Best electric toothbrushes for braces [2020 update]

There are hundreds of different sonic and oscillating toothbrushes on the market. We have tested and analyzed over 46 of them and we believe that the best electric toothbrush for braces is the newest Sonicare DiamondClean Smart (9700 version). It offers 5 different cleaning modes and in combination with 3 different intensity levels, it’s the most high-tech toothbrush we have ever tested.

However, the DiamondClean is also one of the most expensive toothbrushes we were able to get our hands on. When it comes to cheaper alternatives, our choice is the Oral B 5500, a medium-priced toothbrush that comes with UV sanitizer.

Why you should trust us

Our mission is to review and analyze electric toothbrushes. In fact we have analyzed over 46 of them and we sure won’t stop here. We interviewed several dentists and dental hygienists who helped us put together several extensive buying guides and understand everything there is about electric toothbrushes; their benefits and downsides.

But before we continue with our ultimate buying guide that will help you decide what kind of electric toothbrush is appropriate for your braces, take look at the comparison chart of what we believe are the ultimate powered toothbrushes money can buy right now.

Best electric toothbrush for braces – Our top 10 picks

Toothbrush Cleaning modes Pressure sensor Timer
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750 5 x 5 Yes Yes
Oral-B 9600 6 Yes Yes

I’m wearing braces, do I need to use an electric toothbrush?

Proper dental care becomes much more important from the minute you start wearing braces. Food leftovers can get stuck between wires and teeth and once they turn into plaque, you have a problem. The truth is that food leftovers on the surface of the teeth are almost harmless because they get flushed down through the day just by drinking water and eating certain foods. It’s the food leftovers stuck on hard to reach places in mouth that bring problems. There are plenty of hard to reach areas in mouth already, but there are even more of them when you are wearing braces.

With that said, using an electric toothbrush is not neccessary and you can definitely have a proper oral hygiene with using a normal manual toothbrush. However, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that electric toothbrushes have several benefits over manual ones and those benefits were proven by hundreds of clinical studies.

Here are a couple of the latest clinical studies we find to be the most relevant and up to date.

  • A 2017 clinical study included 45 patients ages 19 to 23 and tested them for reduction of gingivitis and plaque. The study concluded that patients using electric toothbrush experienced more plaque reduction and more improvement in gingival health compared to the patients that were using a traditional toothbrush.
  • Perhaps the most famous evidence that electric toothbrushes gave the edge was presented by the Cochrane Oral Health Group. After carrying out a review of  56 existing clinical studies published from 1969 to 2011, the study concluded that switching to an electric toothbrush reduces plaque for approximately 11% after one to three months of use, and even up to 21% after three months of every day use. Switching to electric toobhbrush also reduced gingivitis for 11% after three months of use.

So what’s the secret behind electric toothbrushes and what makes them so effective?

If you thought that there’s some technology behind that makes the plaque disappear with the help of magic, you were wrong.

The answer is that an electric toothbrush does most of the work by itself which makes it less sensitive to the brushing technique. Most people don’t use the traditional toothbrush the right way and this is where electric toothbrush does the magic; by eliminating the human factor as much as possible. If you are wearing braces or not, an electric toothbrush can improve your brushing technique and help you keep your teeth healthy.

What to expect from an electric toothbrush?

While electric toothbrushes used to be clumsy and expensive, today’s brushes come with all sorts of features. Some of those features are very important when it comes to improving dental health, but some are considered unnecessary by most dental hygienists and dentist.

Here’s a list of the top 7 factors we took into consideration when creating our own list of the top 10 electric toothbrushes for braces.

1. Brushing modes

  • Importance: 6/10

Basic electric toothbrushes offer a single brushing mode. Press on the power button and the toothbrush will start moving at a fixed speed. High-end electric toothbrushes offer up to about 6 cleaning modes which are often called “cleaning routes”. Some brushing modes are more intense and are able to scrub more stains from the surface of the teeth while other modes are gentler and more appropriate for sensitive teeth and gum massage.

Some of the most common brushing modes include teeth whitening mode, tongue cleaning mode, sensitive mode, and so on. While it’s interesting and welcoming to have the option to choose different cleaning modes, we believe that they are not essential for oral health. Brushing teeth with a regular brushing mode that lasts for 2 minutes is enough to enjoy the most important advantage of electric brushes which is to get rid of the plaque and eliminate the human factor from brushing technique.

