Investing in self care is important. It’s why you’ve got a bathroom shelf stocked with skin-care products, a gym membership, and a subscription to a meditation app that automatically renews once a year. Whatever your feel-good modality of choice is, chances are you’ve put some cash towards the cause. And, according to dentists, purchasing an electric toothbrush is one spot of your wellness routine that could deserve a slice of that self-care budget.
“Research shows that even with the best manual toothbrushing habits, electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque, whitening teeth, stimulating and improving gum health, and a person’s overall oral hygiene,” says Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, founder of JBL Dentistry in New York City, who recommends electric toothbrushes for a number of reasons. “The little micro movements of the toothbrush head allow for you to brush more with each pass, and new technology also allows the toothbrush to assist and even improve brushing habits.” An electric toothbrush tells you when you’re done with each part of your mouth, and if you are brushing too hard or for too long.
Investing in an electric toothbrush doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank on a $300 speciality item. While it certainly can, there are also plenty of effective options on the market that won’t leave quite so big of an impact on your next credit card statement. Here, dentists share their picks for the best electric toothbrush for every budget, so you don’t have to sacrifice any extra green for the sake of a white smile. But remember: You can’t replace good brushing habits no matter how fancy your toothbrush is.
For something no-frills that you can get at the drugstore, Dr. Levine says this is the best you can get—it’s been a recommendation of his for a long, long time. “Without all the bells and whistles that newer models come with, this one stands the test of time and is still being used widely,” he says. “With regular use, this brush may help whiten your teeth, promote oral health, and is infinitely more effective than just a standard brush.”
Subscription services have made everything in millennials’ lives easier, and thanks to Burst, that convenience extends to brushing teeth, too. The service delivers a new brush head every 90 days, plus a lifetime guarantee for subscribers. According to dentists, the device itself is great, too. “Burst bristles are very soft, which allows for very gentle yet effective brushing, and the toothbrush is especially good for anyone prone to gum recession,” says San Francisco-based dentist Christina Kenerson, DMD. Plus, it comes in the most beautiful rose gold color, which can up the luxury factor in your bathroom in a big way for a an extra $20.
Consider this the Toyota Camry of toothbrushes. It’s a good, solid choice that hits right at the middle of the market price-wise. It has five different brush heads, 25 different settings, and a two-minute timer so that you can know when you’re done brushing without having to sing through the alphabet twice. “It feels good in your hand and caters to brushers with sensitivity,” says Dr. Levine. “And with so many add-ons, there’s a brush head for everyone.” The charging station and plug are not waterproof, so you’ll want to keep them somewhere other than on your sink, but since the battery stays charged for over a month you won’t need to dig them out of the cabinet all that often, anyway.
If you’ve got sensitive teeth and gums, this is the best of the best to keep them healthy and happy. “The bristles are soft, so they won’t irritate most patients’ gums, and it has five settings for everything from gentle brushing to a deep clean,” says Dr. Levine. The only downside to this brush is that it’s most effective when it’s fully charged, so be sure to keep the battery juiced up. If you really want to up your brushing game, Dr. Kenerson recommends the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart ($190), which has a sensor and an app that will tell you which spots you missed in your mouth. “This Sonicare leaves your teeth feeling very clean,” she says.
Now that you’ve got your toothbrush picked out, here are some other dentist-approved tips for a bright, white smile. Plus, the one common ingredient they say is like “sandpaper in a tube” and should be avoided at all costs.
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