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Choosing the Best Electric Toothbrush - My Dentist's Opinion on the Best Toothbrush

Updated on March 16, 2011

When I decided to look into purchasing electronic toothbrushes, I went straight to my dentist to get his professional recommendation. I'm glad I asked for advice! Not only did my dentist (and hygienist) narrow down the deluge of options out there - they helped me find the best toothbrush of them all!

Before I share the advice my dentist and hygienist gave me, I'll share the two major benefits of using an electric toothbrush:

  1. Timers - electric toothbrushes have convenient beeping timers to let you know when you can stop brushing. I see this as particularly favorable, because I tend to get lost in my thoughts when I brush my teeth, and fifteen minutes later, I'll still be stuck on my upper right molar.
  2. Movement - electric toothbrushes either offer high speed vibrations or mechanical movement that reduces the amount of work you'll have to do, and can increase the efficacy of your brushing.

If you think you're just fine with an old fashioned manual toothbrush, believe me, you are. Part of me decided to get an electric toothbrush simply because I'm a sucker for gadgets.   I also love having nice chompers and hearing my dentist say I have been doing a good job at taking care of my teeth, so I want to do everything I can do to keep them in good condition.

I'm glad we can enjoy the perks of modern dentistry.
I'm glad we can enjoy the perks of modern dentistry. | Source

Braun Toothbrushes - A Popular Option

There were two electric toothbrush brands that my dentist had in his office to share with people and use for demonstrations: Braun and Sonicare.

At first, I was attracted to the Braun toothbrush - I just liked the way it looked.

The brush heads are slightly smaller and round - making them seem less, at least aesthetically, like a traditional toothbrush, and they seem to "do more" than Sonicare toothbrushes - there is more visual movement.

But heres' the thing - if you get a Braun toothbrush, you'll still need to do a bit of old-fashioned brushing. Why? Because they're mechanical - they just vibrate a lot.  So the big benefit of upgrading from a normal, manual toothbrush to a Braun is that they shake around a bit more and have a timer attached.

Sonicare Toothbrushes - The Best Electric Toothbrush

At first, I was turned off by the Sonicare toothbrush - when it's turned on, it doesn't seem to move a lot... and when I see an electric toothbrush, I really want that sucker to jive!!

Thankfully, my dental hygienist took the time to explain to me what was really going on.

First, she had me feel the tip of each brush - the Braun and the Sonicare - as it was operating. The Braun had a much stronger vibration going, whereas the Sonicare felt a bit lighter, but seemed to resonate all the way through my finger.

The difference between the Braun electric toothbrush and the Sonicare is that the Sonicare toothbrush does the work for you - the vibrations are a bit finer and the head of the brush is small and curved down at the tip to follow the contour of a tooth.

The brush is designed to target one tooth at a time. Instead of brushing back and forth as you would with a Braun toothbrush or a normal analog-style toothbrush, you slowly rotate the brush over each tooth, and let the vibrations detach all that gross ickiness from your peraly whites.

I like that. I also like how Sonicare toothbrushes are well designed for smaller mouths like mine, and have nice long heads that make it easy to get to the very back of your molars, which are typically a problem spot for me (bonus tip - to get to the very back, close your mouth so that your cheek doesn't block the way).

In the end, I decided to go with the Sonicare. I think it feels better, and the whole point of an electric toothbrush is that it provides something beyond the normal mechanical brushing you can do on your own.

Oral-B Professional Care 3000 Electric Power Toothbrush(Two Power Handles)
Oral-B Professional Care 3000 Electric Power Toothbrush(Two Power Handles)

This kit includes two power handles, so it's great for couples! Or twins. Or people who just like two of everything.


Oral B - Another Option

Another brand of electric toothbrush that is pretty popular is the Oral B toothbrush. This toothbrush was not featured in my dentist's office, so I cannot say that I have held one in person, but from the reviews, I hear that it is pretty loud and I see that it has a circular head, which suggests that it, like the Braun electric toothbrush, is more mechanical in nature and therefore does not provide that same subtle vibration that the Sonicare offers (yeah, obviously I'm biased at this point - no harm in showing it).

Also according to reviews, Sonicare electric toothbrushes have longer battery lifespans than Oral B electric toothbrushes - they can last longer without sitting on the charging dock. So that's another point against Oral B.

The neat thing about the Oral B electric toothbrush though- at least those with the OxyJet Irrigator, is that they actually squirt water while you brush.  That's pretty cool, especially if it feels like that jet of water that dentists shoot in your mouth - that thing rocks!!  So hey - maybe Oral B toothbrushes are OK after all.  If you decide that you want to go with a more mechanical-style electric toothbrush instead of a sonic vibrating one, I'd definitely go with one that also acts as a dental squirt gun.  It sounds like a good time.

What's your toothbrush of choice?

See results

What's Your Favorite Toothbrush?

Do you use an electric toothbrush? Or do you use a normal, manual one? Or do you just skip out on the brushing altogether?  I know that some people only floss and use mouthwash, but I could never stomach the taste.

I'm most interested to hear if you have any other advice on electric toothbrushes, or thoughts on the brand of electric toothbrush you already have.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!

And happy brushing!


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    • thedentists profile image


      7 years ago

      Important hub, because many dental problems occur when people don't brush correctly. Electric toothbrushes are highly recommended over standard manual brushing.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      I use my regular brush. I do have an electric toothbrush I use part time. Sounds funny but regular brush just seems faster when I'm in a hurry. Voted Up.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Yeah, they should totally cut me a check.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Simone Smith sounds like she works for Sonicare and if not, she should!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a braun electric toothbrush that I now upgrading as i have had it for a few years I think you get great results with an electric toothbrush and I would not use anything else

    • profile image

      Dentist Truro 

      7 years ago

      The sonicare range are fantastic brushes that should be perfect for almost anyone.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco


    • FCEtier profile image


      8 years ago from Cold Mountain

      I use an Oral B/Braun so I voted "Oral B". Anyway, I use it twice a day and floss once or twice a month. Usually get good check ups.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, nice!! I can't wait for my Sonicare to arrive!!

    • profile image

      Nelle Hoxie 

      8 years ago

      I had a very nasty bout of periodontal disease 5 years ago and have been flossing and using a Sonicare Toothbrush ever since. Once you get used to the extra-clean feeling, I don't think manual brushing will ever feel good enough. I also use a water pik. If you have arthritis in your hands or wrists, it makes it a lot easier to brush when your all stiff.

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      LOL even if you ARE just shooting water all over the bathroom, it's a pretty cool toothbrush! I'm pretty intrigued by it. I wish there was one at my dentist's office so that I could compare all three in person.

    • puter_dr profile image

      Mike Bouska 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Toothbrushes are a scam...and so are teeth.

      Thanks for the informative hub and fun poll. Actually my dentist suggests Oral-B but I have been intriqued by Soniccare. I like the Water Pik water blaster thing, but my wife thinks I just enjoy shooting water all over the bathroom.


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