Brushing your teeth is essential for hygiene as well as your overall health. Usually, we brush our teeth in the morning and before bed, and we use a simple, manual toothbrush. But, some of us like to devote a little extra effort to keep our teeth and gums clean. And, to those of us who do that, we say, you’ve come to the right place, as we unveil our top picks of the best electric toothbrushes on the UK market today.
A few things you need to know
However, before we go to our list, let’s clear up a few things for those who don’t really know about electric toothbrushes. It’s just a toothbrush with batteries that vibrates, right? Well, not exactly – there are much more nuances to an electric toothbrush and what they do than they let on, so, let us explain a few things.
First, let us begin by explaining the difference between different types of toothbrushes. A different toothbrush doesn’t mean that it’s doing something different, but it’s doing the same thing in a slightly different way.
Rotating and rotating-oscillating brushes
As the name suggests, rotating brushes have heads that rotate. The bristles on the head spin in one direction, allowing for better cleaning and easier dislodging of plaque.
Rotating brushes should just be held over each tooth individually since the back-and-forth of up-and-down motion won’t benefit you and the bristles will do all the work. Rotating only brushes are among the most affordable devices on the market.
However, simple rotation isn’t enough to get to the most stubborn dental plaque. That’s why rotating-oscillating brushes were invented. Rotating-oscillating brushes have heads that rotate in one, then the other direction, making them much more effective at removing dental plaque.
Counter-oscillating brushes work similarly to rotating-oscillating brushes, but with one exception: the bristles, or, rather, bristle tufts on counter-oscillating brushes rotate in opposite direction of the tuft next to them. So, if one tuft rotates clockwise, the one next to it rotates counter-clockwise and so on. This gives the brush incredible cleaning power and plaque-removing capabilities.
Pulsing brushes are like upgraded rotating, and oscillating brushes. Pulsing brushes move back and forth while spinning, making them even more effective at cleaning your teeth. These brushes, however, are in the upper echelons of toothbrush cost, which might not seem like that good of an investment.
Dual head brushes
These toothbrushes are quite interesting. They’ve got two heads in one, and, while one rotates, the other sweeps side to side. The combined effort of the dual heads makes for an excellent brush, as it easily dislodges plaque and can even get to the plaque hiding between tour teeth.
Side to side brushes
These toothbrushes sweep side to side. However they do so at very high speeds, vibrating at close to 20,000 Hz, which not only dislodges plaque, but it also makes the mixture of water, toothpaste and saliva vibrate too, allowing it to penetrate in the crevices between your teeth, places you can’t otherwise reach while brushing normally.
Sonic and ultrasonic brushes
This is more of a feature than a brush type, as it usually comes in combination with the other brush types on this list. Sonic brushes, like side to side brushes vibrate, pushing the cleaning fluid between your teeth. They oscillate within hearing frequency (20 Hz – 2 MHz) and produce from 31,000 movements per minute to twice that number.
Ultrasonic brushes, as their name suggests, vibrate at an even higher frequency, making them incredibly effective at removing plaque, but it also makes them much more expensive too.
Now that you’ve picked your preferred toothbrush type, the question arises how long before you have to replace the toothbrush head?
Well, you could replace them as often as you would a regular toothbrush, but, you could also get a toothbrush with a very convenient fading head. These heads have painted bristles that will fade after a certain number of uses to prompt you to change the head.
Some high-tech brushes also feature chips and sensors that detect when it’s time to change the brush head. In addition, these will also detect the appropriate cleaning mode while you’re brushing.
As far as the cost goes, electric toothbrush heads cost about the same as manual brushes, but you can buy them in multi-piece packs, which is much more cost-effective.
Modern electric toothbrushes also come with a variety of features. These include motion tracking, aforementioned pressure sensors (extremely useful for people with sensitive teeth), several cleaning modes (a standard nowadays), and even Bluetooth and an accompanying app for your smartphone or tablet.
Naturally, each of these will increase the overall cost of the brush, so take a look at the brush and its features to know what exactly you’re paying for.
And, now that we’ve covered so much about electric toothbrushes in general, let’s take a look at a few we’ve selected as the best around.
Best electric toothbrush reviews
Top quality options
First on our list is one of the most recognizable brands, Oral-B, and their Genius 9000 electric toothbrush. It’s a well-respected toothbrush and has been awarded the Best Buy award in 2016 and Product of the Year in 2017. So, what does make this toothbrush special?
