The Best Electric Toothbrush

To find the best electric toothbrush, we put in almost 100 total hours of research, interviewing experts, evaluating every model on the market, and testing 10 toothbrushes ourselves in hundreds of trials at the bathroom sink. We found that the best toothbrush for most people is a simple $50 model called the Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep 1000. It has the fewest fancy features of the models we tested, but it does have the most important things experts recommend—a built-in 2-minute timer and access to one of the most extensive and affordable lines of replaceable toothbrush heads available—for the lowest price. That, according to the experts we spoke to, is as much as an electric toothbrush can or should do for you. The extras available in electric toothbrushes that cost $150 more don’t make them any more effective than the Deep Sweep.

Last Updated: May 4, 2015
For this 2015 update, we put in almost 100 total hours of research, evaluated every model on the market, and tested 10 toothbrushes in hundreds of trials. The Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep 1000 has all of the most important things experts recommend—a built-in 2-minute timer and access to one of the most extensive and affordable lines of replaceable toothbrush heads—for the lowest price.
Expand Most Recent Updates
February 13, 2015: Set to wait status while we research new picks. Check back in April for an updated version of this guide.
September 8, 2014: Good news: The Oral-B Professional Care 1000 is back in stock at Amazon.
April 22, 2014: Our main pick is currently unavailable at Amazon, but if you need a new toothbrush now we recommend the Oral-B Deep Sweep Triaction 1000 as the best alternative.
March 4, 2014: We did a couple hours of research to see if there was any other toothbrush that could unseat our pick, but we found the Oral-B 1000 is still the best. We do understand that not everyone likes the feeling of Oral-B's oscillating brush, however, so we added an alternate choice, Oral-B's Deep Sweep Triaction 1000, which feels closer to a manual brush.
February 6, 2014: This toothbrush is getting harder to find. It appears to have been replaced by a variant of the same thing, but we're putting this on Wait status until we can get a reporter to look into it.
August 25, 2012: Added in more personal testing notes and what's in the box. Replaced the mysterious, disappearing "Best Sources" section.  
Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep 1000
The Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 has the most important features for the lowest price: a 2-minute timer, an easy brushing process, and compatibility with the largest range of brush heads.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

The brush comes with a minimal charging pedestal that simply requires dropping the brush onto a peg. Fully charged, it lasts for at least a week of twice-daily 2-minute brushing sessions before needing a recharge, which is on par with the other toothbrushes we tested in this price range and plenty for most people.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series
The Philips Sonicare 2 Series is one of the least expensive brushes in Sonicare’s line, but still has a 2-minute timer, rechargeable battery, and less noise than our Oral-B pick. This pick has smaller range of brush textures and shapes, but they are all soft and serviceable.

If you can’t find the Oral-B Deep Sweep, get the runner-up, the Philips Sonicare 2 Series ($50). Like the Deep Sweep, the 2 Series is not trumped up with unproven features and includes everything you need in an electric toothbrush. The 2 Series runs much more quietly, but unlike the Deep Sweep, it comes to a full stop after 2 minutes of brushing (rather than restarting the cycle as the Deep Sweep does), doesn’t have a quadrant timer, and has a less diverse, more expensive range of brush heads, giving you fewer options for texture and shape if you want them.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

During the research process, we spoke with several experts on the subject of dentistry, including dental school faculty at leading research universities, a professional dentist, and a consumer advisor appointed by the American Dental Association, which confers a seal of approval on dental care products that seek the certification and meet a set of agreed-upon criteria.

In addition, we invested over 50 hours in researching, evaluating, and testing the best powered toothbrushes widely available on the market in order to find the best one. (On a personal note, the last time I went to get my teeth cleaned, both the dentist and hygienist tripped over themselves to compliment the condition of my teeth, even though I hadn’t gotten a cleaning in 3 years, drink coffee every day, and eat healthy sums of candy.)

Should I upgrade?

Per the ADA’s recommendations, the only necessary thing in toothbrushing is a basic toothbrush that you use properly. No electric toothbrush has the ADA seal right now 1, but powered electric toothbrushes have been shown to provide superior dental care to manual toothbrushing—they remove more plaque and reduce gingivitis at statistically significant rates 2. If you find yourself struggling to meet 2 minutes, you tend to brush unevenly, or you find manual brushing to be too much labor, upgrading from a manual toothbrush to an electric one that automates these elements would make sense.

If you already have an electric toothbrush that performs these services, there’s no need to consider upgrading. If you use a manual brush and don’t struggle to maintain good habits, there’s little reason to consider upgrading in that case, either.

Electric toothbrushes cost about 10 times as much as a manual toothbrushes, and  you have to replace the brush heads at the same frequency (every 3 months), each for about the same cost as a manual brush.

One thing worth pointing out about electric toothbrushes is that they are not cheaper in the long run. Electric toothbrushes cost about 10 times as much as a manual toothbrushes, and  you have to replace the brush heads at the same frequency (every 3 months), each for about the same cost as a manual brush. What you get for the higher cost is less friction in achieving good brushing habits, and, according to research, a significant reduction in plaque and gingivitis, even if that reduction may only come from having a brush that encourages good habits, like a full 2 minutes of brushing for each session.

Electric Toothbrushes

The full complement of brushes we tested.

How we picked and tested

…all you really need out of an electric toothbrush is a 2-minute timer to make sure you brush your teeth for the right amount of time.

After sorting through the dental care research, which is littered with (unusable) clinical studies sponsored by the companies that make the toothbrushes being tested, we’ve learned that all you really need out of an electric toothbrush is a 2-minute timer to make sure you brush your teeth for the right amount of time. Manufacturers have blown up the high end with scientific-sounding “features,” like a cleaning modes and UV lights, but there’s nothing to prove these other features work, let alone that they are necessary (see Features you don’t need). All an electric toothbrush can really offer is automation of the brushing process by adding a timer and easing some of the physical labor, according to the professors and dentist we spoke to.

“Average folks brush 46 seconds. With timers people will go to at least the 2 minutes,” said Dr. Joan Gluch, an adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School. “Clinically, we see patients do better with powered toothbrushes.” Dr. Mark Wolff, DDS, Ph.D., a professor at NYU Dental School and chair of the Cariology and Comprehensive Care department, agreed: “It helps people that don’t brush well,” he said. “If you need the guidance, invest in the guidance.”

Electric toothbrushes

There are lots of types of brush heads, and they vary from brand to brand.

To begin the search, we trawled the manufacturer websites of the highest-rated brands and looked at the recommendations of Consumer Reports (subscription required to see product recommendations) and the Good Housekeeping Institute for both toothbrush models as well as their replacement or substitution toothbrush heads, an important factor in choosing a best toothbrush.

Consumer Reports performed their own tests for plaque removal and concluded “the two priciest brushes removed 75 percent or more of plaque in our tests, on average,” but since Consumer Reports’ last round of recommendations in March 2010, two of the top models have been discontinued and replaced by similar ones, and one has been recalled. GHI’s recommendations don’t say much and do not explain whether or not expensive features are really necessary.

Aside from these older tests, we didn’t find any independently-conducted research that both draws the conclusion that one model or type is better than another and explains the process and results. And none of our experts differentiated between the plaque removal ability in any of the types or models of brushes available.

So we looked for, at minimum, brushes with a 2-minute timer, but still wanted to test higher-end brushes to compare their usability against the simplest models. We eliminated brushes without rechargeable batteries because loose batteries are a hassle and a waste. We also eliminated models that were reviewed as loud or having either short battery life or a too-small range of compatible brush heads. If a brush was compatible with a wide range of brush heads, that was a small point in its favor.

