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Personal care

The best electric toothbrushes for whiter teeth and a healthier mouth

From whitening power to gum care, there’s an electric toothbrush for everyone.

Angela Lang/CNET

The American Dental Association says that a manual toothbrush cleans your teeth and remove plaque just as well as powered ones, but an electric toothbrush might help you hit harder-to-reach spots, brush for longer or brush with more ease.

The right toothbrush for you depends on your personal preference and budget. Do you want to spend a little more on a powerful model that does extra work for you, or stick to something simple and classic?

This guide walks you through nine of the best electric toothbrushes for travel, whitening and more.

Read more: The 17 best weight loss apps and gadgets

How to choose an electric toothbrush

When choosing an electric toothbrush, you'll want to consider a few factors.

Cost

First things first, what's your budget? One the lower end, you can get an electric toothbrush for $20-50, but they won't have too many features.

Many people won't want to spend more than $40 or so on a toothbrush, but if you've got extra money to spend, investing in a higher-ticket toothbrush in the $100-200 range with more features may be worth it in the long run, especially if it helps you have fewer cavities and dentist visits.

Capabilities

What do you need the toothbrush to do? Maybe you just need one mode that cleans a little deeper than you can with a manual toothbrush.

If you need help brushing for the recommended two minutes, it's a good idea to select one with a built-in two minute timer. If you want to easily track your oral hygiene habits, go for a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush with an app.

If you have sensitive teeth, consider looking at the types of brush heads that you can get for your electric toothbrush. Some models, like those from Oral-B or Sonicare, offer many different types of brush heads for different needs, such as whitening, gum care or cleaning around braces.

Convenience

Are you going to remember to replace your brush heads when it's due time? If not, maybe a subscription-based electric toothbrush is right for you. Don't forget to look into how long a toothbrush holds its charge, because the last thing you want is for it to be dead when you're trying to brush before bedtime.

Electric toothbrush for travel

Quip

Angela Lang/CNET

Dubbed one of the Best Inventions of 2016 by Time when it debuted, the Quip toothbrush is compact and powered by a single AAA battery. Quip brushes are slim, stylish and convenient: Quip sends you a replacement head and battery in the mail every three months, so you don't have to remember to pick them up from a store yourself. 

Quip's sleek design makes it easy to pack in a carry-on or even a small handbag so you can easily brush wherever you might be.

Priced at $25 to $40 (depending on model), available from Quip's website and most Target stores.

The best value electric toothbrush

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

Philips

Simple, long-lasting and relatively inexpensive, this toothbrush effectively cleans plaque without an overload of features you may never use. It's equipped with a timer, pacer and an alert system that reminds you when it's time to change the head. Your brush will also pulse gently to tell you when you're brushing too hard. For its modest price point, this Philips brush offers a lot.

Priced at $70, available at Amazon, the Philips website, most Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Walgreens stores.

Electric toothbrush for whiter teeth

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Whitening Electric Toothbrush

Philips

This brush is a more feature-rich version of the 4100 described above. For an increase in price of about $60, you get three modes and three intensity settings that promise a whiter smile in just one week. The Diamond Clean brush head works to remove surface stains with special bristles and the QuadPacer lets you know when it's time to move to another quadrant of your mouth.

Priced at $130, available on Amazon, the Philips website and at most Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Walgreens stores.

Electric toothbrush with multiple brush options

Oral-B Vitality Dual Clean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B

The standard brush head that comes with this Oral-B brush has a dual-clean action that promises superior dental plaque removal. The top brush spins and the bottom brush oscillates side-to-side. If dual-clean isn't your jam, you can opt for a different Oral-B head. 

This brush is compatible with Oral-B's Cross Action, 3D White, Sensitive Clean, Precision Clean, Floss Action, Deep Sweep, Ortho and Power Tip heads.

Priced at $24 and up, available on Amazon and at most convenience and department stores.

Electric toothbrush with water flosser

Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Water Flosser and Sonic Toothbrush

Waterpik

A bargain compared to buying an electric brush and a Waterpik separately, this two-in-one includes five water flossing tips, two Triple Sonic brush heads, 10 pressure settings, three brush modes and a two-minute timer with quadrant pacing. Water flossers reach hard-to-clean spots with ease, so they're ideal for people who struggle with flossing and people with braces.

Priced at $100, available on the Waterpik website and at Best BuyBed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's and Walmart

Electric toothbrush with multiple modes

Fairywill D Series

Fairywill

Clean, whiten, polish, rinse -- Fairywill electric toothbrushes possess all the modes you need to get that just-left-the-dentist super-clean feeling. 

Use the clean mode for daily brushing, massage mode mode for gum care, sensitive mode for toothaches, and whitening mode for, well, you know. Polish mode offers a quick way to get an extra bit of shine.

Priced at $32, available from the Fairywill website and at Amazon.

Electric toothbrush with Bluetooth and coaching

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum

Sonicare

You'll pay a premium for this smart electric toothbrush, but it may be worth it if you really want or need to track your dental hygiene habits. The FlexCare Platinum sends real-time brushing data to the Sonicare app, where you'll find a 3D map of your mouth along with personalized coaching and feedback. It has two modes -- clean and deep clean -- and claims to remove stains and improve gum health in two weeks.

Priced at $220, available at Amazon, Walgreens, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry's Electronics.

Electric toothbrush for first-timers

Oral-B White Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Oral-B via Amazon

With thousands of five-star reviews, this simple rechargeable brush is perfect for making the initial switch to an electric model. It offers only one mode, daily clean, but it's budget-friendly and compatible with a large number of replacement heads. 

Its simplicity can help first-time buyers avoid purchase hesitations. And according to Oral-B, this brush impressively removes up to 300 percent more plaque along the gumline than a manual toothbrush.

Priced at $50 and up, available at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS.  

Electric toothbrush with long-lasting charge

Foreo ISSA 2 Toothbrush

Foreo

It sounds too good to be true, but this brush lasts an entire year on a single charge. Oh, and the brush head only needs replacement every six months. In contrast to the rotating bristle brush that's become the standard, the ISSA 2 uses a silicone brush with pulsing technology that Foreo claims is 35 times cleaner than brushes with regular bristles.

Priced at $169, available on the Foreo websiteAmazon and Sephora.