Is it time to replace your toothbrush? You might be at a crossroads of whether to stick with your current one or to upgrade. Today when you go to the store, there are more options available than ever before—from the types of bristles to manual vs. electric. For some people, all these choices can quickly become overwhelming when trying to figure out “what is the best toothbrush?”.
Luckily, replacing a toothbrush doesn’t have to be hard. Use this guide to help you find the best toothbrush on the market for your needs. We’ve broken down some of the top-rated toothbrushes of 2021 as well as factors to consider when choosing a new toothbrush to make your decision as easy as possible.
Best Toothbrushes of 2021
Brushing is an essential part of your daily teeth care, so it’s worthwhile to carefully consider this purchase decision—especially if your current one isn’t working out.
So what is the best toothbrush you can buy? Here are some of the best toothbrushes of 2021 based on several lists that polled dentists all across the country to help you narrow down your choices:
- Oral-B White Pro 100 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
- Oral-B 8000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity
- Curaprox Hydrosonic Pro
- Oral-B iO Series 9
- Fairywill Sonic Electric Toothbrush
- Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush
- Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
- Quip Electric Brush
- Oral-B Pro-Health Manual Toothbrush
- Colgate 360⁰ Advanced Optic White
- Nimbus Microfine Xtra Soft
- Baby Banana Infant Toothbrush
- WooBamboo Bamboo Toothbrush
- Radius Source Brush
We’ll break these options down further in the sections below.
What is the best toothbrush on the market? The most effective toothbrush for one person might not be that way for another, so consider any personal factors that may come into play before making your purchase decision.
Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes
Let’s address the obvious first—both types of toothbrushes are designed to clean your teeth. However, these two solutions work very differently.
Manual toothbrushes are the standard toothbrushes. They just have the handle and bristles and you must apply the right pressure and move the toothbrush around your teeth yourself. While manual toothbrushes are affordable and help keep your teeth clean, electric toothbrushes are considered to be the gold standard.
If you do decide to go the manual toothbrush route, consider these highly rated options:
- Soft bristles: Oral-B Pro-Health Manual Toothbrush
- For whitening: Colgate 360⁰ Advanced Optic White
- For sensitive gums: Nimbus Microfine Xtra Soft
- For infant and toddler training: Baby Banana Infant Toothbrush
- Eco-friendly adult toothbrush: Radius Source Brush
- Bamboo toothbrush: WooBamboo Bamboo Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are designed to vibrate while you brush, allowing them to apply more pressure to remove plaque and get into all the nooks and crannies of your teeth more easily. Electric toothbrushes can be battery powered or rechargeable and you can select a single-use or reusable model. Some electric toothbrushes also have built-in timers, which make sure you (or your kids) brush your teeth for a sufficient amount of time.
Electric toothbrushes are often considered to be the preferred teeth-brushing method for several reasons. For one, according to the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, they’re considered to be more effective. Electric toothbrushes have been found to cause less gum recession and better prevent tooth decay, both of which can reduce the amount of dental maintenance you need over the years.
The other main benefit of electric toothbrushes is the ease of use. Electric toothbrushes may be easier to use for those with mobility issues, since they require less manual movement to reach all surfaces of the teeth.
Best Electric Toothbrushes of 2021
What is the best electric toothbrush available? Here are some of the top-rated electric toothbrushes of 2021:
- Rotating electric toothbrushes:
- Lower price point: Oral-B White Pro 100 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
- High price point: Oral-B 8000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity
- High brush strokes: Curaprox Hydrosonic Pro
- For diverse settings that cater to sensitivity: Oral-B iO Series 9
- For braces: Fairywill Sonic Electric Toothbrush
- For whitening: Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush
- For helping you learn not to brush so hard: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
- Subscription service: Quip Electric Brush
You may have noticed that electric toothbrushes are significantly more expensive than traditional toothbrushes. However, the cost of the electric toothbrush itself is more or less a one time, up-front investment. You will have to replace the heads, but they are usually sold into multi-packs, making them around the same price as replacing your regular toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), that’s once every three to four months, so if you’re following that cadence you’ll likely only need one pack of replacement heads per year.
