The Best Electric Toothbrush for a Shiny, Happy MouthThe Best Electric Toothbrush for a Shiny, Happy Mouth

The Best Electric Toothbrush

Or how to make sure you never get spinach stuck in your teeth, ever again.
Sarah Idle
Words by 
Sarah Idle
Updated 
Jul 6, 2020
To keep Cosier guides free, we’re reader supported. That means if you buy something via a link on this page, we might earn a commission. Thanks for that.

At a glance

Welcome to adulthood: when you have to do some things on a daily basis that are necessary yet oh-so boring. Think the commute to work (or work itself), dragging the dog around the block or making your lunch for the next day. Another thing to add to that list is brushing your teeth.

Thankfully, there’s something to at least make that chore slightly more pleasurable. Enter electric toothbrushes. 

The best electric toothbrush helps you easily hit your recommended 2-minute brushing time. It also provides a deep clean for healthy teeth and gums, including sensitive ones. We’ve rounded up Australia’s best electric toothbrushes, pulling data from expert testing and real consumer insights.

How we picked

Electric toothbrushes all do the same thing: clean your teeth and gums. The top 6 that we found are ones that stood out from the thousands available. You’ll notice that some brands dominate, like Oral-B and Philips. That’s because as veterans of the industry, they both consistently deliver top-performing toothbrushes that are enjoyed and trusted by dentists and people worldwide.

To begin our search, we looked to expert research. Enter CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group. This gave us some electric toothbrushes that had been independently tested and reviewed.

But we wanted real consumer insights – how did the toothbrush feel, look and perform in Aussie mouths? We took our list of contenders and turned to ProductReview.com.au – Australia’s most comprehensive consumer opinion site. We were looking for highly rated toothbrushes that had lots of consistently good reviews.

To narrow our list down, we looked for features that we felt were must-haves. There weren’t many - our base line was having a timer and the ability to replace brush heads.

That left us with the 6 best toothbrushes for a range of needs.

The 6 best electric toothbrushes in Australia

Best for most -> Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean

Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean

If you’re looking for a simple, no frills toothbrush, you can’t go wrong with the Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean. Using a high speed oscillating / rotating motion, Oral-B reckons it ‘reduces up to 2X more plaque’ than a manual toothbrush. We can’t comment on that.

What we can comment on is the simplicity of this toothbrush. It has 1 brush mode and a 2-minute timer. That’s it. Because it’s Oral-B, you get access to the widest, and most affordable, range of brush heads to customize your brushing. 

Although it hasn’t been reviewed by CHOICE, it’s loved by Aussies. It gets almost 4.5 stars from well over 300 reviews on ProductReview.com.au, where it’s an award winner 2019. People are split on whether it’s good for sensitive teeth. Some reviewers find it too powerful and sore. (If you’ve got sensitive teeth, we’ve got your back with a pick for you.)

Choose this if...

You’re new to electric toothbrushes, want an entry-level simple one or want to upgrade from your manual.

Deal: Get 54% off at Shaver Shop. Ends 06.09

Best for budget -> Colgate ProClinical 250R

Colgate ProClinical 250R

A budget electric toothbrush shouldn’t compromise on cleaning. We reckon the Colgate ProClinical 250R doesn’t. Sleek and simple, it has the standard features you’d expect, such as 1 cleaning mode and a 2-minute quad timer. 

Like Philips, the Colgate ProClinical 250R uses sonic vibrations to clean, rather than Oral-B’s oscillating action. For sensitive teeth, sonic can be more tickly and uncomfortable. 

Its sleek design means no ridges or rubbery parts for dirt and toothpaste to catch in. The slim handle is also easy and comfy to hold. The included charger is small and easy to store. The light indicator lets you know when it’s time to charge. It’s been reviewed by CHOICE and gets almost 4 stars on ProductReview.com.au. 

It comes in black or white, with 2 brush heads to last you around 6 months and you should get change from $50.

Choose this if…

You want a basic, affordable electric toothbrush.

Best for luxury -> Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

At the very top end of the price scale, the Philips SONICARE Diamond Clean Smart has all the bells and whistles. We’re talking 5 clean modes and 3 intensity settings; and 4 different brush heads included – not to mention the extra ones you can access in the wider Philips range. These brush heads are smart: they automatically select the best brushing mode and will even tell you when you need to replace them.

It also has a sensor to reduce your scrubbing and improve your brushing technique, plus a pressure sensor. Then there’s the Bluetooth connectivity and app. Real-time tracking shows you where you’ve brushed and where you haven’t, to ensure you’ve cleaned your whole mouth. This is topped off by a sleek charging glass, deluxe travel case slash charger and a handy storage case for your brush heads.

It’s available in lunar blue only so it looks luxe too. Almost 100 Aussies rate it on ProductReview.com.au where it gets over 4 stars. 

Choose this if…

You’re a fan of the latest, shiniest gadgets and reckon a luxe toothbrush is your next must-have.

