (originally $49.99)

Foto: sourcePhilips

If your gums aren’t what they used to be, the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control can help bring them back to good health.

According to dental health website AsktheDentist, sonic toothbrushes, which oscillate at astonishing rates – up to 31,000 strokes per minute at full speed – are more effective at reaching and removing plaque between the teeth and beneath the gum line than rotating electric toothbrushes, making a sonic toothbrush the best bet for anyone with gum issues, those who are lackadaisical about flossing, and the majority of people over age 40. Of course, in the oral hygiene field, sonic toothbrush generally means Sonicare, by far the biggest name in the industry.

And out of the many Sonicare models available, the best bet for gum trouble is the Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control toothbrush. Like all Sonicare brushes, the sonic cleaning action drives fluid between the teeth and under the gum line to break up and remove more plaque than regular toothbrushes, yet the brush is gentle enough to use on orthodontics, implants, veneers, and sensitive teeth. The slim, angled neck makes it easy to reach way back in your mouth, and the timer lets you know when two minutes are up. In fact, the brush automatically turns itself off.

The Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control even eases you into the sonic brush experience by slowly increasing the power over the brush’s first 14 uses, giving you plenty of time to adjust to the ultra-oscillating speed.

The Wirecutter likes this toothbrush, saying it has everything you need in an electric toothbrush, and is quieter than competitor Oral-B. And it’s a bestseller on Amazon, with nearly 5,000 reviews and an average of 4.3 stars. Buyers love the brush’s powerful cleaning action and the reasonable price of this particular Sonicare model. However, a negative that is frequently mentioned is the high price of the replacement heads. Still, if you want a sonic toothbrush that’s powerful on plaque, yet gentle on your gums, and you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, this is a great choice.

Pros: Excellent for gum care, reasonable price

Cons: Replacement heads are expensive

Buy the Philips Sonicare 2 Series on Amazon for $61.06 (originally $69.99)

Foto: sourceWaterpik/Business Insider

The Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush comes with a great electric toothbrush and a water flosser.

Regular flossing with string is effective, but water flossing gets the job done even more effectively – blasting between teeth, beneath the gum line, and into all the nooks and crannies of your back molars to remove sticky plaque, food bits, and bacteria. Waterpik has always been the top name in water flossers, but now the company has ingeniously combined a water flosser and an electric toothbrush in one convenient package. Just one cord to plug in and your toothbrush charges right on the water flosser’s stand.

You’ll get a Waterpik Sensonic Professional Toothbrush, which uses sonic technology to remove plaque from your gums and teeth. The brush has two speeds, a two-minute timer, and soft bristles that clean your teeth very effectively without irritating your gums. The kit includes a standard brush head and a compact brush head for precision cleaning.

The water flosser’s reservoir holds 90+ seconds-worth of water, and you can add a bit of mouthwash if you’d like for extra breath freshening. The flosser’s tip delivers a thin, powerful stream of water that painlessly and effectively blasts away plaque and debris not just from between your teeth, but also from beneath your gum line where string floss won’t reach. You can set the water pressure to your liking, and choose between five different types of tip.

Amazon buyers are very enthusiastic about the Waterpik Complete Care. It has more than 5,200 reviews and an average of 4.4 stars. While many users comment that it takes a bit of practice to learn how to use a water flosser without drenching your entire bathroom, most feel the device leaves their teeth and gums very healthy and clean.

A typical comment, “Best dental hygiene purchase I have ever made. My teeth look and feel better than ever. Cannot recommend this enough.”

On the downside, quite a few buyers say the water flosser is loud.

Pros: Doesn’t take up much counter space, superior to string floss, toothbrush is always charged and ready to go, reasonable price

Cons: Water flosser is loud, potential for getting your bathroom wet

Buy the Waterpik Complete Care Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush on Amazon for $90.90 (originally $99.99)

Foto: sourceRido/

The best whitening toothpaste you can buy for pearly whites

Adding a whitening toothpaste to your oral hygiene routine is a great way to keep your smile shining and your teeth clean and healthy. Colgate’s Optic White Express White Toothpaste is our top choice because results show up in just three days.

You might also like the Crest 3D White Brilliance Teeth Whitening Two-Step System, the Dental Expert Active Whitening Charcoal Toothpaste, the Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste, and the Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste.

The best teeth whitening kits you can buy

The best teeth whitening kits come with everything you need to whiten your teeth, are easy to use, and do not irritate your gums or teeth. The Active Wow Teeth Whitening Charcoal Powder has all of these features, plus it’s affordable, does not use harmful chemicals, and comes in different flavors.

You might also like the Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips, the GLO Science Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device, and the Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit.

The best toothbrushes you can buy

There’s plenty to be said for the classic manual toothbrush: It can’t run out of batteries and it’s compact, lightweight, and portable. The Oral-B Pro-Health All-in-One Soft Bristle Toothbrush is our top pick because its myriad bristle types and built-in tongue, cheek, and gum cleaners leave your whole mouth clean and fresh.

You might also like the Primal Life Organic Charcoal Infused Bamboo Toothbrush, the SmileMakers Pre-Pasted Disposable Toothbrushes, the Colgate Premier Extra Clean Toothbrushes, and the Fridababy SmileFrida Toddler Toothbrush.

The best mouthwash you can buy

Used in tandem with brushing, flossing, and avoiding salt water taffy before bed, a good mouthwash can play a pivotal role in your oral health and hygiene regimen. Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic Mouthwash is our top choice thanks to its ADA-accepted, clinically-proven ability to kill off germs that contribute to plaque buildup, bad breath, and gum disease.

You should also consider the Crest Scope Outlast Mouthwash, the CloSYS Gentle Mint Mouthwash, the Uncle Harry’s Natural Products Miracle Mouthwash, and the ACT Anticavity Fluoride Rinse Mouthwash.

The best toothpaste you can buy

Nobody likes going to the dentist, but if you take good care of your teeth between visits, the cleaning will go easier.

We’ve researched and tested many tubes of toothpaste to find the best ones you can buy. Whether you want an all-natural toothpaste, one with fluoride, one with charcoal, one with whitening powers, or one that rebuilds your enamel to reduce sensitivity, we have a toothpaste for you.

  • Best overall: Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
  • Best for kids: Hello Oral Care Fluoride Toothpaste
  • Best for fresh breath: Colgate Total Advanced Fresh Toothpaste
  • Best for sensitive teeth: Sensodyne True White Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste
  • Best all-natural toothpaste: Nature’s Gate Natural Toothpaste
  • Best with charcoal: Dental Expert Active Whitening Charcoal Toothpaste
  • Best for stain removal: Colgate Optic White Platinum Stain-Less White Toothpaste

The best dental floss you can buy

Daily use of dental floss can help remove plaque from your teeth and prevent gum disease. Here are our picks:

  • Best overall: Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Dental Floss
  • Best for sensitive gums: Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss
  • Best all natural floss: Tom’s of Maine Anti Plaque Flat Spearmint Floss
  • Best for kids: Plackers Kids Flossers
  • Best for braces: Platypus Orthodontic Flosser