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Why an electric toothbrush was my best dental upgrade

While one editor highlights one Philips electric toothbrush, he argues any electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush — shop his other picks.
Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush. Is Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush worth it? Shop the best electric toothbrushes from top brands including Philips, Quip, Oral-B and Arm & Hammer on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Target and more.
While he first tried electric toothbrushes with Quip, "the versatile and high-functioning Philips Sonicare Diamondclean Smart Electric Toothbrush that really did me in," writes NBC News Shopping editor Gideon Grudo.Philips

Like anything else, there’s a recommended method to brushing your teeth: two minutes of brushing, twice a day, at a 45-degree angle to your gums. This isn’t objectively difficult to accomplish but I’m sure I’ve veered in and out of the preferred window more than any dentist would find appropriate — and for me, an electric toothbrush made it so much easier to build up and maintain this habit. They allow you to focus and practice better brushing techniques than your non-mechanized hand can. Having said that, whichever toothbrush you use to brush right — be it manual or electric — is the best toothbrush for you. That’s according to experts we consulted for our guide to buying electric toothbrushes.

In that guide, Lawrence Fung, DDS, of Silicon Beach Dental, told us he always prefers an electric toothbrush over a manual one, though, noting how well electric toothbrushes remove bacteria. “The brushes are much better than manual brushing since they either have a spinning head or utilize sonic vibrations,” he explained. That movement creates micro-bubbles that gently remove bacteria biofilm — a cause of bad breath, staining, gum disease and bleeding gums. I’ve certainly felt a difference in my oral hygiene and general mouthfeel ever since I switched to electric toothbrushes. I first got into these tech toothbrushes when I bought the relatively affordable and stylish Quip electric toothbrush, which sports a simple design and revolves around a $20-per-year subscription that gets you a new brush head every three months. I knew quickly I’d be hard-pressed to go back to manual brushing.

But it was the versatile and high-functioning Philips Sonicare Diamondclean Smart Electric Toothbrush that really did me in. It’s an investment, no doubt — but one I’ll likely not have to repeat for years and years.

Three different brush heads cover different use cases: Healthier gums, cleaner mouth and a cleaner tongue, plus an anti-plaque brush head. You also get a stylish travel case that shelters the brush body and a single brush head — for home, the Sonicare shows up with a rocks glass-style stand into which you can drop your toothbrush and it will get charged. More than 1,700 reviewers on Amazon left the electric toothbrush a 4.3-average rating, to boot.

How the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean works

After syncing this electric toothbrush with the Sonicare app, you can follow your brushing in real time, a progress bar tracing a generic representation of teeth on your phone. When you’re finished brushing each corner of your mouth, you earn an imaginary point. And yes, the gamification of basic hygiene is helpful (for me, anyway). But even once that feature loses some of its fancy, there’s a much more functional interaction that has kept me on my toes ever since I started brushing with the Diamondclean.

If you press down on your teeth too hard, committing the detrimental act of over brushing, you’ll be notified via a light outlining the base of the toothbrush. Why there? When brushing, the toothbrush base is what’s facing the mirror you might be facing, turning that light quite visible. But even if I’m walking around my apartment, I can tell the light is flashing, telling me to ease off the handle. And that’s made me more mindful of my brushing, training me against exerting too much force on my one set of teeth. The app will also indicate over brushing but it’s not necessary to get use from the function.

Of course, the toothbrush is water-resistant and durable — it’s sustained several drops by my hand and survives without a scratch (even if the brush head might pop loose on impact). You can get it in different colors to match various ages and styles, including Grey, Pink, Rose Gold and White — I recommend the Black.

Other electric toothbrushes to shop

Of course, even its discounted $200 price right now keeps the Philips Sonicare at the significant investment level. You’ve got several other options when it comes to highly-rated electric toothbrushes.

Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Toothbrush

In our guide to electric toothbrushes, Fung recommended using this Oral-B Pro toothbrush. It tracks your habits over time and provides you with helpful oral care tips. It includes six modes: daily clean, gum care, sensitive, whitening, deep clean and tongue cleaner.

Quip Starter Set

This starter kit from the subscription-based Quip includes an electric brush, toothpaste and a three-month supply of refillable floss and instructions. You can opt into a quarterly delivery of brush heads, batteries, toothpaste and floss for $25, as well. The also brand recently released its own version of a smart toothbrush.

Arm & Hammer Spinbrush Pro Clean

The Arm & Hammer Spinbrush features dual-action vibration that combines a side-to-side bristle movement in addition to a spinning movement. This is the best option for anyone who wants to experiment with the electric toothbrush space before committing to a more substantial product.

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