What’s the Best Type of Electric Toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes are popular and come in a variety of styles.

Some use vibration while others use rotation-oscillation. They also vary in speed, with some allegedly achieving an ultrasonic speed of 192,000,000 movements per minute!

Is one style of electric toothbrush better than the others? (Or are there patients with certain ailments who would benefit more from one type than another?)

We asked some dentists for their opinions.

I love the simplicity and effectiveness of electric toothbrushes.  There are probably 40 on the market today and this can feel overwhelming.  I think that the best type of electric toothbrush should be affordable, convenient, low maintenance, easy to use, but most of all effective. I think that the Phillips Sonicare Diamond Clean is the best electric toothbrush due to the positive results that were seen in patients.  At first, the ultrasonic vibration may feel awkward, but after a week or two, our patients all agree that their teeth have never felt cleaner and healthier.  Overall, they do a great job, but the important thing, as with any tool is how you use it. It is only as effective as the technique utilized.  I encourage our patients if you have a brush, bring it to your appointment so we can help coach you on the best way to utilize your brush and show you the little tricks that will make your gums the healthiest they have ever been.

Robert A. Morabito, DDS – Falls Church, VA

Dr. Hill prefers the Braun Oral B electric toothbrushes. But feels any of them are of benefit.

Cincinnati Dental Care: Dr. Frederic S. Hill Jr. – Cincinnati, OH

The best electric toothbrush is the one that works for that patient. I think Sonicare and Oral-B are both good. The difficulties the patient is having may determine which one is better. Crest Spinbrushes have their place. Although they run rougher and may not be as accurate they could help a child become more motivated to brush better or longer. They might be better than a standard brush for someone who needs an electric brush but really can not afford it. Waterpik has an electric brush that is pretty good. The key is to use it as directed and change the brush heads as often as a regular brush; at minimum every 6 months.

Cynthia M. Sachs, DDS, PC – Rockford, IL

Whatever type of toothbrush you use, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and to replace the toothbrush (or brush heads, in the case of electric toothbrushes) every three to four months (or sooner, if the brush appears frayed).