There are pros and cons to using either a manual toothbrush or the more modern electronic toothbrush that is so commonly used today. With a manual toothbrush, you save money due to no use of electricity to charge it. That comes with a huge negative, though, which is how much work is involved in actually brushing your teeth. Enter powered toothbrushes.
According to WebMD, electric toothbrushes are capable of stroking your teeth 6,000 to 30,000 times per minute. While the short brushes that come from electric devices is not very comparable to the deeper touches from a manual brush, the amount of work done on your teeth is sizable enough to matter. Add in the total effectiveness of powered toothbrushes to actually boost your overall oral hygiene due to factors like more effective brushing, desire to brush, and less work done, and there aren’t a lot of reasons why some would stick to manual brushing.
The point that people who are on the fence worry about are the costs of using an electric device over a traditional one. Not only is the price taken into consideration, but also the running costs such as electricity to charge as well as replacement heads. Luckily, electric toothbrushes have been around for years and have become much more affordable for consumers. Though this post is intended to recommend an economic device that gets the job done productively (rather than a feature-packed electric toothbrush that can cost over $100), I have categorized them into various budgets (Note: prices categorized at time of writing; prices may change according to retailer) to help you find which electric toothbrush is right for your needs.
- Rechargeable Toothbrush Under $20
- Rechargeable Toothbrush Under $50
- High-End Rechargeable Toothbrush, No Budget (coming soon)
Top electric toothbrush under $20
Yes, there are some electric brushes that can be bought for under 20 bucks. I have used many of these personally for an “everyday” brush and they work perfectly. These budget power toothbrushes are a solid fit for those looking to get started but are worried about cost. Look for basic, but serviceable, features in these cost-friendly solutions.
Oral-B Vitality Floss Action
Oral-B is a trusted brand when it comes to oral health, as many of their products are recommended by dentist professionals as well as thousands of consumers. I was very happy to find the Vitality Floss Action electric brush and see that it was a very affordable choice to start with mechanical oral cleaning.
The Vitality Floss Action toothbrush has several great features like a round head (recommended for those that prefer not to work your arm back and forth), a long-lasting rechargeable battery (I was able to use mine without recharging for 7 or so days at a time), and small bristles that clean well. The “MicroPulse” floss bristles Oral-B advertises do a fine job cleaning, though I highly not recommend this brush alone to replace dental floss.
The most important feature while I used the brush was the 2-minute timer. The problem I notice the most with clients is the lack of timing for brushing. Dentists everywhere recommend at least two full minutes of productive cleaning, regardless of the type of toothbrush you use. Without a timer, people often overestimate how long they have been brushing and tend to conclude their session before every tooth gets properly cleaned. Oral-B’s timer helps reach that two-minute goal with a simple, convenient timer.
These facets are not enough to call the Oral-B’s budget entry the best rechargeable toothbrush, but it should get you started right away for a small price and running costs.
Note: The Oral-B Vitality Dual Clean (different from the Floss Action model) is also available for $21.99 retail. It comes with two additional replacement heads.
Top electric toothbrushes under $50
This is around the right price range for those that want a well-rounded brush that has nice features or extended quality. The Vitality Floss Action brush for under $20 retail is an amazing deal, but if you have extra money to spend, these brushes are excellent quality choices as well.
Philips Sonicare 2 Series
This sonic brush by Philips is one of the faster ones I have tested, at least among toothbrushes used for an extended period of time. Obviously, I cannot analyze if the 31,000 brush strokes per minute Philips advertises is true, but I can tell that the brush head rotates much more than other toothbrushes, even in the higher price ranges.
The Sonicare 2 is a powerful brush, so perhaps it may not be the best option for new electric users. Still, Philips included a handy feature which eases the transition of switching to the Sonicare by starting from low power and gradually increases over the next 7 days (assuming you brush twice per day). As I used different toothbrushes over the past year, I found it helpful that this particular one relaxed me into it, rather than forcing me to keep up with its high-power rotation right away.
The battery life was impressive as well, reaching around 2.5 weeks before I had to recharge again. It also comes with a 2-minute timer.
Note: For new users perhaps not ready for the Sonicare 2 brush, Philips also offers a more affordable, more beginner-friendly budget brush still in the Sonicare product line. See the Philips Sonicare Essence for more.
Pursonic S520 Pro Series
Pursonic, at least in the professional industry, is a little bit less known but still retains quality in some of their products. Their best model is the S520, a budget electric toothbrush that holds a lot of value for a comparatively small price to big-name products.
The S520 is another high-powered device, but the rotations are harmless, even when pointing the head to my gums. While I brush, I feel a thorough sense of cleaning as the brush head rotates quickly (up to 40,000 sonic strokes/minute).
The S520 is my vote for best value in this list because the package comes with a very high-quality electric toothbrush, (12) replacement brush heads, (2) tongue cleaners, (2) floss holder heads, and (2) brush caps for travel to top it off. Most important among these are the replacement heads because speaking out of experience, down the road buying these brush heads is going to cost more than the power toothbrush itself. Pursonic is very generous with its Pro Series by including 12.
Lastly, the timer is more advanced than typical timers of other sonic brushes. Though it does have the standard 2 minute countdown, it also vibrates every 30 seconds to remind you to switch quadrants of your mouth. While not necessary for every user, I can see it being useful for those that get bored brushing and don’t realize they have been brushing the same portion for the majority of their cleaning session.
All of this, along with a 1 year warranty, retails for only $35, well under $50 and not far from typical lower-end electric brushes.
Oral-B Pro 1000
I have tried many types of brushes from this manufacturer, both manual and power, and agree with most of the Oral-B toothbrush reviews. Their products are legit and focus on quality to care for your teeth.
The Pro 1000 makes it statement for the best Oral-B electric toothbrush overall because of its various features, build quality, battery life, and cleaning power.
The durability is phenomenal. I usually keep around 3 toothbrushes in my bathroom as my main, non-testing brushes. Out of every sonic brush I have ever owned, this one easily takes the cake for durability since it has lasted a fairly long time relative to its usage rate. The brush heads are not replaced as quickly and the battery life is consistently over two weeks that I find myself shocked that it still has some power to it when it is time to charge.
Cleaning power is competitive with other name brands. The brush head, as mentioned, is very durable and cleans deep.
The features are what keep me enjoying the Pro 1000. One of the unique ones has to be the pressure sensor that stops pulsation if you are brushing too hard. It is handy and stops aggressive brushers from damaging their teeth or gums. Like the S520 by Pursonic, the Pro 1000 also has a 2 minute timer that includes 30 second alerts to brush a different area.
To finish it off, Oral-B made it a point that every rechargeable toothbrush handle can fit other Oral-B brush heads. Check the table below (source: Oral-B on Amazon) for more.