If you’ve always wanted to flash a Hollywood smile then the best place to start is upgrading to an electric toothbrush.
Dentists recommend electric toothbrushes for the simple reason they’re far more effective at removing plaque than manual scrubbing. Less plaque on our teeth means fewer cavities and therefore fewer fillings. They are more expensive than ordinary brushes but it’s a worthwhile investment as they help reduce gum recession and are better at blasting away debris in between gaps, removing stains and polishing up pearly whites for a healthier, happier mouth.
There are three types of electric toothbrush technologies: oscillating-rotating, sonic, and ultrasonic. Oscillating-rotating brushes are often found on entry level models and offer a mechanical movement that moves the head either side-to-side or up and down for a good scrubbing action. Sonic brushes use intense vibration to literally buff teeth as well as forcing toothpaste between your teeth. The result is an impressively polished feel but sonic is generally more expensive. Ultrasonic doesn’t actually involve brushing; instead you hold it on teeth it creates millions of sound waves per minute to penetrate special nano bubble toothpaste into teeth and gums. The benefit is a clean that goes easy on gums and enamel.
We presented our less-than-porcelain whites to a range of the best brushes you can buy and evaluated them on quality and comfort of the clean, noise, value for money and brushing features. Here’s what left us with glittering grins.
1. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean, £113, John Lewis
Philips, the innovators of sonic technology, delivers smart looks, tremendous power and a relatively silent operation with this brush. It leaves an impressively polished finish and also drives paste between teeth to clean in hard-to-reach areas. There are five brushing modes and handy USB charging.
2. Oral-B Pro 6500 Smart Series, £114, amazon
It was only a matter of time before toothbrushes became smarter than us. This has built-in Bluetooth to relay your brushing regime to your mobile. It also tells you if you’re applying too much pressure and how long to brush for. It’s slightly on the noisy side but you get a powerful clean from the oscillating and rotating head.
3. Colgate A1500 ProClinical: £85, amazon
Robotics experts helped develop this clever piece of kit, which uses smart sensors to automatically adjust the cleaning speed depending where it’s held in the mouth. It takes a while to get used to, but it leaves teeth and gums sparkling and reinvigorated. Its slim profile also made it one of the more agile we tested.
4. Foreo Issa, £89, Look Fantastic
This one is the world’s first toothbrush made entirely of silicone. The bristles rub rather than scrub through sonic pulsations. It’s pricey and the clean isn’t entirely spotless but it’s super-soft and suited to sensitive gums.
5. IBP Sonic Toothbrush, £40, amazon
You don’t always have to put a lot of money where your mouth is. Here you get great spec for an attractive price with sonic technology blasting teeth at 40,000 movements per minute. Clean freaks will love its UV sanitiser to kill bacteria on brush heads.
6. hyG Ionic toothbrush, £10, amazon
This maybe a manual brush, but it uses an integrated battery and science wizardry to electronically break the ionic bond between teeth and plaque. That means charged bristles attract plaque as you brush to leave a smooth set of gnashers. We were sceptical but completely won over with the results.
7. Oral-B Stages Disney Princess, £15, amazon
Parents know brushing children’s teeth can be challenging but going electric can make the job quicker and more fun for kids. Oral-B has a delightful range of Disney-branded brushes like this Princess design with extra-soft bristles, low-intensity oscillating movement and a grippy handle. Best for ages three and up.
8. Colgate Pro Clinical Pocket Pro, £65, Boots
With a decent travel toothbrush oral hygiene doesn’t have to take a break when you’re on holiday. Unlike some tame compacts, this packs 25,500 brush strokes a minute with an up-down and side-to-side motion. It’s the perfect size for hand luggage and can be charged via a nifty USB travel case.
9. Oral-B PC3000, £60, amazon
Using a combination of 8,800 rotations and 40,000 pulsations per minute, this brush is all business when is comes to cleaning. The powerful performance comes with three modes, a pressure sensor and timer for each quarter of your mouth. We were impressed with the results.
10. Waterpik Complete Care WP900, £115, amazon
If you’re happy to splash out to take your oral hygiene to the next level here, you’ll find not only an excellent sonic toothbrush but also a high-powered water flosser. It’s really effective at blasting out bits of hiding food, especially for those with braces or crowns. This is a great all-in-one station if you have space in the bathroom.
Philips pioneered sonic technology so it’s only fitting that its Sonicare DiamondClean is the best sonic brush available. It’s a joy to use, a pleasure to look at and teeth were genuinely smoother and a shade whiter after a few weeks use. It’s a top-performer we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Alternatively, gadget lovers will get along with the Oral-B Pro 6500, while bargain hunters should look at the IBP Sonic Toothbrush. If you’re still not ready to take the plunge we suggest giving the hyG Ionic brush a go – you’ll be amazed at what it can do for a manual brush.
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