Well, first of all, it’s got a round head, though this is a common thing on most contemporary brushes. The round head has been long establishing to be much more efficient than regular toothbrush heads when it comes to cleaning teeth because it contours to the tooth, and helps better push the cleaning fluid in-between the teeth.
The toothbrush is a rotating-oscillating type, so it has a lot of power and removes dental plaque with ease. On top of that, it works well to remove dental stains too, making your choppers whiter and brighter with every use.
The Genius 9000 also features position detection, making sure that all angles of your tooth are covered. It also features a pressure sensor that warns you when you’re brushing too hard, allowing for not only a deep-clean of your choppers, but protection of your gums as well.
Along with this, the toothbrush features 6 cleaning modes, so you can tailor it to your specific needs.
The Genius 9000 features one of the most powerful batteries, lasting up to 12 days, and features a dual-charging travel case for convenience, allowing you to charge both the toothbrush and your phone at the same time.
However, as you probably know, manufacturers like to exaggerate their claims, so you can expect the battery to last 7 – 8 days when used actively and every day. Still, this is excellent run-time.
Along with the very toothbrush, you’ll also receive four heads. This is quite convenient, as you won’t have to worry about buying new heads for several months, leaving you to enjoy your brush fully.
However, there is one downside to such an excellent electric toothbrush, and that’s the price. The Oral-B Genius 9000 costs over £100 at the time of writing, making it the most expensive toothbrush on our list, and among the most expensive on the market.
The toothbrush is excellent, yeah, but it’s quite an investment, and we’re sure some of you won’t want to commit to such an expensive item, but in all honesty, the Oral-B Genius 9000 is well worth its price tag.
Our second pick for best electric toothbrush is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 3rd generation. Philips is also a big name in the toothbrush business, so you can expect a top-notch product.
Unlike the Oral-B, Philips features a standard shaped head. Even so, the toothbrush works miracles, offering 10 times more potent cleaning than a manual brush.
The Philips Sonicare is a side-to-side type brush and operates within sonic capabilities to drive cleaning fluid between your teeth for a very deep clean. That being said, the absence of a round head and rotating bristle tufts makes it a little less effective than the mighty Oral-B.
As for other features, Philips features a very convenient timer set to 2 minutes, ensuring you brush exactly as dentists prescribe.
It also features five cleaning modes, so you can hit that exact spot when cleaning your teeth, so the brush feels just right in your mouth. It’s only got one intensity, though, but the five modes more than make up for the lack of intensity levels, and, in all honesty, make the brush much simpler to use.
The Sonicare also features a quad pacer timer which alerts you every thirty seconds to change the quadrant of your mouth when brushing, ensuring all your teeth are cleaned thoroughly and evenly.
As for the downsides, we don’t have that much to say about this toothbrush. As with the Oral-B, the brush is quite expensive, again costing in excess of £100.
However, that is still significantly cheaper than the Oral-B, making the Sonicare a somewhat better catch.
Still, the Oral-B’s round oscillating heads offer a deeper clean, so we’d say the two brushes are neck and neck in the arms race, with one being slightly better at cleaning and the other being slightly more affordable
Now, let’s take a look at some of the budget options for electric toothbrushes. These aren’t the best out there, but they’ve got great value for the money and will be much more appealing to a great number of you.
Our first budget product comes from Braun, in collaboration from Oral-B. The Braun Oral-B Pro Health electric toothbrush offers a glimpse of what Oral-B toothbrushes are all about and costs under £20.
Similarly to the Genius 9000, Oral-B Pro features a round head that rotates for deeper cleaning.
The Oral-B Pro offers dual cleaning action making sure your teeth are not only clean but stain-free.
It has an ergonomic, rubberized handle for better grip, and uses two AA batteries. This makes it less convenient than a rechargeable toothbrush, but it’s to be expected at this price range. The designers have put an effort to extend the battery life, though, so you can expect to use it for a good 5 or 6 days.
The toothbrush operates within sonic frequency range, which allows it to be very thorough at cleaning. However, this is a very basic model, so don’t press down too hard, or you might make your gums bleed.
Other than that, the brush is pretty standard, and there’s not a lot to say about it. It’s also a little on the noisy side, as compared to other, higher-grade products. However, the noise is acceptable and shouldn’t annoy you too much.