While there isn’t a brushing mode designed specifically for braces (at least we weren’t able to find one), the most intense features are probably the best idea for deep and thorough cleaning.

2. Brushing timer

  • Importance: 9/10

Most electric toothbrushes come with a brushing timer that helps users to reach the dentist’s recommended brushing time. The American Dental Association recommends two minutes of brushing per each session but the truth is that most people don’t come close to reaching them.

Some brushing timers either start beeping or shut off the toothbrush completely to let users know when the optimal brushing time has passed. The timer of more advanced brushes also beeps every 30 seconds to let you know when is the time to move the brush from one quadrant of your mouth to another. The 30-second timer is also called “quadpacer”.

While most people know that it’s preferred to brush their teeth for two minutes, a timer often makes a difference because let’s be honest, when was the last time you measured the time of your brushing session?

3. Pressure sensor

  • Importance: 8/10

Brushing teeth too aggressively is the primary cause of gum recession, but most people who are brushing their teeth too hard don’t even realize it. Once gums start to recede the root of the teeth gets exposed which brings unpleasant sensitiveness and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Some electric toothbrushes are equipped with pressure sensor which activates and prevents users to brush their teeth too aggressively.

4. Smart technology

  • Importance: 5/10

A few years ago a company named Oral B decided that it’s time for another giant leap in the evolution of electric toothbrush industry. They equipped one of their brushes with smart technology which allows users to connect the brush with their smartphones, tablets, or any other device that uses Bluetooth module.

Once the toothbrush is connected to a smart device, the app starts tracking brushing habits.

While the smart technology is interesting, we believe that it isn’t essential and we gave it the importance factor of 5 out of 10.

5. Toothbrush accessories

  • Importance: 5/10

Many, especially high-end brushes come with all sorts of accessories such as travel cases, toothbrush stands or even UV sanitizers. These features add a few numbers to the price of a toothbrush and they don’t have the impact on the way a toothbrush does its job.

However, some of those accessories are quite handy and important for certain types of people. If you like to travel a lot, having a toothbrush case that protects it from germs and other bacteria while it’s stored in a travel bag is more than welcome. If you don’t travel at all, a toothbrush case will be pointless because you will probably store it on a shelf where you have stored all the past manual brushes.

UV sanitizer prevents germs and bacteria to spread when the toothbrush is not in use. It can be quite handy, but some studies suggest that there are better methods to disinfect a toothbrush.

6. Battery life

  • Importance: 6/10

The battery life of most brushes with in-built rechargeable batteries lasts from a couple of days to about three weeks. Most newest brushes are powered by Lithium-ion batteries that are able to provide about 2 weeks of battery life once they are fully charged.

Again, this completely depends on individual’s needs. Most of us use smartphones and we’re OK with charging them every day. Is 3 weeks of battery life a big difference compared to a week or two? Yes if you are traveling a lot, but otherwise not that much.

7. Price

  • Importance: 6/10

Electric toothbrushes cost anywhere from $20 to $300.

Another thing that adds up to the price of an electric toothbrush are brush heads. Most manufacturers recommend to change the brush head after every 3 months of use.

The cheapest ones feature a single brushing mode and have in-built batteries that need to be recharged every few days. Their biggest downside is that the brushing technology behind them hasn’t been proven by clinical studies. The market is dominated by two huge brands (Philips and Braun) and smaller companies with

8. Cleaning technology

  • Importance: 4/10

There are two main types of cleaning technologies used by today’s electric toothburshes; sonic and oscillating. Sonic toothbrushes vibrate at speeds of up to 62,000 movement per second while oscillating toothbrushes rotate. According to our reasearch, there isn’t much difference between them, so at the end it all comes down to personal preference. If you want to know more about different types of brushing technologies, check out our Sonicare vs. Oral B post.

Our top picks

There are hundreds of different electric toothbrushes on the market and choosing the best one is never easy because most of it comes down to personal preference and budget. But we did our best to find what we believe are the most interesting electric toothbrushes on the market right now and it doesn’t matter if you are wearing braces or not.

1. Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

  • 5 cleaning modes
  • 3 intensity levels
  • The best looking toothbrush in our opinion
  • Smart technology
  • Expensive
  • Many of its high-tech features are overkill

If there is a single electric toothbrush that  outshines the competition in almost every single area, it is the DiamondClean Smart. It’s the most advanced toothbrush from the DiamondClean series which Phillips called “the world’s most intelligent toothbrush” when it was introduced to the market in the mid 2017.

