The 9 best electric toothbrushes in comparison.
A radiant smile opens doors – but only a well-groomed mouth with clean teeth can shine. Dental care with a manual toothbrush often leaves plaque on your teeth. An electric toothbrush cleans more thoroughly and can help prevent discolouration.
To make your teeth shiny white, the electric toothbrush has to clean very thoroughly. In our test and comparison table we have not only tested different products in this respect. You will also find out whether a sound or rotating toothbrush is the best one for you.
Electric Toothbrush Purchase Advice: How to choose the right product from the above Electric Toothbrush Test or Comparison
The most important in brief
- Electric toothbrushes have now replaced conventional manual toothbrushes in many households. Plaque is removed 100% more effectively, the gums are massaged and the cleaning process is simplified.
- Two types of electric toothbrushes are distinguished: those with rotating oscillating brushes, whose round heads move back and forth in a semicircle and work with additional pulsations, and sonic toothbrushes that clean the teeth by vibrating the elongated brush heads. Both toothbrush types were considered in our test.
- Depending on the model, most electric toothbrushes have different cleaning programs: From “intensive” to “tooth whitening” to “sensitive”, everything is represented in programs, as our test shows.
According to a survey conducted by couponing provider deals.com, around 41 percent of the German population used an electric toothbrush for daily tooth cleaning in 2014.
No wonder – brushing your teeth is the most common ritual among our daily routines.
Why not make it convenient and practical? Just press the button and off you go! With an electric toothbrush, the daily toothbrush routine can be simplified even for the little ones. Reason enough to take a closer look at the vibrating brushes.
Which is the best electric toothbrush? What are the fundamental differences between sound and rotating toothbrushes? Are the manufacturer’s promises fulfilled? In our 2018 electric toothbrush test, we took a closer look at this popular cleaning tool using various brands and manufacturers:
The models were put through their paces under various criteria – equipment and functions, tooth cleaning, handling, technical features. In addition to detailed purchasing advice, we will show you which functions your personal electric toothbrush test winner should have, which toothbrush is suitable for which type and provide practical tips for oral and dental hygiene.
- to our dental floss comparison
- to our activated carbon comparison
- to our comparison of electric children’s toothbrushes
First toothbrush types: An electric sonic toothbrush is recommended for periodontitis
Electric toothbrush cheap
We have considered both rotary oscillating toothbrushes and sonic toothbrushes for our test, whereby the term “sound” has nothing to do with the technology – the toothbrush works with vibrations – but rather with the type of noise.
You can see the differences between the two categories in the overview:
rotary oscillating toothbrush sonic toothbrush
round brush head
works with rotations and pulsations (pressure)
Frequency: up to 8,500 rotations per minute
requires individual cleaning of each tooth
Injury to the gums possible if used incorrectly
long brush head
works with vibrations (without pressure)
Frequency: up to 31,000 vibrations per minute
cleans larger areas
protects the gums
Before you buy an electric toothbrush, you should ask yourself the question: Which requirements should it meet? Do you suffer from exposed tooth necks, periodontitis or tend to perform horizontal “scrubbing movements”? Then you should choose a sonic toothbrush that is gentle on your gums. If your gums are in good condition and have the right brushing technique, a round toothbrush is suitable.#
Test summaryTest conclusion № 1: The choice of an electric toothbrush should always be made dependent on the anatomy and dental health requirements of the user, as our expert – a dental prophylaxis assistant from Berlin – also recommends. If you are unsure about the condition of your teeth, ask your dentist for advice. He can give you information on the anatomy of your teeth and even a recommendation for the right toothbrush and tips on toothbrushing routines.
2. equipment and function: sensitive program a must for sensitive teeth
The selection on the toothbrush market is wide. In order to keep an overview in the country of dental care products, we have listed below which functions a good electric toothbrush should have:
3. cleaning performance: no bad results
What is plaque?
Plaque or bacterial plaque is the accumulation of bacteria on the tooth surface. In the long term plaque can lead to caries and gingivitis and should therefore be removed by the dentist during daily cleaning and regular professional dental cleaning.
Dental HygieneWith regard to cleaning performance, we could not find any major differences in our electric toothbrush test: When used correctly, all products delivered good to very good results.
The cleaning performance was especially judged by the clean feeling on the teeth.
Compared to a manual toothbrush, most testers enjoyed noticeably smooth teeth, comparable to professional tooth cleaning.
4. handling and application: round head brushes are very loud
In terms of handling, the testers mainly assessed the cleaning process.
The focus was on the following questions: Is the device handy? Are hard-to-reach areas such as molars easily reached? What about the volume of the toothbrush?
