If you’re considering an electric toothbrush, then you’re one step ahead on a thorough oral care regimen. (And if you’re already using an electric toothbrush, then let’s say it’s “two steps ahead”.) That’s because these devices—or the best electric toothbrushes in the category, at least—can brush faster and more effectively than any human hand.
“Manual toothbrush strokes are approximately 300 per minute,” says Dr. Clement Kairouz, a dentist at Apa Aesthetic in NYC. “What makes an electric brush superior is that [the best ones] usually oscillate around 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute.” And if you’re curious about the primary difference between “electric” and “sonic” options, it’s also in the strokes: “Sonic toothbrushes, which are considered superior, rotate at approximately 30,000 brush strokes each minute,” Kairouz adds.
So, while electric toothbrushes and sonic toothbrushes are technically two different categories, we’ll put them under the same umbrella of electric toothbrushes here. And while most of our picks below are sonic, we’ll still denote which of the two categories each falls into.
Their benefits go beyond the amount of strokes per minute, though: “Using a sonic or electric toothbrush is recommended for the built-in two-minute timer,” Kairouz says. “And also because the oscillation of these toothbrushes has been scientifically shown to decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. Studies show that after three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent.”
Below are our own favorite electric and sonic toothbrushes, which can significantly improve your teeth brightness and gum strength while reducing the potential for cavities. They all have soft bristles, too, which Kairouz says is imperative. “Manual or electric, always avoid hard bristles, which can irritate your gums and lead to recession,” he explains. “And of course, change your brush head every three months, or whenever you get sick.”
Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ
Philips Sonicare’s most innovate launch yet, this brush adapts its intensity (or sensitivity) to the task at hand—switching between cleaning, deep cleaning, whitening, tongue care and gum care as needed. You can also choose to use the smartphone app that syncs with the device to deliver recommendations and track progress. (But you don’t even need to open the app in order to record this data.) This one tracks brushing time, frequency, pressure and scrubbing, and maps the mouth to show you what spots you’re missing. And on top of all that, it vibrates up to 62,000 times per minute. To be honest, it’s not just Philips Sonicare’s most innovative launch. It’s the industry’s most innovative launch.
Marashi Oral Health M Sonic Toothbrush
Marashi’s beautiful brush cycles among four settings, should you want to tend to your gums or target stains and plaque with some serious pressure. It vibrates up to 37,000 times per minute and lasts approximately 42 sessions per full charge. It uses soft Dupont nylon bristles and glistens on your sink ledge with its aluminum alloy core. And speaking of glistening… your smile will be, too.
Apa Beauty Apa Sonic Brush
Choose between three pulsation patterns with this sleek black brush: clean, massage and whiten. It vibrates at an impressive 40,000 times per minute and lights up when it needs a recharge every few weeks. This is the brand many A-listers trust with their smile; Dr. Apa himself flies between NY, LA, Miami and Dubai tending to top-tier clientele (check out his NYC VIP studio, while we’re on the topic), so you know this one will give you a red-carpet-ready grin, too.
Supersmile Zina45 Sonic Pulse Toothbrush
TSA might think you’re toting a Cartier watch inside this chrome travel case—but no, it’s your Supersmile Zina45, with its four custom settings: sensitive, deep clean, gum care and whitening. It whirs at 33,000 vibrations per minute and has a patented brush design, with its five rows of Dupont nylon bristles angled at 45 degrees. The brand is the only one to offer an at-home polishing head, too, for added brightening effect. We love the thumb groove, too, that makes for easier gripping as the device goes to town on your teeth.
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Oral-B Gum and Sensitive Care Electric Toothbrush
This one isn’t a sonic option, but intentionally so: Oral-B’s electric brush is targeted at sensitive smiles, with its extra-thin and ultra-soft bristles and three gentle modes (cleaning, gum care and ultra sensitive). It has a pressure sensor that lights up whenever you go in too hard, and promises to clean without any compromise to your enamel and gums. If you want to dip your toes into the electric/sonic toothbrush waters, then start here. It’ll give you a serious upgrade over manual brushing, gradually familiarize you with the routine and still leave room to be wowed by other devices.
Snow LED Electric/Sonic Toothbrush
Snow’s toothbrush offers four levels of pressure and power—cleaning, whitening, polishing and sensitivity—allowing you to cover all the bases as your needs and priorities change. It’s got one of the longest-lasting batteries of this roster, enduring up to four weeks of twice-daily use. In general, Snow is geared towards people with sensitive teeth and gums, and this device, which can send up to 30,000 vibrations per minute, still manages to go easy where it counts.