Both Oral-B and Sonicare make extensive lines of brushes and don’t exactly go to pains to make it clear what the difference is between all of them. Models we chose not to test include the Oral-B Professional Care 3000, which is more expensive than the 4000 model and can interface with an Oral-B app that displays a timer, and the Oral-B 5000, which has a higher price justified only by additional “cleaning modes,” which aren’t necessary. Though the Oral-B 7000 has the same problems of high cost justified by unnecessary features, we chose to test it to see if there was a better user experience. There was not.

We applied the same buying model to the Sonicare line and tried not to buy brushes that were only differentiated by their unnecessary features. We also bought one high-end brush, the DiamondClean, to assess whether the cleaning experience was $120 better. It was not.

Once we understood the features of all the products, it was a matter of getting them in hand and seeing what it was like to hold them, charge them, use them, replace their heads, and have our brushing sessions timed and monitored. To stress-test them, we also dropped our picks onto a tile floor from chest height to test for durability and submerged them in water while they were running for a full 2-minute brushing cycle to test for water resistance. We compared the brushes on all these usability points to arrive at our conclusion.

In our experience, all of these brushes, even the top-end ones, did the same thing—moved toothpaste around in your mouth. Toothbrushes that identify as “sonic” like Philips and Waterpik models tend to be quieter and have a vibration-like movement, while oscillating brushes are louder. But this is a distinction between different types of brushes made by different manufacturers, not expensive brushes versus cheap ones.

The features you don’t need (what you get if you spend more)

The funny thing about electric toothbrushes is how similar a $70 model is to a $200 one. Once we get past the features mentioned above, there are precious few necessary value-adds to an expensive electric toothbrush: a travel case, a UV sanitizer (which is of negligible use), maybe a couple extra heads, a very slightly sleeker body, a longer-lasting battery. As for sonic cleaning, different cleaning modes, or pressure sensors, experts tell us they are not necessary.

First, a point of order about the word “sonic:” Per advertising from Sonicare that is now close to two decades old, some people take this to mean that sonic toothbrushes “knock off plaque” with “sound waves.” This is not an effect proven in any research.

However, sonic toothbrushes can produce a secondary effect described in a handful of studies involving fluid dynamics. Independent research does show that the fluid dynamics generated by a toothbrush moving at high frequency can “remove bacteria in vitro even at distances up to 4 mm beyond the tips of the bristles” (Stanford, 1997). The efficacy of this movement varied depending on the distance and time spent, and nothing will remove 100 percent of the bacteria/plaque all the time, but this is a significant, if secondary, effect generated by a “sonic” toothbrush.

There are no independent studies I could find that compare toothbrush models or brands, and all the ones tested for the fluid dynamics aspect are Sonicare brushes, which are all 31,000 movement/minute brushes. Other brands have toothbrushes that move faster, slower, and at roughly the same speed as this. While the fluid dynamics effect exists, it’s important to remember it’s secondary to actual bristles scrubbing your teeth and gums.

Another thing that is meant to differentiate the more expensive models is various “cleaning modes” that vibrate the brush at different patterns or frequencies. These brushes also tend to move at a higher frequency, to the tune of 30,000-40,000 movements per minute, as opposed to a lower-end brush’s 8,000-20,000 movements per minute.

But cleaning modes don’t matter, according to experts we spoke to and research we’ve seen. The only one that might help is “sensitive mode” for people who find the brush’s normal oscillations too jarring. “People with sensitive teeth may find that their teeth are less sensitive when the brush head moves slower or less pressure is applied,” said Matthew Messina, DDS, a consumer advisor for the ADA. The average person doesn’t need it, though. “As far as whitening goes, all toothbrushes help remove surface stains when used with a toothpaste because toothpastes contain mild abrasives and detergents for this purpose,” said Messina.

There isn’t even a proven difference in effectiveness between faster and slower brush movements in existing independent research. We only found one small, old, imperfect study that compared brushes with 2,100, 2,500, and 3,500 brushstrokes per minute and found that the middle frequency was the most effective at removing plaque (“at most 1.5 times better” than the other frequencies and yielded “about 50 percent fewer plaque sites” than the highest frequency). Respondents also said it was the most comfortable frequency. However, there were only 10 participants, they only brushed under supervision some of the time, and they used each toothbrush for only 3 days.

Some brushes come with a “pressure sensor” that is meant to alert the user when they are brushing too hard, something that dentists and experts agree is a bad thing. In theory, then, a pressure sensor can be good. However, in our testing, we found that the brushes with pressure sensors required the user to bear down very hard on their teeth before the alert would trigger. The amount of pressure a user can apply before the sensor discourages them suggests the available pressure sensors are more of a gimmick than an actual useful feature.

Many powered toothbrushes also include a quadrant timer that alerts you when 30 seconds have passed to encourage brushing evenness, and allow you to brush your teeth one “quadrant” at a time (lower-outer teeth, lower-inner, upper-outer, upper-inner). This element, while a nice option, isn’t strictly necessary unless you like that style of brushing or struggle with brushing evenness as noticed by your dentist. “The time spent in each quadrant is just an aid to help ensure that you brush long enough to remove plaque on every tooth at the gum line and chewing surfaces, assuming you’re brushing properly,” said Messina. “Plus, we are not aware of studies that show brushing longer in smaller areas has an added beneficial effect in removing plaque.”

Our pick

Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep 1000
The Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 has the most important features for the lowest price: a 2-minute timer, an easy brushing process, and compatibility with the largest range of brush heads.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

The Deep Sweep 1000 is among Oral-B’s least expensive models, but comes with all the features recommended by most of our experts for the lowest price—a 2-minute timer (with a nice-to-have quadrant alert), and a wide selection of compatible and affordable brush heads. The Deep Sweep has comfortable-feeling oscillating bristles, a simple one-button interface, and a battery that lasted 11.5 days with twice-daily use in our tests. The body survived drop tests on the floor and into water. Best of all, you’re not getting overcharged for features like digital monitors, travel cases, or inductive chargers—none of which will actually get your teeth any cleaner than the Deep Sweep can.

The one-button simplicity is a great feature—there are no useless cleaning modes. The Deep Sweep 1000’s timer goes off every 30 seconds, alerting the user of the time by briefly pausing. After 2 minutes, the brush pulses three times to signal that a full cycle is up, but will continue brushing after if the user wants to keep brushing; it must always be manually turned off. This is nice for touching up on areas of your mouth you may not have given enough attention to.  On many more expensive brushes, like the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean, pushing the button more than once activates different cleaning modes, forcing you to cycle through every option to get back to the simple default cleaning mode.

Oral B Deep Sweep Triaction 1000

The Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000.

Using the right brush head for your teeth and gums matters, and we like that the Deep Sweep can take advantage of Oral-B’s brush head line. The range is the widest of all toothbrush lines, making it easier to customize the brush for one user’s preferences and recommendations from their dentist. Bruce Schechner, a New York-based general and cosmetic dentist, said that “everyone reacts differently” to different brush shapes and sizes, and those factors don’t matter “as long as you’re using one you feel comfortable with.” Wolff said that whether a brush includes elements like rubber flaps doesn’t matter, but brushes should be “soft to medium, at hardest.”

Oral-B’s brushes are also, on average, less expensive than replacement heads for other brushes.