Electric Toothbrush Application
In principle, all products achieved satisfactory to good results. The devices with relatively large brush heads (approx. 2.7 centimetres) were somewhat more difficult to handle. According to our experience, electric sonic toothbrushes with a head size of up to two centimeters reach the back molars much better than their big brothers.
In the case of the circular brushes, each device was able to reach the heavy areas sufficiently, but there was a different problem: the volume. Compared to the vibrating sound brushes, the majority of the rotating brushes were unpleasantly loud in use.
Probably a habituation thing – for noise-sensitive persons nevertheless a minus point.
Test conclusion 2Test conclusion № 2: In the test, the rotating oscillating devices were much louder than the sonic toothbrushes. Round head toothbrushes are suitable for those who do not mind the volume during daily use. Again, the premise is that your teeth should meet the requirements for the choice of such a toothbrush.
5. it’s the right application that does it!
Tips for proper oral hygiene
Toothbrush for childrenTo make sure you don’t get anything wrong with your electric toothbrush: leave it to your electric toothbrush to clean. All you have to do is hold the brush on your teeth and guide it along them without any pressure.
It is important to work on all surfaces – i.e. chewing, outer and inner surfaces.
The exact brushing procedure differs depending on the type of electric toothbrush:
Application of a round head brush Application of a sonic toothbrush
Brush each tooth separately!
Place the toothbrush on the tooth surfaces and wait a moment for the brush to clean the tooth. Then pull the brush head away from the gumline.
To massage the gums, gently guide the brush head over the gum line. Do not scrub!
Important: Make sure that the pressure on the tooth and gums is not too great. If you tend to press your toothbrush too firmly on your teeth, a product with pressure control is recommended. This helps you to control the pressure on the teeth by means of a control lamp or a vibration signal.
Here you can reach several teeth at once! This results from the elongated brush head, which simultaneously captures several – usually 2 – teeth at once.
Less toothpaste is more! It is best to spread the toothpaste in your mouth before switching on the toothbrush and only then start brushing.
Let the toothbrush glide over the teeth – approx. 3 – 4 seconds per tooth. As with brushing with a round head brush, follow the tooth brushing rule “From red to white”.
Get used to a fixed tooth brushing routine: 1.) external surfaces, 2.) inner surfaces, 3.) chewing surfaces.
Dental Care Tips
Other useful tips for dental care:
Clean for at least two minutes:
Of course, the use of an electric toothbrush does not replace brushing your teeth in the morning and evening. Minimum is two minutes. Practical: With the exception of one toothbrush in our test, they all use a minute timer to indicate when the end of the brushing time has been reached.
Clean brush carefully:
After brushing your teeth, you should clean the toothbrush under running water. Some models are nowadays even supplied with an ultrasonic cleaning device, which removes bacterial residues from the brush heads.
Replace the brush regularly:
In addition to cleaning the brush head, you should also replace it approximately every three months. For the forgetful: Many brush heads have a colour gradient that indicates when the brush should be changed.
Use dental floss:
The spaces between the teeth should be cleaned regularly with dental floss or so-called interdental brushes. This is the only way to effectively prevent plaque that forms between the teeth. Even the best toothbrush cannot get into the gaps sufficiently.
Test conclusion 3Test conclusion № 3: When brushing your teeth you should always adapt the right brushing technique to the choice of toothbrush. In principle, however, the following applies to electrical products: Your toothbrush does the work, not you! Remember to treat every part of your teeth, paying attention to the pressure – the less, the better. A lower pressure allows the mixture of toothpaste and saliva to better penetrate into the interdental spaces, thus cleaning them more effectively.
6. electric toothbrushes at consumer reports
Manual toothbrushThe Stiftung Warentest has published a test on electric toothbrushes in its 01/2017 issue. The test winner was the Oral B Pro 3000, which was rated “very good” for both tooth cleaning and environmental properties. However, other products were more successful in our test.
7. questions about electric toothbrushes?
Ultrasonic toothbrushIn the concluding chapter of our electric toothbrush test we answer further important questions on the subject.
7.1 Brush an electric toothbrush more thoroughly than a manual toothbrush?
Basically, a manual toothbrush can achieve the same good results as an electric toothbrush. However, this requires a very good cleaning technique.
If the manual toothbrush is applied too straightly, the individual bristles often do not reach the interdental spaces sufficiently. In addition, you should observe the tooth brushing time recommended by dentists.
7.2 Is an electric toothbrush useful for children?
This question cannot be answered with a simple yes. If your child has the right brushing technique and cleans his or her teeth conscientiously, an electrical appliance is not absolutely necessary.
If your child sometimes neglects brushing his teeth or does not brush some areas thoroughly, a cheap electric toothbrush can also make sense.
We have summarized the advantages of an electric toothbrush in comparison to a manual toothbrush for you: