5 Smart Toothbrushes That’ll Help You Get a Brighter Smile
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart
The DiamondClean Smart toothbrush gives you that fresh after-the-dentist-clean feeling. It’s easy to setup, has an intuitive app, and comes with a convenient carrying case. You won’t be disappointed if you splurge for it.
Best Smart Features
Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
Oral-B’s smart toothbrush has a convenient and easy-to-use app that not only helps you brush better and achieve a whiter smile, but it also manages your dentist appointments and reminds you when it’s time to replace your toothbrush head.
Best for Sensitive Gums
Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1
The Colgate E1 smart toothbrush is the best choice for folks with sensitive gums. It features a simple design, easy operation, and a fantastic app that’ll ensure you’re brushing correctly. Note that at the moment, it’s only compatible with iPhones.
Best for Travel
The Oclean SE is a well-designed and fairly priced smart toothbrush that comes with a compact carrying case. With over a month-long battery life, you’ll rarely have to charge it, making this a great toothbrush for travelers.
Best for Kids
Philips Sonicare for Kids
If it’s like pulling teeth (excuse the dental pun) to get your kids to brush, they’ll love this smart toothbrush. Its complementary app makes it easier for your little ones to brush for 2 minutes, and it’s filled with fun games and teaches better brushing habits.
That smartphone you may be reading this on right now helps you make plans, order food, hail rides, and keep tabs on friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Now, several toothbrush manufacturers are hoping that your iPhone or Android will help you improve your brushing habits in tandem with one of their fancy smart toothbrushes.
Most people brush their teeth twice a day — in the morning and before bedtime for just 46 seconds each session. The American Dental Association recommends you brush at least twice daily for two minutes, and to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. A smart toothbrush is a Bluetooth-connected electric toothbrush that encourages you to aim higher than that minimum standard with timers and by tracking your brushing habits, setting goals, and letting you see your overall progress.
Smart toothbrushes hold you accountable for brushing (and brushing the right way). They remind you when it’s time to replace your brush head and scold you for pressing too hard or missing a section of your mouth. Plus, electric toothbrushes provide better plaque removal than manual brushes, and they require less effort on your part, because you just glide them along your teeth while they oscillate, rotate, vibrate, or pulsate.
We tested many of the smart toothbrushes that are available on the market to help you find the best one for your needs and budget. During our month of testing, not only was our outlook on brushing brighter, but our smile was, too. We’ll help you decide if you should make room on your bathroom countertop for a smart connected toothbrush.
Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:
Pro: Charging base is an elegant cup that doesn’t look tacky
Con: The brush heads aren’t cheap
You know that feeling you get after you go to the dentist and your mouth just feels so clean and you can’t stop licking your teeth? This smart toothbrush from Philips gives you that feeling every day, but priced at $200+, it doesn’t come cheap. We tested the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500, and we think it’s the best smart toothbrush you can buy.
The toothbrush sports a sleek look, it’s comfortable to hold, and it doesn’t feel heavy. It has just two buttons — one for power, and the other to control the intensity and switch between modes, so it’s incredibly easy to use. It’s completely waterproof, and we had no issues using it in the shower.
The DiamondClean Smart comes with a wide spread of accessories, including three brush heads — one for whitening, one for plaque control, and one for gum care. That’s enough brushes to keep you covered for 9 months. When it’s time for replacement heads, you’ll have to pay over $10 per head, which is more expensive than Oral-B’s replacement heads, which you can get for $5 a piece.
Also included in the box: a tongue cleaner, a travel case that doubles as a charger, and an elegant glass cup that recharges the brush. Setting up the toothbrush for the first time is easy, but it’s a little annoying because you have to create a user account. After you take a few minutes to do that and confirm your email address, you’ll find that Philips’ Sonicare app is extremely intuitive and well-designed.
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Our tester toothbrush paired to our smartphone on the first time without any issues. The app lets you set goals for achieving fresher breath, stronger gums, removing plaque, or whitening your teeth. It stores data over time of your brushing habits to show you your progress, average times, and how much you’ve improved. It’ll let you know what sections of your mouth are worthy of more attention, and it has useful charts that you can refer back to.
As soon as you plug a head into the toothbrush, both the brush and the app automatically recognize what mode and intensity setting to use. Your phone’s screen displays a graphic of a mouth that’s divided into sections, so you get all your teeth clean.
