Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect new selections for 2016.
We tend to get set in our ways, especially when it comes to hygiene. So switching to an electric toothbrush can seem like an unnecessary departure from what’s already working, not to mention an added expense. But electric toothbrushes have their advantages: they’re more effective at eliminating plaque, reducing gingivitis and, with companion apps and built-in timers, they may also teach better brushing habits. These are the best electric toothbrushes for upping your oral hygiene game.
Best New Brush: Launched in 2015, Quip takes a pragmatic approach to helping people switch from manual to electric toothbrushes. First, Quip’s innovatively designed body vibrates for two minutes to make sure users are brushing long enough. Second, its bristles pulsate every 30 seconds to indicate when to brush a different area of their mouth. Third, users get mailed a new brush head every three months (each is an additional $5) to remind them it’s time to switch out the old. Finally, it’s only a $25 initial commitment, so if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle you won’t feel bad about switching back to a regular brush.
Oral B Black 7000 SmartSeries
Most Feature Packed: Oral B is another juggernaut in oral hygiene, and the Black 7000 SmartSeries is their top of the line offering. It’s the first electric toothbrush of its kind that’s designed to communicate directly with smartphones via Bluetooth. So why would you want this? The companion app can provide real-time feedback on where you need to focus your brushing, track your habits over time and also sense when you’re brushing too hard. None of these features are critical by any means, but if you demand this kind of functionality from everything else in your life, this is really your only option for now.
Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected
Best Bluetooth Brush: In July 2016, Philips released the latest electric toothbrush in their lauded Sonicare line. The big advancement? Bluetooth connectivity. The FlexCare Platinum Connected allows brushers to check, via Philips’ app, one’s brushing in real time. If someone is brushing too aggressively in one area, or missing their back right molar, the app will tell him/her. The app will also track of brushing history over time. For those really into dental hygiene, this brush will allow you to have even deeper talks with your dentist.
Oral B PRO 1000
Best Value: The shape of the brush is cup-like, inspired by the ones dentists use, to help clean around each tooth. It also includes the given two minute to encourage users to brush for the entire 2 minutes, as well as a pressure sensor that detects when you’re brushing too aggressively, which can be harmful to gums and enamel, and halts the brush’s pulsation.
Waterpik Sensonic Professional Plus SR-3000
Best for Clean Freaks: The SR-3000 is marketed to compete against Phillips Sonicare toothbrushes. It has a 25 percent faster bristle speed, making it better at cleaning gums and fighting plaque. It comes with 3 different heads (standard, compact and interdental) and a vibrating timer and pacer.