Electric toothbrushes aren’t anything new on the market, but they’ve seen vast improvements over the last decade. There are so many choices available, it can be hard to know which features are bells and whistles and which are useful. Everything you need in an electric toothbrush can be condensed into three categories: design, features and portability.
These categories go hand in hand in manual and in electric models. No matter what type of electric toothbrush you get, it needs to be comfortable to hold and easy to maneuver. Massage brushes with smaller heads are often better for mouth feel and can clean tight spaces more effectively. Most adults need a toothbrush with a head around a half inch wide and one inch tall. Soft bristle brush heads are also the dentists’ choice because they do not damage gums, especially for those aggressive brushers. Of the brush head types, look for models with a rotation oscillation. These round-headed brushes pulse and spin, allowing you to focus on one tooth at a time and rotate up to 8,000 times a minute. This makes them more effective than other styles.
Not all electric toothbrushes are created equal, but in the end, a toothbrush is only as effective as your brushing technique. That’s why there have been new models sprouting up that help you improve your own brushing skills. Look for the two-minute timer feature that will help you get the minimum brushing time in and whiten your smile. Other common, useful features include charging stands, travel cases and different settings like massage or sensitive modes.
You should also remember to replace brush heads every three months. The less expensive, battery operated models last about two weeks with a normal brushing, creating a hidden cost in replacement batteries. Look for brushes with replaceable heads, you’ll need to replace your brush every three months or so.
If you travel often, portability is an important quality to look for in an electric toothbrush. Even if you aren’t a frequent jetsetter, you still need to brush your teeth while you’re away from home. Depending on the power source, a toothbrush can become unwieldy or come with extra components to pack. Many budget friendly models use batteries while those on the higher end usually use charging stands with cables. The rechargeable models are often better performers, but battery operated models are more portable and less expensive.