Oral-B’s brushes are also, on average, less expensive than replacement heads for other brushes. Dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every 3 months, so these cost savings can add up over time. The Sonicare brush heads tend to be more expensive, while brands like the Waterpik and Dazzlepro have heads that are roughly the same price.

Higher-priced Oral-B models don’t have much more to offer than our pick. Investing $50 into the Deep Sweep 1000 gets you access to the same set of brush heads as the $148 Oral-B Black 7000 model (with the exception of a couple less-widely-available models).

Oral B Deep Sweep Triaction 1000

The brush head that the Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 is packaged with has a separate moving part at the tip that flicks back and forth. Oral-B calls this the “Power Tip” and says it is meant to help reach back teeth.

The Deep Sweep is rated to last for 7 days of brushing sessions on one charge; in our real-world testing, it lasted for 11.5 days, which is average for a brush in this price range. Like the more expensive models we tested, the brush survived its drop test, fits in its charging cradle well, and can switch out brush heads easily.

The Deep Sweep 1000 was also quite comfortable to use. Oral-B models use rotation and pulsation, so its brushes don’t buzz as intensely when the brush’s head touches your other teeth. All Sonicares vibrate at the same (high) frequency and produce a more jarring sensation when the back of the brush collides with other teeth.

Oral B Professional Care 1000

The Deep Sweep 1000 has a charging indicator, low-battery indicator, and a simple closed charging system that allows you to just drop the brush in place.

It is worth noting that our previous pick, the Oral-B Pro 1000 (also known in some contexts as the Healthy Clean Precision 1000), is still available and is functionally identical to the Deep Sweep 1000. At the time of our last review, the Healthy Clean Precision 1000 included one of the pressure sensors we mentioned earlier, but despite what the Amazon listing says, the model we tested did not include it. The Healthy Clean Precision, therefore, is essentially the same toothbrush. It just comes in a different color and with a different brush head. Online pricing can be fluid and seems to be influenced by the popularity of an item, so get the one you can find cheaper.

The Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 has a limited 2-year warranty that requires the buyer retain the receipt and ship the product to an authorized service center if it needs fixing. This is typical for a product in this price range and category.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

Overall, we found the oscillating format Oral-B toothbrushes to be louder and more sonically grating than the vibrating format of the Sonicare brushes we tested. Without a point of comparison, it’s possible our slight annoyance would go away as we got used to it.

The other major flaw of the Deep Sweep 1000 is that its head is a departure from the usual rotating/pulsating motion of most powered Oral-B brushes. The head it comes with has two moving parts: one that moves up and down vertically and a longer set of bristles at the top that flop back and forth. Compared to other toothbrushes, the motion was a little violent.

Fortunately, due to the aforementioned large range of brush heads, it’s possible to buy another type that feels better if you do not like the Deep Sweep 1000. Toothbrushes are meant to be replaced every 3 months anyway, so buying new brush heads is an inevitability; You just have to eat the cost of the two Deep Sweep heads that come with the brush.

Like most of the toothbrush models we tested, the battery life indicator on the Deep Sweep Triaction is vague: it lets you know when the battery is full (a continuous green light for 5 seconds after removing it from the charging base) and when it is “low” (a red flashing light after turning the brush off). Oral-B does not specify how long it takes to get the brush to a full charge, but it can be charged every day without significantly affecting the battery’s capacity as long as you deplete it fully once every 6 months.

Longterm test notes

The most significant thing about a powered toothbrush that might change over the course of its lifetime is the battery life; over the years, rechargeable batteries tend to lose capacity. In the case of a toothbrush, this might mean it becomes less powerful or doesn’t last as long while traveling.

Runner-up

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

Philips Sonicare 2 Series
The Philips Sonicare 2 Series is one of the least expensive brushes in Sonicare’s line, but still has a 2-minute timer, rechargeable battery, and less noise than our Oral-B pick. This pick has smaller range of brush textures and shapes, but they are all soft and serviceable.

The Philips Sonicare 2 Series is one of the least expensive Sonicare brushes at around $50. This brush that is quieter than our recommended Oral-B model with a more subtle motion (though the vibrations can feel slightly more uncomfortable when the back of the brush knocks against your other teeth). The 2 Series also has twice the battery life of the Oral-B, lasting 2 weeks of use on a single charge instead of 1 (in our tests it lasted for 16 days of use), so it might be a better choice for travelers.

Philips Sonicare 2 toothbrush

The Philips Sonicare 2 Series.

A nice perk of all Sonicare brushes, including the 2 Series, is that the brush heads come with a tiny plastic hood you can snap off and on to guard against the coliform sprays flying around one’s bathroom if you store your toothbrush in open air. The cap is easy to lose, but it’s a nice touch.

Sonicare brush head and cap

All Sonicare brushes come with a plastic cap to protect your brush from your bathroom’s coliform sprays. Unfortunately, it’s easily lost.

While the Sonicare 2 includes the 2-minute timer and rechargeable battery, it does not have the 30-second pacing timer. As we said before, the pacing timer isn’t absolutely necessary, especially for people who prefer to move the brush randomly around their mouth.

Sonicare 2 Series battery indicator light

The 2 Series has a single indicator light that will show when the battery is low.

The replacement brush heads for the 2 Series are slightly more expensive at $27 for three ($9 each), while the Oral-B’s replacement heads can be as cheap as $5-$6 each, making the Oral-B’s expenses a little lower in the long run. Per our testing, Sonicare brush heads are interchangeable, and all the Sonicare brushes we tested were able to accommodate each other’s heads. Sonicare does not make this explicit anywhere in its product materials. Most of Sonicare’s brush heads are oblong with soft bristles and lack options for additional structural elements, like rubber flaps or “polishing cups”, so you get fewer options than you do with Oral-B.

Sonicare 2 Series brush

The 2 Series brush is small, soft, and oblong.

Like the Oral-B model, the 2 Series comes with a limited 2-year warranty that requires you to retain the receipt and ship the brush out if it needs service.

The 2 Series is about the same price as the Oral-B Deep Sweep, but online prices can fluctuate.

Care and maintenance

The only downside of our Oral-B pick is that it comes with a somewhat strange and overactive brush head with two moving parts. Fortunately, Oral-B offers a wide variety of brush heads that are generally more affordable than those from Sonicare. If you choose to buy the Deep Sweep 1000 brush, we suggest planning on buying a different set of brush heads in the very near term, even before you will naturally need a replacement (brush heads should be replaced every 3 months).

As we noted earlier in this guide, brush heads are a matter of personal preference of size, shape, and material. A number of third-party brands make replacement heads for Oral-B toothbrushes that tend to be much cheaper. There are some reports in user reviews that these aftermarket brushes sometimes do not fit or are of a lower quality than branded brushes, and the heads tend to be rated lower. Pay close attention when shopping for brush heads to what is “Oral-B” vs. “Oral-B compatible.”

Competition

We considered 24 brush models during the research phase, and from there, we narrowed it down to 10 brushes for testing.

Oral-B Pro 1000, $65. This brush is functionally and physically identical to our Deep Sweep 1000 pick, save for being a different color, and was our previous pick. If you can get it cheaper than the Deep Sweep 1000, this is a good brush to get.

Philips Sonicare EasyClean 3 Series, $100. This is the cheapest Sonicare brush with a 30-second pacing timer and a light that turns on when the brush is turned on, which means you’re paying an extra $50 for those features over the 2 Series and not much else. It feels and works very similar to the 2 Series, with a glossy plastic handle and minimal gripping ridges.