What Makes a Good Toothbrush?
Now that we’ve answered “what is the best toothbrush?”, you’re probably wondering “what makes for the most effective toothbrush?”—a great question if you’re trying to further narrow down your options from the list provided above. According to Colgate, there are several components that make for a good toothbrush:
- Soft or extra soft bristles that are gentle on your enamel and gums
- Brusheads with varying bristle lengths, so they can reach all areas of the teeth
- Tongue scrapers on the back or bumpy bristles can help remove bacteria on soft tissues in your mouth
Keeping your toothbrush clean is also important. This includes cleaning your toothbrush after use and storing it correctly whether you’re at home or on-the-go. Doing so can help you keep your toothbrush in good condition and free of bacteria.
Key Considerations When Buying a New Toothbrush
Need help figuring out how to choose a toothbrush? We have you covered. In addition to the core qualities above, here are a few other factors to consider when buying a new toothbrush:
- Is the toothbrush for an adult or child? Different aspects of the toothbrush will be important depending on whether you’re shopping for one for yourself or your child. For children, you want to look for a toothbrush with a large handle that will be easier for them to hold onto and a smaller head that can maneuver around their baby teeth.
- Is it convenient and easy to use? Another important quality to consider when trying to find the best electric toothbrush is how often you’ll have to charge it. While it’s not a major inconvenience to set it on the charge, it’s nice to not have to worry about it all the time.
- Is it good for those with teeth sensitivity? If you suffer from sensitivity, you may want to look for certain qualities in your toothbrush. As we discussed before, soft or extra soft bristles are the most gentle, but you should also consider whether the toothbrush has a sensitive mode if you’re looking at electric options.
- What price point can you afford? As we mentioned above, reusable electric toothbrushes are an investment, however the single-use version is usually only a few dollars more than a standard manual toothbrush. Consider your budget when shopping and use your best judgement to pick a toothbrush based on what you can realistically afford. One other thing to keep in mind is that, while you pay more up front with an electric toothbrush, the replacement packs are fairly reasonable when you break it down by cost per head.
- Is there a brand you prefer? For some people, brand loyalty is everything. If you have a favorite oral health care brand that you trust unequivocally, consider looking into all the options they offer and pairing that with these other factors to decide what is the best toothbrush model for you.
- Are you concerned about your environmental impact? Many people are much more conscious about being eco-friendly nowadays. Since you don’t have to throw away an entire toothbrush every few months, electric toothbrushes are considered to be the more environmentally friendly toothbrush option since you’re only getting rid of the small head. If you want to try to go green and can afford it, an electric toothbrush is the way to go. You might also consider a bamboo toothbrush, which is considered to be the most sustainable toothbrush option out there right now.
Remember that while finding the right toothbrush for your needs is important to keeping your oral health in the best condition, the most essential aspect of your at-home teeth-cleaning routine is that you’re consistent and follow your dentist’s recommendations. That means making sure you brush for at least two minutes and making sure you’re brushing both vertically and back and forth to reach all the surfaces of your teeth.
Don’t Forget to Deep Clean Your Teeth
Having a good toothbrush and brushing regularly—at least twice per day, but ideally after every meal—is a key component of maintaining a healthy smile, but it doesn’t negate the need to see your dentist. To keep your oral health at its best, you need to schedule bi-annual dental cleanings. During these appointments, you’ll undergo a deep cleaning and a short evaluation. That way, your dentist can intervene if there are issues that you haven’t noticed or make recommendations for how you can improve your dental hygiene routine.
Unlike toothbrushes and floss, dental cleanings can be a bit more costly. However, that shouldn’t be a reason to delay or avoid them because you can save on the cost of these cleanings with a dental savings plan. Dental plans allow you to access membership savings, making dental care like professional cleanings more affordable.