The graphic will fill in to show your progress, and when it’s time to switch sections your brush vibrates. There’s also a countdown timer that lets you know how much longer you have left. If you’re brushing too hard, the base of the brush flashes, which is a little harder to see compared to Oral-B’s glowing light, which is at the top of the brush. We thought the brush did a decent job at tracking the position of the brush — it comes with a built-in accelerometer — but we think Oral B’s smart toothbrush tracked better. Where the Sonicare excels though is providing a nearly perfect clean that doesn’t feel too rough. The brush is quieter, performs better, and just feels better than others, making it our best overall pick.
Best Smart Features
Pro: Its affordable brush heads come in several different types, and they’re available in most stores
Con: Positional tracking cup relies on your phone’s camera, which adds the slight risk of dropping your phone and raises privacy concerns
Unlike the Sonicare, which uses vibration to get your teeth clean, Oral-B’s smart toothbrush, the aptly named Genius Pro, oscillates and rotates. The toothbrush works fantastically at removing plaque, it’s comfortable to hold, and it’s completely waterproof, so you can brush in the shower. It has two buttons on its front — one for power, and the other for switching between its six brushing modes. You have a choice of the following cycles: Daily Clean, Pro Clean, Sensitive, Gum Care, 3D White, and Tongue Clean. The cycles take two minutes, and the brush beeps every 30 seconds to let you know when it’s time to switch quadrants in your mouth.
When it comes to brushing, we found the Oral-B to be very powerful, easy to operate, and very effective at cleaning, but some people may think it’s too strong — especially if you have sensitive gums. One of our testers’ gums even bled slightly. The toothbrush does have a sensitive mode, though, which helps. While testing the Oral-B, we did notice that it’s louder and more mechanical-sounding than the other brushes, so if you have an ensuite bathroom, it may wake up the person sleeping in the bedroom.
What makes this toothbrush stand out is its smart features. The free app has achievements you can set to keep track of your streaks for brushing, cleaning your tongue, flossing, and rinsing, and it gives you badges when you complete these tasks. There are also dental care journeys, which are pre-programmed routines that help you achieve goals like getting fresher breath, and the app helps you manage your dentist appointments and reminds you when it’s time to replace your toothbrush head.
The toothbrush comes with an adjustable phone mount that affixes to your mirror with a suction cup. While it helps you see your phone better, check your progress, and easily tell when it’s time to switch quadrants, we were disappointed that it damaged our leather case from gripping it too hard, and it even came loose at one point. It’s not a fun sight when you see your $1,000 iPhone X tumble toward a running sink. You’ll probably just want to keep your phone on your countertop instead. We still think the smart features are worth using and liked the countdown timer, and also how the app displayed the weather, our phone’s calendar, and news headlines. It made the two minutes fly by. The toothbrush did a phenomenal job at position detecting, but granted that feature requires access to your smartphone’s camera — which raises privacy concerns and made us iffy about brushing our teeth naked.
The Genius Pro costs less than Sonicare’s pricey DiamondClean smart toothbrush. Additionally, its replacement brush heads typically cost just five bucks a pop — half the cost of Sonicare’s brushes. Oral-B throws in plenty of accessories with it, too, including three brush heads — one for sensitive gums, one that whitens, and a third with angled bristles for cleaning deep between your teeth. You also get a travel case that doubles as a portable charger, a stand, and the phone mount. All and all, it’s a great toothbrush chock full of smart features.
Best for Sensitive Gums
Pro: Its app is well-designed and easy to navigate
Con: It struggles at positional tracking, and it only works with iPhones
The Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 is a new smart toothbrush from Kolibree and Colgate that’s an Apple Store exclusive, which also means at the moment there’s no Android app for it. We spent a couple of weeks with the toothbrush, and we thought its app was very intuitive (we’ll go further in detail on this a little later), but in comparison to the Philips and Oral-B smart toothbrushes it’s just not as powerful. This actually could be a good thing if you have sensitive gums or are looking for a quiet toothbrush.
The E1 still worked well at cleaning our teeth, but it’ll just require more effort on your part. It’s similar to Philips’ smart toothbrush because it features sonic vibrating technology, rather than using a rotating and oscillating head like the Oral-B. However, if we just let it hover over our teeth without applying pressure and making a rapid brushing motion like you would with a manual toothbrush, we don’t feel as though it would have cleaned as well.
What the brush does have going for it is a simple design, easy operation, and a fantastic app. Both the Sonicare and Oral-B toothbrushes have a tedious setup that requires you to create an account and confirm it with an email address. This one just has you type your name, select your gender, and specify if you brush left- or right-handed. You then take an assessment and brush like normal, and the app will tell you how long you brushed and how much surface you covered, then it’ll give you the steps on how to correct your mistakes.