Waterpik Sensonic Professional Toothbrush (SR-3000), $85. A newer brand that has a bulky base with grippy rubber panels, a single button, and smaller range of heads than Oral-B or Philips, this brush’s higher price gets you one extra cleaning mode, two extra battery level indicator lights, and a travel case. It claims to give better results by moving the brush head faster than Sonicare models, but according to all the research we could find, faster doesn’t mean better.

Oral-B Healthy Clean ProWhite Precision 4000, $65. The battery lasts about 3 days longer than the Deep Sweep Triaction and the base is a bit chunkier than our pick’s. The brush has four cleaning modes (programmed to a separate button) and includes a pressure sensor, though to activate it you have to really cram the brush into your teeth, making it ineffective. The additional cleaning modes are extraneous, so there’s no reason to pay for them.

Dazzlepro Advanced Sonic, $55. The handle is a little large and unwieldy, a satiny plastic tapered toward the middle of the handle, and the the charging base is hefty, but this brush does a reasonable approximation of the Sonicare brushes’ motion. The brush has a separate “sensitive” cleaning mode. However, the company is lower-profile and the warranty only lasts 1 year (to Sonicare and Oral-B’s 2 years), so if you need support you may be left wanting.

Oral-B Black 7000, $150. This very expensive model comes with a “digital guide,” another (unnecessary) abstraction of a timer, and six brushing modes programmed to a separate power button. The base is very heavy, with large rubber panels in black and silver plastic, and weighted toward the bottom, with the same light-up pressure sensor as the 4000 model. The 7000 comes with a travel case and a charging stand that can hold four extra brush heads encased in a little plastic dome.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, $190. This toothbrush is pretty sleek, with a matte plastic finish, and has some real luxury features, like an inductive charging glass and travel case, but that’s a lot to spend for those items. The DiamondClean has five cleaning modes (four too many) that you must manually cycle through if you need to turn the brush off before reaching 2 minutes. It also has some of the most expensive brush heads, at around $11 apiece.

Conair Opti-Clean, $16. This was cheap for a rechargeable brush, but it did not survive a dunk in the water.

Also eliminated but not tested:

CVS Rechargeable Sonic, $60 (discontinued). Not too expensive as brushes go, but requires users to press the power button multiple times to cycle through the superfluous brushing modes to turn the brush off.

Cybersonic 3 Complete Sonic, $60 and Cybersonic Classic, $50. Cybersonic came up in our product searches but we decided not to test because they have a very limited selection of brush head options (with an optional and dubious-looking “free” replacement program that winds up costing $8 in shipping per brush head).

ToiletTree Rechargeable, $40. This brush seems like a good value prospect, as it comes with a free secondary travel toothbrush, but reviews reported that it is very loud and stops working after a short period of time.

Wrapping it up

The affordable Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 makes it easy to take good care of your teeth. You can pay more for additional features, but according to the experts, there’s no need to—this simple, entry-level brush cleans your teeth as well as any of the many more expensive brushes.

Footnotes:

1. The American Dental Association has a whole set of criteria to give products their seal of approval. Many products don’t seek this certification, but a product can’t get it unless its claims have been independently verified and approved by the ADA. There are no electric toothbrushes available currently that have earned the ADA seal, though on followup, the ADA rep told me there have been ADA-recommended powered toothbrushes in the past and a separate set of criteria, should a manufacturer seek it. However, the only things that the ADA has found necessary to mouth health is brushing for two minutes with a reasonably soft brush and proper technique. Most of what an electric toothbrush can do is functionally superfluous, but the ADA does not dispute the idea that such a toothbrush makes it easier to meet the standards they recommend. Jump back.

2.This was the conclusion of the Cochrane report published in 2003 and its iterations since then. But there are two caveats to this conclusion. One is that a powered toothbrush is equipped to make brushing easier, and therefore good dental health easier to achieve—they require less physical labor to use, and can have built-in mechanisms, like a timer, to make good habits more concrete. Another is that the Cochrane report, which is a survey of randomized controlled trials, also specifies that the studies used were reporting on unsupervised brushing sessions—essentially, participants were sent a toothbrush,either manual or powered, and expected to report back on results. Self-reporting of habits in scientific studies, as a type of information is not as high-quality  as observations by scientists in a lab setting, but so far science has not compelled people to quarantine themselves for observations of their tooth-brushing habits, nor has the funding materialized to compensate them for their time. Hence, self-reporting is as good as it’s going to get on this scale of habit-studying, but it’s far from perfect.

The other problem with the Cochrane report is that while it’s conducted by a nonprofit, the survey, while itself conducted by a nonprofit, is that it includes in its survey studies that are conducted by companies testing their own toothbrush products. Unsurprisingly, we’ve never found a study published by Procter and Gamble’s Oral-B that has found its electric toothbrushes inferior to another brand; the same goes for Philips’ Sonicare. This doesn’t necessarily apply to every study, but it applies to a gross majority of the toothbrush research available.But caveats about biased research aside, scientists do consistently find that an electric toothbrush is significantly better at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis in the average person’s mouth. Jump back.

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Originally published: May 5, 2015

  • jimothyGator

    You say that you’ll buy replacement heads every month or two. Why so frequently? The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every 3-4 months. Do these heads really need to replaced that much more frequently?

    • SickSix

      I replace mine when I buy a new tube of toothpaste, which is about the same amount of time (1-2 months).

  • ANONYMOUS2323

    Have you tried the Sonicare DiamondClean?

    • roundthings

      I have one. I actually prefer the older Sonicare in that it seems to remove more food between the teeth (you need to floss anyway). It also came with the standard diamondhead brush and I actually prefer the compact heads so I will try attaching a Prohead Compact brush to it and see if I like it better.
      The new model at least doesn’t get grunge and mold inside the base of the brushhead since it’s a simpler design.

  • arbus

    Picked up this unit a few weeks after a dental cleaning. After 5 1/2 months of using it the tartar that would normally be on the back of my lower incisors was virtually nonexistent. The dental hygienist probably spent half the time she normally does scraping and picking. She noticed a big difference.

  • roundthings

    So the report rates the 2 Sonicare brushes the highest but you say the Oral B is the best even though it finished 3rd?

    • Muse

      They’re taking price into consideration. Oral B is pretty much the same quality, but a third of the price.

      • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

        Exactly. Thanks!

  • rmmlt

    What about battery life? When I was researching options, all Oral-B brushes had NiCd batteries. Only the Philips had a Li-ion battery. For me, this was crucial in deciding to go with the Philips.

    • Rocky

      I have had my Oral B Triumph for over 7 years and never had an issue with the battery. My roommate has had his for over 10 and same with him.

      • speed

        I find this very interesting. I have never had an electric toothbrush last more than a couple of years before the battery dies out (slowly at first, then completely). I am actually on this discussion board because the battery on the Oral B, bought approx. 2-3 years ago, now needs an every-other-day charge.

        • Rocky

          I thought the point was to leave it on the charging dock. “Every other day”? I leave mine charging, the battery is great. When I need to travel for a weekend the battery more than accomplishes the task.. I have no expectations greater than that with a brand new toothbrush.

    • speed

      How do NiCd batteries differ from Li-ion ones?

      • ctchrisf

        Weight and power

      • Robert Fisher

        NiCd batteries have an attribute called ‘memory’, which quickly eats away the battery life if you don’t fully discharge the battery before charging it again. Since the voltage fall-off curve is fairly soft, that means the toothbrush or whatever it is that you’re using will lose effectiveness long before you fully discharge the battery as well. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I believe some Sonicare models use NiMH batteries (most modern rechargables probably should, if not Li-ion…)

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Thank you for this explainer!