The biggest setback of the brush is that you have to buy new batteries for it all the time, but for the price, the Braun Oral-B Pro is a steal.
Our second budget option is an Oral-B original. The Oral-B Pro 2 2500N is an excellent alternative to the expensive Genius 9000 and packs enough punch to clean even the most stubborn plaque with ease. It doesn’t have all the fanciest features of its dearer counterpart, but still has plenty to keep you satisfied and your choppers clean.
For starters, the brush features two cleaning modes, daily clean and gum care.
Daily clean is a standard mode for when you need to brush your teeth, while the gum care option is a gentler mode that is intended for those with sensitive gums.
The brush also features a 2-minute timer, just like the Genius 9000, and is also designed to remove stains.
In addition, the toothbrush features a pressure sensor that warns you when you’re pressing too hard so you don’t hurt your gums if you’re not using the gum care mode. This is quite unusual on a cheaper model like this, though don’t expect the sensor to be extremely accurate.
As for the battery, it should last you about a week on one charge, but it’s probably going to be less if you use the brush regularly. It will, however, require that you charge the brush for 14 to 22 hours straight from empty to full.
This brush has a rotating-oscillating round head, which, as we’ve explained several times, is excellent for deep cleaning the teeth and getting the cleaning fluid to hard-to-access places.
As for the bad sides, well, there aren’t many. Oral-B builds really solid toothbrushes, and the Pro 2500N is no different. On the other hand, you can expect it will be louder than a high-end brush and that it won’t oscillate as fast as the Genius 9000. Then again, do you really need to pay over £150 for 62.000 oscillations a minute, when you can have a solid toothbrush like this for around £30?
Best electric toothbrush for kids
Good dental hygiene practices are often a matter of upbringing, and we need to teach our kids to brush their teeth regularly when they’re young. That’s why Oral-B created children-friendly brushes that are gentler and more tailored to a child’s mouth and dental needs.
The Oral-B Junior toothbrush is actually very similar to the two Oral-Bs we’ve already reviewed. It’s got similar features, with a sensor present.
The brush’s head oscillates, rotates and pulsates for an extra kick when cleaning the child’s teeth, making this one of the best brushes out there.
It has softer bristles so as not to scratch the child’s gums. In addition, the brush has a 2-minute timer and indicates every 30 seconds when the child should brush the other quadrant of their teeth. This is quite convenient, and, as we said, creates good habits in the child.
As for the batteries, the manufacturer states that they should last about a week on a single charge. Naturally, we all know that manufacturers like to inflate facts about their products, so it’s safe to shave off a day or two, so expect something like 5 days.
Recharging the battery can be a little bit of a chore, as it will take something like 12 hours, but just plug it in in the evening, and it should be fully charged and ready for the morning.
This is an excellent brush, and it should serve your child for many years to come, provided they don’t mess around with it too much.
Last, but not least, is the Philips Sonicare for Kids. As we said, Philips is a very trusted brand, so you can expect nothing less than an excellent toothbrush.
One of the best things about this brush is that it comes with three differently-sized heads. This makes it very versatile, as it will then be able to adjust to your child’s mouth and teeth as they grow.
The brush’s head vibrates within sonic ranges and is very effective at driving fluid between the teeth, virtually flossing the teeth, as well as brushing them. The bristles are made extra gentle, so as not to damage your child’s gums.
One of the neatest things about the brush is that it has an accompanying phone app. Within the phone app, you can select one of the several cartoon characters that will remind the child when to brush their teeth and spur them on, so you don’t have to.
The brush also features two modes of operation, fit for younger and older children alike.
The low mode is there for younger children, and it’s much softer and gentler, and the high mode is for older kids.
The Philips Sonicare for Kids also comes with a 2-minute timer, and a pacer that will divert your child’s attention to the different quadrants of the mouth.
All in all, this is a very solid product, and is definitely recommended.
And, there you have it, some of the best electric toothbrushes on the UK market. The Oral-B Genius 9000 is an amazing product that really deserves the attention of those who can afford it.
However, our overall choice as the best electric toothbrush might just be the Oral-B 25000N, as it has excellent features considering what you’re paying.
As for the kids’ toothbrushes, the Oral-B might be a better choice. It’s got a rotating-oscillating head, a sensor and is very inexpensive.