The main screen of the app lets you pick from several brushing options, including Coach+ (what you’ll use most often), Coach (which helps you perfect your technique), a pirate game for kids where you collect treasure while you brush, and a Rabbids game that also appeals to the little ones. There’s also a checkup tab where you can get info about your last session and analyze brushing data.
The Coach+ tool is the main brushing mode. It shows you a graphic of a mouth, and it instructs you on where to brush. Your job is to reach 100% for each section. As you brush, the percentage in the center of your smartphone’s screen will slowly rise. However, we found in our testing that the brush struggled at locating our position, and we were frequently greeted with a “Wrong Zone Detected” error message, so we weren’t rewarded the points for brushing some sections.
Another minor complaint we had was that after you brush your teeth three times you’re not able to use any of the smart features. Instead, you get greeted with a message that says “Brushing more than three times a day can damage the gums.” The message doesn’t render the toothbrush inoperable, you just can’t use the smart features again. We also would have liked to see it come with a carrying case. On the plus side, the toothbrush and its charger are very small and lightweight, so they’re still easy to travel with. We were also very fond of its 10-day battery life.
Best for Travel
Pro: Impressive month-long battery life
Con: Replacement heads are difficult to find
If you’re in search of a smart toothbrush that’s perfect for travel, we recommend the Oclean SE. It’s an affordable smart toothbrush with a month-long battery, and it comes with a convenient carrying case. It offers a slim body with great ergonomics and a single-button press operation. After powering it on, you can adjust the brush’s intensity. You have three cleaning modes to choose from: clean, whiten, and massage. The brush supports up to 40K vibrations per minute, which is impressive considering its low price. For comparison’s sake, the Sonicare offers 62,000 sonic brush movements per minute.
This sonic vibrating model also helps clean in between your teeth, and it’s powerful enough to remove plaque. It’s completely waterproof, so feel free to use it in the shower if you like to brush in a hurry. Unfortunately, the toothbrush only comes with a single head, and its replacement heads are difficult to come by. Few online retailers carry them, and most brick and mortar stores don’t, either. The included brush features DuPont Bristles and a wave shape to help deeply scrub your teeth. Its back doesn’t have a tongue cleaner, though.
We would have liked the included carrying case a bit more if it had a built-in charger, but you’ll have to bring the charging puck with you and charge the brush upright. Luckily, the charging base isn’t that large. We were glad to see that this toothbrush has a free app that’s not only easy to navigate, but also pairs quickly to your phone over Bluetooth. The app records your brushing level and time, and it scores your brushing habits. It’s even packed with different sensitivity settings for folks with braces, and it has settings that adjust to promote better gum heath. We think that considering this toothbrush’s convenient app, long battery life, and affordable price, it’s the best travel smart toothbrush.
Best for Kids
Pro: App is kid-friendly, and parents will appreciate its brushing tips
Con: The smaller sized HX6032 heads aren’t included
Most adults don’t brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes, so it’s hard to expect little ones to do the same. This kids smart toothbrush from Sonicare helps parents and kids reach that goal and keep track of oral hygiene with a nifty smartphone app. The brush comes with eight sticker sheets for customization, and it sports a kid-friendly design that’s easily grippable, its head has softer bristles, and it instantly pairs to your smartphone or tablet by Bluetooth. We would have liked to see Philips include a smaller toothbrush head for smaller mouths. The included one is roughly the same size of an adult’s manual toothbrush, but a tad narrower. You can buy smaller heads for an additional expense.
The brush is recommended for ages four and up, but just make sure your child understands that if they take the toothbrush out of their mouth while it’s powered on that it’ll splat everywhere. Also, you may want to invest in a waterproof case if you plan to use the toothbrush with your smartphone or tablet. The toothbrush’s app has an adorable Tamagotchi-like companion called Sparkly who gives your child brushing advice, and we think you’ll want to use it, too.
As your child brushes their teeth, they’ll also brush all four quadrants of Sparkly’s mouth. It’s a great game designed by dentists, with some surprisingly hilarious jokes. When your child finishes brushing, they get rewarded with new outfits and accessories to customize Sparkly. You can also create custom rewards. For example, if your son brushes three days in a row, then he can play Nintendo Switch for an hour. In the event that your son or daughter forgets to put the toothbrush back on the charging base, you don’t have to worry, because it has a large lithium ion battery that lasts for two weeks. Overall, we think this is a well-priced smart toothbrush that you, your child, and your dentist will love.