  • jim goldstein

    So, I needed a new electric toothbrush and decided to order this one. I just ordered through the link to Amazon. Better price than posted from May. Now $33.99 and then an instant $7.00 coupon so I paid $26.99. Seems hard to beat that! Thanks wirecutter.

  • jryding

    Looks like as of 2/6/14, this toothbrush is currently unavailable at Amazon.

    • http://www.hisnameisjimmy.com/ hisnameisjimmy

      It appears you can get the deep sweep for the same price, and then just swap out the brush head that it comes with. It’s essentially the same brush.

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARTK9FA/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1

      • sygyzy

        is it really? The 1000 is a rotating head. What sort of head is the Deep Sweep? It seems like it doesn’t rotate. Without seeing the underlying motor/link connection, it’s hard to tell if you can simply change the head and have them work. In the same way you can’t put an Oral-B rotating head on a Sonicare (which uses magnets to create vibrations) and have it work.

        I have not seen either Oral B brush so this really is a question, not a challenge.

        • Michael Zhao

          It’s the same.

        • http://www.hisnameisjimmy.com/ hisnameisjimmy

          I actually ended up buying it because my previous 1000 had died, and I can confirm it is exactly the same (except for a color change). It works with all the normal rotating brush heads. They actually have a brush-head compatibility chart on their site that shows you what it’s compatible with.

          • sygyzy

            Thanks Jimmy. I went ahead and ordered the Deep Sweep and the floss heads.

  • rbk78

    If you are lucky, your Philips Sonicare will fail while still under guarantee, and they will replace it. Our experience was it failed just after the guarantee expired. Knowing we liked it, someone bought us another one. Guess, what, it too failed (just within guarantee).

    • ctchrisf

      I’ve had two sonicares. first one was still working fine after 6 years. Second one is flawless after 2+ years. Dunno what you are on about.

      I just wanted get another, but not even a mention of the model that bested the Oral B’s ?

      I much prefer the vibrating head.

      looks like another fail here. or Paid Promotion

      • rbk78

        There is no mention of any competing brush in my comment, precisely because nothing is being “promoted”. And why could the same allegation not be made against you in favour of Oral B?

        You have a factual account of our experience with Sonicare.

        Give me your address and send me the money to cover the postage and I will send the faulty specimens to you.

        • ctchrisf

          Sorry to hear about your experience, Just Wanted to offer another point of view that I have had extreme reliability with my Sonicare.
          A magnetic operator verses a mechanical gear to move the brush head should be Much more reliable.

          I have no interest in your old toothbrush thanks.

          My promotion comment was meant towards the writers of the article who fail to mention model names of the two brushes that were rated higher then the recommended brush.

          Maybe you are tougher on toothbrushes then We are i dunno.

  • changabanga

    In doing this review, did you come across the Ultreo line of toothbrushes? I used to use them back in 2007 or so, but the company went out of business in 2009. I recently came across it again, so it looks like it may have been revived. May be worth looking into it.

  • Paul Massari

    Well, it’s definitely a good toothbrush but not the best. There’s the new oral b 7000 and the sonicare diamondclean that are way more advanced and boast a wide set of useful features. This one is great for the low price, but not for the features, which are basic. If you want to take a closer look at my reviews you can read them at http://www.electrictoothbrushking.com/ , just in case you want to update this article.

  • disqus_Kn52PTnRrj
    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I believe this is a waterpik type device, not a toothbrush.

  • Marius Piedallu van Wyk

    These are the brushes I had before I upgraded to the Sonicare ones. So much better.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      You mean the Sonicare is better? Or the Oral-B?

      • Marius Piedallu van Wyk

        I personally preferred the Sonicare. Perhaps my Oral-B was told tech (likely), but I much preferred the vibrations to the rotating head. Also the batter life was abysmal… currently I go about 2 months on a charge on the Sonicare.
        Once again, YMMV but for me it was a great switch.

  • Vindicated

    I agree with a lot of was reviewed here like bang for the buck and how the oscillating brush does remove more plague (7%). Have you guys considered that study has shown that the oral-b oscillating brush did not improve gum health over a 6 month study while the sonicare showed vast improvement for gum health in 6 months compared to oral b.

    Newer oral b brushes do both sonic and oscillating now which I’m curious for a review for compared to the sonicare diamond.

    Also I’m not sure how true this is but I heard that oral b oscillating brush can promote receding gum lines.

    But overall I hope you guys consider gum health in your next review. This is important to me because well they all do well at removing plague.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks for the feedback! Our editors are now discussing gum health!

  • AndrewLloyd

    Target has this on sale for $39.99 – $7 online coupon for a total of only $32.99. I picked one up.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks for the heads up!

  • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

    Just as an FYI: I took your advice on the Oral-B and bought one when our Sonicare went out – nothing wrong, but a dead and non-replaceable battery.

    I gave the Oral-B my best try, but even on the gentle mode (I bought the 3000), it was still unpleasant to use. The Sonicare is definitely gentler.

    However, after spending $10 on a double edge safety razor instead of replacing my dead electric shaver, I decided to splurge and bought an Emmi-Dent Pro toothbrush. It actually is ultrasonic – you don’t brush! It’s by far the best electric toothbrush we’ve ever owned.

    Admittedly, at $180, it’s expensive, but when you consider the cost of dentistry, it doesn’t look so bad. Check out the Emmi-Dent. I’m curious as to your response.

  • Guest

    Have you ever tried to replace a battery in one of these? You will need to do some electrical work.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      If the battery dies prematurely, contact customer service about it. I’m sure they’ll be happy to send out a new one. However, if it’s lasted a few years and the battery is no longer charging, it’s probably best to replace the entire unit itself.

  • BenGleck

    Sounds like the author is on the take from Oral B. The tone of this article is “no matter what, buy from Oral B.” If he admits the Sonicare is better, he says “but the Oral B is cheaper.” If he acknowledges that the Sonicare brush has better coverage, he says “the Oral B gets into tighter spaces.”

    I used to use a rotating brush and graduated to a Sonicare. No comparison. The small brush simply didn’t clean as well. Could you paint as effectively with a small brush as you could with a big one? The smaller brush simply doesn’t have the same amount of coverage in the same amount of time. I’ve had no problem getting into tight areas with my larger brush. It’s the same as with a manual brush.

    The author glosses over the fact that the Sonicare operates at a much higher oscillation rate in addition to having sonic pulverization. Try getting that out of a glorified mini-floor polisher.

    Is it worth taking chances with your teeth to save a few bucks? If the difference in price is so important to you, why bother paying a dentist?

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      The crux of this issue is that the Sonicare has no clinical evidence to show that it’s better at cleaning than a normal brush whereas the Oral-B does. Lots of it. You can click the links and read the papers for yourself.

      The Sonicare does not “oscillate,” it merely vibrates. “Sonic Pulverization” feels great, but we were unable to find any scientific evidence that backs its efficacy. Every clinical study says that the Oral B is better when it comes to cleaning your mouth.

      Your small paintbrush analogy befuddles common sense. Your mouth is not large, it is quite small and your teeth occupy only a small portion of the already small mouth. Small canvases call for small brushes to get the details.

