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Electric toothbrush buying guide

by Dr D Kasperek (BDS)

The dental hygiene market is full of competition. Toothbrush manufacturers seem to be able to 'reinvent the toothbrush' every year by packing them full of new 'essential' features.

Because of this, with so many different models available, you as a patient are constantly bombarded with an overload of information, which makes it difficult to see what you need to do to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This guide was written to solve this.

Electric Toothbrushes do actually work! Research shows that electric toothbrushes consistently reduce plaque and gingivitis (early signs of gum disease) more effectively than a manual toothbrush in both the short-and-long term.

Other benefits of electric toothbrushes include gentle whitening of your teeth by removing the surface stains and protecting your gums with the built in pressure sensor. This is crucial as heavy toothbrushing can lead to tooth wear, gum recession and sensitivity. All the toothbrushes included in this guide also feature a 2 minute professional timer.

Power toothbrushes provide the cleaning action for you. That means you need only guide it along the surfaces of your teeth.  Likewise, people with arthritis or other similar conditions may find using an electric toothbrush less painful and a larger handle will make it easier to grip onto the toothbrush.

Brushing is about meticulousness, positioning and time rather than heavy scrubbing! You don't have to buy a really expensive toothbrush to achieve excellent oral hygiene results.

Oral B and Phillips are the market leaders of electric toothbrushes.

Oral B uses a smaller round head (although an alternative is available here) combined with oscillating rotating technology.  Because of the small size of the toothbrush head, it makes really easy to reach the back of the mouth, cleaning wisdom teeth which I often find are missed by patients.

The scientific evidence highlights that Oral B's technology provides better cleaning performance compared to Philips.

Phillips uses a larger head and sonic vibrating technology. It is not as effective as Oral B, however it's still significantly better than using any manual toothbrush.

Here is a list of toothbrushes that I recommend


Oral B toothbrushes with a round rotating-oscillating head

Oral-B Pro 2 2500N

All the essential features without the hefty price tag.

  • Rotating oscillating technology
  • 2 minute timer
  • Pressure sensor
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Available in Black and Pink



Oral B SmartSeries 6500

Mid tier toothbrush with some extra features. The biggest advantage of this model in my opinion is the Smart Guide which is a little wireless clock that you can place anywhere at home. It gives you real time feedback when brushing and displays time when idle. It looks pretty neat.

It has all the features of the 2500N plus:

  • Smart Guide - essentially a little wireless clock that tracks your toothbrushing live and gives feedback - I really enjoy seeing the smiley face pop up when I brushed my teeth for more than two minutes
  • Longer battery life - more than 2 weeks per charge
  • Five Modes including Whitening, Sensitive and Gum Care
  • Connected Handle - enables you to connect the toothbrush to your phone via an app, it helps to track brushing habits
  • 4 Toothbrush Heads 


Oral-B Genius 9000

The 'full works' - Oral B's best toothbrush. It comes with Position Detection Technology and Gum Guard Assistant which shows you the areas where you are applying too much pressure to prevent gum problems. Additionally to the SmartSeries 6500 it has:

  • 6 Modes
  • 4 Toothbrush Heads
  • USB travel case which can charge your toothbrush and your phone
  • Smartphone holder (instead of the Smart Guide)
  • Black and Rose Gold Colour Option



Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes with Sonic Technology

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4300

This Philips Sonicare Toothbrush comes with all the essentials including:

  • 2 minute timer
  • Pressure sensor
  • 1 cleaning mode with 2 intensities
  • Travel case
  • 2 weeks of battery life


It is a lot pricier than the entry level Oral B, however Philips' cheaper models do not come with an integrated pressure sensor and hence they are not included in this guide.
If you prefer the Philips Sonic Technology and bigger brush head compared to Oral-B these are the models to go for.



Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 

Like the Philips Sonicare 4300 this toothbrush comes with 2 minute timer and a pressure sensor. Additionally it has:

  • 3 brush modes
  • 2 brush heads included


Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, 2019 Edition

Currently this is the best Philips Sonicare Toothbrush available on the market. It comes with all the features of the 5100 plus:

  • 5 modes
  • 14 days battery life
  • USB travel case
  • Black, Pink or White Colour options



Thank you for reading this guide, I hope that it's been helpful to you. If you have any questions about purchasing an electric toothbrush, feel free to ask any member of our dental team at Saltburn Dental.