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Personal care

The best electric toothbrushes in 2019 for whiter teeth and a healthier mouth

From whitening power to gum care, there’s an electric toothbrush for everyone. Here's how to choose the best electric toothbrush.

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Angela Lang/CNET

According to the American Dental Association, a manual toothbrush can remove plaque and clean your teeth just as well as powered ones. But with electric toothbrushes, you can step it up a notch by hitting harder-to-reach nooks and crannies, brushing for longer, and cleaning with more ease.

So how do you find the best electric toothbrush? Well, the right toothbrush partly depends on your personal preference. Do you have sensitive gums or sensitive teeth? Are you looking for a two-minute timer? (Dentists recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day with a soft toothbrush head.) Do you want to focus on oral hygiene, plaque control or teeth whitening?

You'll also need to consider your 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?

Before you start shopping for the best electric toothbrush, check out our guide. Our electric toothbrush reviews walk you through nine high-end products for cleaning your teeth, gingivitis, teeth whitening and more.

Read more: The 17 best weight loss apps and gadgets

How to choose the best electric toothbrush

When looking for the best electric toothbrush, you'll want to consider a few factors.

Cost: First things first: What's your budget? On the lower end, you can get a cheap electric toothbrush for $20 to $50, but the cons are that they won't have certain features such as a lithium-ion battery, a water flosser or a sensor.

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 to $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 for cleaning 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 smart 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 or sensitive gums, 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 and cleaning around braces.

Convenience: Are you going to remember to replace your brush heads when it's 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 your toothbrush to be dead when you're trying to get ready for bed.

Angela Lang/CNET

Dubbed one of the Best Inventions of 2016 by Time when it debuted, the Quip electric 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; the $25 model is an electric toothbrush for kids), available from Quip's website and most Target stores.

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, the Philips brush offers a lot.

It's available at Amazon, the Philips website, most Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Walgreens stores.

Shyn

There are a handful of electric toothbrush subscriptions available these days, but Shyn (pronounced "shine") might top them all just because of the sheer number of options. 

With Shyn, you can completely customize your subscription with different brush heads, including whitening, gum care or anti-plaque, as well as add-ons like dental floss picks, whitening strips and toothpaste. You can set your refills to deliver every two or three months, but if you want to try out just the brush first, you can get it for just $50.

Philips

This brush is a more feature-rich version of the 4100 described above. You get three modes and three intensity settings that promise a whiter smile in just one week. The DiamondClean 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.

It's available on Amazon, the Philips website and at most Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Walgreens stores.

OnlyBrush

When it's all packed up, you'd never be able to tell that OnlyBrush is a toothbrush -- let alone a complete dental care kit with dental floss and toothpaste. The kit contains enough floss for about 15 days, and enough toothpaste for six days if you're brushing twice a day.

One of OnlyBrush's goals is to reduce waste that comes with travel. It's also water-resistant and floatable when closed, so it's perfect for adventurers on days-long hiking trips.

OnlyBrush is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and if the project is successful, the product is slated to ship in December of this year.

Oral-B

The standard brush head that comes with this Oral-B Vitality 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.

It's available at Walmart and at most convenience and department stores.

Waterpik

A bargain compared to buying an electric brush and a Waterpik separately, this two-in-one includes five water floss 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.

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

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 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.

It's available from the Fairywill website and at Amazon.

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.

It's available at Amazon, Walgreens, Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Fry's Electronics.

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, it's available at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS.  

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, it's available on the Foreo websiteAmazon and Sephora.