      However, if you prefer a larger brush, the Deep Sweep has performed favorably to Sonicare brushes in clinical studies: http://www.dentalcare.com/media/en-US/research_db/pdf/products/8week-eval-benefits-multidirectional.pdf

      The one major benefit to Sonicare is that it’s lighter on the gums.

      • BenGleck

        “The crux of this issue is that the Sonicare has no clinical evidence to show that it’s better at cleaning than a normal brush whereas the Oral-B does. Lots of it. You can click the links and read the papers for yourself.”

        Your “clinical evidence” consists of one set of articles from one set of authors in one month’s special issue of one particular publication. The “researchers” are all from one company (P&G). They hijacked one publication for one month (September 2012, “special edition”). They referred to Oral-B as “novel,” which is highly inappropriate for any professional publication, while at the same time, they referred to Sonicare as “marketed,” as if Oral-B’s products aren’t marketed. They offered no validation of the data, meaning that it could have all been made up.

        My evidence is personal experience. I used both products and found Sonicare vastly superior. I don’t expect you to believe me at my word. I suggest you try it.

        I am only a consumer and have no financial stake whatsoever in these products.

        • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

          That is a completely ad hominem attack on a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal. Do you have any specific complaints with their methods, procedures, or analysis, which is completely laid out in the open? If so, then let’s hear them. That’s the great thing about the scientific method.

          Phillips is also a huge company and can hire their own scientists to make Sonicare look better, yet they haven’t published anything in a peer-reviewed journal that makes them look good.

          Otherwise, you’re basically saying, “this one works better for me, for the things that I like,” i.e. it makes your mouth feel cleaner (to which I will add that you’ve provided no evidence other than “it feels cleaner to me”). That is great for you if that’s what you care most about. I think most people would prefer the brush with clinical evidence backing it up.

          • BenGleck

            The “ad hominem attack” is yours, claiming I said “it feels cleaner to me” when I said no such thing. My checkups are better, as suspected from the way my teeth feel, but I don’t use “it feels cleaner to me” as evidence.

            “Do you have any specific complaints with their methods, procedures, or analysis, which is completely laid out in the open?”

            Yes I do, and I laid them out already: it’s a biased set of studies, performed by a biased panel, deliberately constrained to a extremely confined audience of one “special issue” of one publication. The methods and procedures are laid out by the revelation of the authors, their backers, and the publication. It makes the entire analysis suspect. You ARE taking their data at their word, you know.

            “Phillips is also a huge company and can hire their own scientists to make Sonicare look better, yet they haven’t published anything in a peer-reviewed journal that makes them look good.”

            That could be interpreted as, “They don’t sink to the lows that this group, representing Oral-B, did.”

            “I think most people would prefer the brush with clinical evidence backing it up.”

            I would certainly prefer it. The question is, is this actually clinical evidence? There is every reason to be skeptical that it is—especially when it flies in the face of direct experience.

          • BenGleck

            The “ad hominem attack” is yours, claiming I said “it feels cleaner to me” when I said no such thing. My checkups are better, as I suspected they might be from the way my teeth felt. But I don’t use “it feels cleaner to me” as evidence, nor do I offer it as such.

            “Do you have any specific complaints with their methods, procedures, or analysis, which is completely laid out in the open?”

            Yes I do, and I laid them out already: it’s a biased set of studies, performed by a biased panel, deliberately constrained to a extremely confined audience of one “special issue” of one publication. The methods and procedures are laid out by the revelation of the authors, their backers, and the publication. It makes the entire analysis suspect. You are taking their data at their word.

            “Phillips is also a huge company and can hire their own scientists to make Sonicare look better, yet they haven’t published anything in a peer-reviewed journal that makes them look good.”

            That could be interpreted as, “They don’t sink to the lows that this group, representing Oral-B (for whatever reason), did.”

            “I think most people would prefer the brush with clinical evidence backing it up.”

            I would certainly prefer it. The question is, is this actually clinical evidence? There is every reason to be skeptical that it is—particularly when it flies in the face of direct experience.

      • schwinn8

        Unable to find any scientific evidence? Here’s one I found after a quick search for studies on sonicare and oralb brushes:
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838

        What’s more, Philips gives you plenty more to look at via their webpage: http://www.sonicare.com/professional/en_us/ClinicalStudies/Default.aspx

        In the end, they are probably quite comparable in performance… I’ll stick to my Sonicare as it has shown me improved gum health over a manual toothbrush and (admittedly lower performing) $5 battery operated rotary brushes. I am sure the OralB is better than the $5 units… but given my positive experience with the Sonicare, I see no reason to switch away.

        But, most importantly, there are plenty of studies that show improvement over manual… and at least for me, this holds true.

  • DavidSimonIsAGenius

    I have used an electric toothbrush for almost 7 years. I have had three total – two Sonicares and the Oral-B recommended in this post. The $$ involved for electric toothbrushes gives me pause but I cannot go back to manual (goosebumps).

    I used my first Sonicare for two years but the rubberized base became moldy and smelly and I needed to replace it. The second I used for 4 years and it became useless when the brush head would not stay on the base during use.

    I bought Wirecutter’s Oral-B recommendation for a replacement about 9 months ago. I quickly found I couldn’t handle the small round brush head that came with it – it was unpleasant. I need a compact brush head so I purchased the DeepSweep brush head. It was a little big for my preferences but still a better option than the original brush head. That was more $$ on top of the Oral-B price, though still an overall good price. As I traveled with the Oral-B, I became increasingly annoyed by the lack of a sanitary cover accessory. Another difference is my Oral-B base stayed clean (as did my second Sonicare) but the Oral-B charger collected an unbelieveable amount of whitish gunk after just a week or so. Maybe it wouldn’t happen if I was using the small round brush head but my Sonicares did not collect gunk to this extent (some but not as much as Oral-B). So that is another turn off.

    My dental reports during checkups did not vary between use of Sonicare and Oral-B. I plan to buy a Sonicare when I find a good deal.

  • E.

    I wanted to shine in here, I noticed the study sourced was done in 2005…the Sonicare toothbrushes may have improved since then.

    Can anyone provide info on which toothbrush brand vibrates your HEAD the least? I had one years ago and it vibrated my whole head so much that I stopped using it.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I’ll see what our researchers have to say!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Via our researcher & Amazon: “Unlike brushes that just vibrate, Oral-B’s clinically proven technology pulsates to break up plaque and oscillates and rotates to sweep plaque away”& “The Vitality series only rotates”.

  • susan katz

    Try the SonicDent listed on Amazon for only $19.99 – it feels exactly like a Sonicare at a fraction of the cost.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Will forward this along!

  • Dozens

    What about water flossers? Like a waterpik? Best one?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      We haven’t tested any, but keep an eye out!

    • do not disclose

      Just asked my dentist yesterday and she said they weren’t worth the money – regular flossing is way better.

  • Adam

    Is the “whitening mode” on the 3000 any good? I’m considering the 3000 solely for this feature, but want to be sure that it’s actually effective since there is a considerable price difference.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      If you’re only after the whitening portion, you might be better off investing in a nice whitening kit rather than buying a $40 toothbrush. If you’re looking for ramping things up and need a toothbrush anyway, go with the toothbrush and a basic whitening kit.

  • Justin

    Soniccare are junk and the company does not stand behind their product. I had one with a defective battery and it started to smell bad. The only thing I got from their customer service is 15% off to purchase another one with free shipping. Why would I purchase another product from your company when you don’t stand behind the product I bought? Go with Oral B.