Toothbrushes in the DiamondClean series are constantly getting improved. Right now there’s the 4th generation of DiamondClean brushes on the market and its models include completely renovated brush heads, refreshed design and Sonicare Smart technology.

However although the toothbrushes in the DiamondClean series are bloated with high-tech features, many of them aren’t really important for dental health. But the fact is that the DiamondClean offers more than any other toothbrush we were able to analyze and it would be wrong not to place it on the top of our list of recommendations.

9700 / 9500 / 9300 / 9750?

Before we get on with the review, you should keep in mind that there are several versions of toothbrush models in the DiamondClean series and there are a few differences between them.

  • The 9300 is a basic model. It offers 4 cleaning modes (Clean, White, Deep Clean+, and Gum Health) and comes with four brush heads.
  • The 9500 is a little bit more advanced. It offers one extra cleaning mode (the tongue cleaning mode),  comes with with an extra brush head designed to clean the tongue, and an attractive travel case with USB charging.
  • The 9700 is almost the same as 9500, but it comes with 8 brush heads.
  • The 9750 comes with more different brush heads, so won’t have to buy them as an addition as soon.

There aren’t any other differences between these three models except the price. The 9750 is much more expensive than the 9300 and we believe that it’s the 9500 that offers the most for the money.

Premium design

The first thing that makes the DiamondClean stand out is the design. It looks elegant, feels great in hand and it comes in several colors to choose from. The white and black design have been around the DiamondClean series for years while lunar blue, grey, and pink have been added in the past few years.

One thing to remember is that not all of the DiamondClean Smart toothbrushes are available in every color. The 9700 comes in Rose Gold and Lunar Blue while the 9500 and 9300 are available in different color designs.

Smart technology

The whole DiamondClean Smart series was probably introduced to the market as an answer to Oral B who were the first company to equip their toothbrushes with smart technology. It was the area where Philips was falling behind and they decide

The smart technology allows you to pair the toothbrush with an app that can be installed in any Android or Ios device through Bluetooth. The app keeps track on your brushing habits, reminds you when you need to replace the brush head and gives you tips on how to improve your brushing technique. It even helps you

Long battery life

Phillips claims that the battery of the DiamondClean 9700 lasts for 3 weeks with a single charge. During our tests it managed to last for 24 days which was a pleasant surprise. Manufacturers often exaggerate claims when it comes to the battery life, but it seems that Phillips was quite modest.

Hefty price tag – the biggest downside

Unfortunately just like all good things, the DiamondClean comes with a very hefty price tag. In fact, it is one of the most expensive toothbrushes on the market and its price might come as a shocker to many people. But then again, if you have the latest Iphone, the DiamondClean might be something for you.

2. Oral B 9600 Genius

  • 6 cleaning modes
  • The best looking toothbrush in our opinion
  • Smart technology
  • Expensive
  • Many of its high-tech features are overkill

If the DiamondClean is the most technically advanced sonic toothbrushes on the market, the Oral B Genius is the most advanced oscillating toothbrush. Both  Oral B and Sonicare are the two brands that are dominating the electric toothbrush market and when people compare the ultimate and the most advanced brushes in the world, the Oral B 9600 and the DiamondClean are almost always in the conversation.

The latest generation of Oral B brushes started with the Oral B 8000 model which was one of the first electric toothbrushes with smart technology, long before Phillips realized that it’s time to push the pedal and design something similar. If you asked us what’s the best electric toothbrush in the world about two years ago, the 8000 would be an obvious choice.

What’s the difference between Oral B 8000 and 9600? There is almost none. The only difference is that the 9600 comes with slightly different set of brush replacement heads.

Brushing modes

If there’s one thing that made us rank the Oral B 9600 behind the DiamondClean is the number of brushing modes. The 8000 offers 6 different cleaning modes which is one more than you get with the DiamondClean 9750. However, the DiamondClean has the ability to switch between three different intensity levels which means that it offers 15 different brushing modes compared to “just” 6 that you get with the 9600.

Design

The design of the Oral B 8000 is quite simmilar to the DiamondClean. It feels great in hands and looks expensive.

 

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