    • Ty

      That’s too funny. Literally last night I spoke with Sonicare reps about the motor on mine going bad. My wife and I have used it for Literally 2 years AND 1 MONTH (we got it as a wedding gift so I know pretty specifically the start date). So upon talking to them they basically just shrugged their shoulders and said you’re outta luck, you’re beyond the 2 year warranty. They offered me a 15% off coupon code to use in their online store. Probably the same one that you got. Somewhat worthless since their cheapest models are $169 there and I’m not about to drop that kinda cash on a toothbrush. I don’t hate Sonicare but man that was lame of them.

      • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

        Wow that’s 2 that are almost identical. They’re not winning any CS awards, that’s for certain!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • dbolander

    My experience with the WaterPik Sensonic SR-3000 has been very positive. When I brush with it, I feel like I’ve just been to the dentist.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Maybe we’ll include it in our refresh! Thanks for the feedback!

  • canada

    Question for the article’s author: Who paid for and provided the 2 oralb toothbrushes that you personally tried? Thanks.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      They were bought and paid for by the author and reimbursed from the company.

  • vorkosigan1

    FWIW, I bought an Oral-B ProfessionalCare 1000 based on the recommendation here, after I lost my 4000. The 4000 cleaned my teeth much more thoroughly–I can often feel some guck on my teeth after using the 1000, which never happened with the 4000. The 4000 “pulsates” at 40,000 pulsations/minute, compared with teh 20,000 for the 1000. YMMV, but the 4000 works a lot better for me.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • bruce

    I have never experienced electric tooth brushes until i come across this post. Anyhow i feel they are doing great in arriving at the corners, which would be useful than manual brushing. Your share truly helped me to come up with good knowledge. I generally lean toward the
    http://www.gethealthyteeth.com/
    to know the best reviews on many dental products so that i can make my teeth more healthier and delightful with their glorious reviews.

  • Sheldon James

    As an aside, it was found in a study last year that power toothbrush heads have the potential to develop high levels of bacteria: http://jdh.adha.org/content/88/4/237.abstract

    Not something that should keep you from using a power toothbrush if it works for you, but it’s important to rinse the head (esp the inside) thoroughly.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Will forward along!

  • watchingmewatchme

    It’s April! Any idea of a more specific next release?

  • Vish

    Any update? Almost end of april. Actually, it is the end of April.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I believe it will be published this coming Monday AM. A few days late but totally worth it I promise!

      • Vish

        :)

  • andreas schmidt

    is this thing dead? it’s may. haven’t seen any update. i guess it’s time to go with the oral b.

    • Jasper Makkinje

      Check out some of the comments below: It should be updated somewhere today :)

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Incoming!

  • catholic illuminati

    Thank you for this in-depth research, Casey. There’s truly no other resource that compares these subjects so exhaustively.

    Q: How did the noise on the Sonicare Series 2 compare with the other Sonicare brushes you tested? The reviews on Amazon seem to indicate that it’s significantly louder and that the heads don’t fit as well.

    Also, you might note that the Series 2 has a Ni-Cd battery, compared to the other handles which have Li-ion batteries. Nevertheless, this is truly the definitive resource for electric toothbrush research :)

    • caseyljohnston

      I’d encourage you to check out the video of all the toothbrushes vibrating, they’re all labeled so you can hear what the 2 Series sounds like compared to everything else. In my experience, it was significantly quieter than any of the Oral Bs and hardly different from the rest of the Sonicares. And yes, the 2 Series’ battery is Ni Cd, which means it must be recycled in a particular way, as with Li-ion batteries. Glad you liked the guide, though!

  • Сергей Чернышев

    Great review! Have you also considered ultrasonic toothbrushes?

  • Jason Williams

    I much prefer the smaller circular heads as they are much easier to maneuver around your mouth and especially for spot scrubbing and getting behind the very back molars which is always a problem for me.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      From the guide- Oral-B Pro 1000, $65. This brush is functionally and physically identical to our Deep Sweep 1000 pick, save for being a different color, and was our previous pick. If you can get it cheaper than the Deep Sweep 1000, this is a good brush to get.

      Is this what you’re referring to? If so, we really like it and suggest picking one up if you can find one for a decent/low price!

      • Jason Williams

        my comment was purely about the shape of the brushing head – I’m not sure the rest of it matters to me.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Oh. Ok. I was just letting you know that we have a toothbrush we like with the circular head in the guide in case you were looking for one :)

          • Jason Williams

            yah not sure which oral-b I have but it looks similar to those shown here.

      • Eugene Kim

        It almost seems as if all the 1000 level Oral-B products are the same with just a different default brush, and maybe a different retailer/price pointI

  • Kat

    I have been using the Deep Sweep for about 6 months now and while I agree it’s better than the Sonicare I previously had, I’m surprised you don’t mention how filthy it gets. Maybe I need to work on my brushing etiquette but I find the handle gets super gunky and on top of that, is hard to rinse because of the crevices.

    • rufosanch

      Yeah, I have the previous pick, and I get a bit squigged out at times if I forget to clean it. The base especially gets super gunky and I’m pretty sure it’s transferred up into the charging hole, and the little notch that the handle inserts seems like a dirty spot too :/

      I haven’t looked yet to see if there’s any solid way to clean the whole thing but if anyone has any ideas for a) keeping it clean or b) cleaning it when it does get gunky I’d love to hear them.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Our ever so brilliant writer of this guide just mentioned something that was so nifty all I could say was ‘wow’ –> Repurpose your old toothbrush as a new electric toothbrush cleaning tool. It will be able to get in those crevasses!

      • Phil J Malloy

        that is genius!

  • aforkosh

    I don’t see any indication in the discussion as to the multi-voltage capabilities of the chargers associated with the rated items. I think that that is a vital consideration for any electronic drive that you might travel with. I am now on my 2nd electric toothbrush (a Sonicare R910 that I have had several years). The charger can handle the 220-240 voyage range common in most of the world. It replaced an older Sonicare base model (battery died) whose charger could only handle US voltages, and, thus, was useless for foreign travel of more than a few days.

    So, in rating items of this kind, I think that information is vital and disappointed not to see it in the review.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Sorry I’m a bit confused. Are you saying you’re not pleased with our review because we didn’t include the voltage information and whether or not the toothbrush will work while traveling abroad? Not being snarky, just trying to get a better idea of why you’re disappointed with this.

      • aforkosh

        It’s not that I am not pleased with the review; I think the inclusion of this information could make them much better. Hopefully, you would include it on the checklist that you use when you initially qualify products for review.

        Being only single voyage capable (for items that you might travel with) is not necessarily disqualifying, but it can be a significant consideration in choosing such a product.

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Ah ok. Thanks for the feedback! I’ve made a note & forwarded it along.

  • schwinn8

    As the son of a dentist (sounds bad, doesn’t it!) I can attest to people not brushing enough… I saw this many times, self-reported from patients. The timer helps, but I don’t believe that this is the only factor.

    First off, I did a bunch of research for myself to compare OralB vs Sonicare and found that they were mostly comparable, when the user was properly “trained”. The biggest issue I found (and my own non-parent dentist can confirm) was that the small/round head caused more problems for patients, as they didn’t know how to use it “well”. In other words, the small head required different operation than the traditional “long” head style… as confirmed by studies (I can’t find this one at the moment) and my dentist.

    Secondly, in my own case as well as my parents and wife, we saw marked improvement in our teeth when using the powered brushes. My wife and I use the Sonicare, and I can tell you (again, as the son of a dentist) I used to brush manually for a good long time, and the Sonicare STILL improved things. This makes sense as it’s a function of total-strokes… a 31kHz Sonicare is going to produce more strokes over 2 minutes than a manual brush. Again, my dentist can confirm – I had bleeding gums every cleaning, now I never have them. So it’s not just timer dependent.

    As for studies, the NIH did many… so I’m not sure where you go and say there weren’t any independent ones. Here’s one that confirms these brushes DO make a difference versus manual (and that the Sonicare was slightly better than the OralB): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9487838 I’ll agree, it’s an older study, but the findings should still hold true, since the principle tech (vibrations/oscillations) are the same for the most part.

    I fully agree that the “extra features” are largely useless. But, bottom line, a powered brush makes sense based on everything I have seen. I don’t care if it’s Sonicare or OralB… both should be better than manual…

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Great feedback/input. Thank you for this!

  • Phil J Malloy

    just a note, waterpik is not a new brand, I have used them for quite a long time. The sonic brush is new and ive had it since cristmas (i got the model that comes with the waterpic base and could not be happier

    http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=483055&catid=186719&aid=338666&aparam=483055&kpid=483055&CAWELAID=120142990000022768&CAGPSPN=pla&kpid=483055

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I think maybe the Sensonic part is new, not Waterpik.

      • Phil J Malloy

        according to their website, the sensonic came out in 2007.

        so while it is in fact new in relation to phillips and oral-b. its 8 years old now, so i guess the wording is still ok enough that i shouldnt bother picking nits lol

        • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

          Ah. I’ll let our writer know, but something tells me she’s already aware :)

  • pirannia

    So you basically tested everything except the cleaning power, which is sort of the “main feature”. I mean, the word “bacteria” shows up twice in the article. It’s clear that most people don’t brush enough or the wrong way, so a criteria like “percentage of bacteria / plaque removed per second of brushing” seems important.

  • pwb2103

    This write up is excellent and you are excellent and also thank you. You definitely nailed the exact priorities that I have in a toothbrush and just as I’m ready to buy a new one. Thanks!

  • kmoser

    There’s no need to replace the heads when they get dirty. Just soak them in cup with 25% bleach and 75% water for 15 minutes and they’ll be good as new. I’ve been doing this for years and they haven’t worn out yet.

    • John Sutcliffe

      I like my bleach with a bit more water, 10% bleach with 90% water for me and don’t forget to rinse thoroughly with water after soaking.

      Keeps the brush heads clean and germ free, good tip.

  • AJBeard

    I’m sold on your #1 pick. It will arrive on my doorstep in 2 days. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into researching this and writing such an excellent article!

  • cnccnc

    This category seems ripe for disruption. The cheapest brushes on this list are $5 to $6 each? Those brushes can’t cost more than 50 cents to manufacture, and probably a lot less. Seems like an enormous waste of money to me.

    I use the Oral-B brushes, and they’re on sale for $4 each every few months from Costco. However, they don’t last anything like 3 months. I haven’t measured, but I’d say they’re about a month each. Maybe 6 weeks.

    In addition, I tried the generic Oral-B replacement brushes a few years ago and they were TERRIBLE. At least one fell apart as I was using it, and my cheek got caught in the little hole in the back of another. Not sure if the replacements have gotten better since then, but it’s made me reluctant to try.

    Again, this category just seems ripe for a competitor to come in with $2-$3 replacement heads, like Dorco has done with razor blades.

  • Jasper Makkinje

    Small question from someone who doesn’t live in the US: Does the Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 mentioned in the article happen to be called the Oral-B TriZone 600 outside of the US? I’ve tried searching for the Deep Sweep, but I can’t seem to find it, and this one (http://oralb.co.uk/en-GB/productdetail/oral-b-trizone-600-rechargeable-toothbrush/) appears to be the one most similar to the Deep Sweep 1000. It might be the TriZone 2000 (http://oralb.co.uk/en-GB/productdetail/oral-b-trizone-2000-rechargeable-toothbrush/), but the product manual of that one says that is has the ‘gums cleaning mode’ shenanigans, so I don’t think so. That same product manual also mentions a TriZone 1000 model, but I don’t see that mentioned anywhere else.

    Thoughts?

    • https://twitter.com/mhzhao Michael Zhao

      Looks to be the 600!

  • Radu Antohi

    Deep Sweep in US = TriZone outside US? There is a similar model
    Oral-B Trizone 1000 in Romania, for example…
    http://dentalcarematters.com/braun-oral-b-trizone-toothbrush-review/

  • http://www.getquip.com quip

    Love this article! Your conclusions are directly in line with dentist recommendations and exactly why we created our entire brand – quip. We created a beautiful but affordable electric toothbrush ( and oral care range) that focuses only on the basics and ignores the expensive gimmicks. Very Refreshing to see a post like this!

  • Phillip

    I vaguely recall a section in the previous version of this article about the different brush head types for the Oral B. Any particular reason that isn’t carried over?

    Also, is there any way to view past versions of articles?

  • JackG

    I didn’t realize I needed a new toothbrush until I happened onto this part of the site. Been using an Arm and Hammer “Spinbrush” ($12 or so at the supermarket) and it’s been fine I guess. But I bought the recommended Oral B model based on the author’s perfect teeth and my 1-clicking habit and there certainly is a huge leap in performance going to a much better tool like this. Much more powerful and seemingly effective. The timer is a pretty cool feature I didn’t even know existed in a toothbrush. I was surprised to find my normal brushing time is more like three minutes as I brushed well past (like a minute) the little 2-minute-warning jig it does.
    Now I just need some electric floss and I’m set.

  • Michelle Pugh

    Are there any brush handles in this category with consumer replaceable rechargeable batteries? What a waste to throw away an otherwise perfectly usable handle.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      I know, but it’s pretty standard for the purpose of recharging for the setup to not include user replaceable batteries.

      We eliminated brushes without rechargeable batteries because loose batteries are a hassle and a waste.

  • Carlos Danger

    You say an inductive charger, something the overpriced model has, is something buyers don’t need. You may have been mislead by the packaging on that particular model. Your top two picks, and probably all rechargable brushes, use inductive chargers.

    If you don’t see metal contacts between the handle and the charger then it’s using inductive charging.

    As an aside– I bought the Phillips because you mentioned it is quieter and I’m very happy with it. Thanks for another great article!

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks for the note.

  • HK

    There’s a ten dollar coupon right now! I just got mine for $29.99 before tax.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Thanks!

  • Maurice

    Have you tested for longevity? I bought the previous pick, the Oral-B Pro 1000, and the battery is already dead after 6 months. Very dissatisfied with this.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Definitely return it if you can, via the seller or see if Oral-B will give you a replacement. 6 months until a battery dies is not OK.

  • Wan Wan

    do you guys have like.. the expertise to determine which toothpaste is best in whitening teeth?

    • http://pickmyelectrictoothbrush.com Jacob Nordstrom

      Look up Crest 3D whitening toothpaste. Many people are giving it good reviews.

  • elusis

    How long should one of these last – not the heads, but the handle/charger combo? The article says that the power might decrease over time as the rechargeable battery deteriorates, but I didn’t see any estimate of a general lifespan.

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Our expert said a year – although area isn’t on the cutting edge of research. Hope this helps!

  • Victoria Viisi

    Could you add the Foreo Issa?

    • http://thewirecutter.com/ tony kaye

      Maybe in the future, but we just recently updated.