Best for travel -> Oral-B GENIUS 9000

Oral-B GENIUS 9000

The Oral-B GENIUS 9000 is jampacked with features. This includes 6 cleaning modes, such as PRO Clean, Whitening, Gum Care and Sensitive, and a smartphone app that tells you if you’re missing any spots while brushing.

It also boasts Pressure Control which reduces brushing speed and ultimately stops if you brush too hard. This is combined with SmartRing, which glows when it detects too-hard brushing.  Together, they help protect your gums from over-brushing. Because it’s Oral-B, you get access to their huge range of affordable brush heads. 

It’s great for travel thanks to its hard travel case which holds your toothbrush and 2 heads. Dual-charging, it charges both your toothbrush and phone at the same time. Open it up and you’ll find a smartphone holder. Pop your phone in that while you’re using the Oral-B brushing app to get the same brushing experience whether you’re home or away. Fancy.

It’s been reviewed by CHOICE and gets over 4.5 stars on ProductReview.com.au, where it’s a 2019 and 2020 award winner. 

Choose this if…

You want the same high-tech brushing experience you get at home, when you’re away.

Deal: Get 50% off at Shaver Shop. Ends 06.09

Best for sensitive teeth -> Colgate ProClinical 500R Sensitive

Colgate ProClinical 500R Sensitive

There aren't many electric toothbrushes on the Australian market targeted specifically for sensitive teeth. We only found this one and the Oral-B Vitality Sensitive Clean. Similarly priced, we felt the Colgate ProClinical 500R Sensitive came out on top because it has 2 cleaning modes, compared to the Oral-B Vitality Sensitive Clean’s 1 mode.

From our research, it seems like sensitive teeth benefit most from more sensitive cleaning cycles. Although just as effective at cleaning, they’re kinder to teeth and gums.

The Colgate ProClinical 500R Sensitive uses sonic, not oscillating, technology. It’s thought sonic cleaning is more tickly for sensitive teeth. But honestly, the research seems mixed. Because some people reckon the constant movement of oscillating technology is more uncomfortable. Let’s just say it’s down to personal preference. 

So, back to the gentle clean mode, which is a great option for sensitive teeth. It has 20,000 strokes per min, compared to the daily clean mode which has 30,000. The toothbrush head has super soft bristles, so it’s gentle on sensitive teeth and gums. It comes with a travel case too.

Choose this if…

You’ve got sensitive teeth and need a gentler clean.

Best for kids -> Philips Sonicare for Kids

Philips Sonicare for Kids

Trying to get your kids to brush their teeth, regularly and well? Yeah, the struggle is real. Meet your new secret weapon: the Philips Sonicare for Kids. This smart electric toothbrush has built-in bluetooth and a coaching app that kids will love. 

The app features a cute character called Sparkly in an interactive game where kids learn better brushing techniques, get healthy food tips and win awards for consistent brushing. This helps build life-long brushing habits. Bonus, it’s so much fun they won’t notice they’re learning stuff. 

It comes with 1 brush head and 2 cleaning modes; a low mode for young children (the toothbrush is suitable for ages 3+) and a high mode for older ones. There are also 8 different handle stickers so kids can customise their brush. 

It has a transition feature, that helps kids build up to 2 minutes of brushing over time. It’s also got a clever handle that both you and your little one can hold. 

Although it hasn’t been reviewed by CHOICE, it gets almost 5 stars on ProductReview.com.au. You can get your hands on one for around $80.

Choose this if…

You want a kid-friendly electric toothbrush that uses a fun app to teach correct brushing technique and you’re happy to spend around $80.

How we picked

Electric toothbrushes all do the same thing: clean your teeth and gums. The top 6 that we found are ones that stood out from the thousands available. You’ll notice that some brands dominate, like Oral-B and Philips. That’s because as veterans of the industry, they both consistently deliver top-performing toothbrushes that are enjoyed and trusted by dentists and people worldwide.

To begin our search, we looked to expert research. Enter CHOICE, Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group. This gave us some electric toothbrushes that had been independently tested and reviewed.

But we wanted real consumer insights – how did the toothbrush feel, look and perform in Aussie mouths? We took our list of contenders and turned to ProductReview.com.au – Australia’s most comprehensive consumer opinion site. We were looking for highly rated toothbrushes that had lots of consistently good reviews.

To narrow our list down, we looked for features that we felt were must-haves. There weren’t many - our base line was having a timer and the ability to replace brush heads.

That left us with the 6 best toothbrushes for a range of needs.

Important features to consider

These are standard features we’d expect every decent electric toothbrush to have.

Two-minute timer

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, morning and night. A built-in timer makes it easy for you to brush for the right amount of time. A toothbrush might beep, vibrate or pulse to let you know when you’re done.

Replacement brush heads 

Dentists and manufacturers recommend changing your brush head once the bristles are worn. This is about every 3-4 months. It’s important you check that you can replace the brush heads, rather than having to replace the entire toothbrush which can be expensive.

Check the price of the replacement heads. They can be pricey, especially for higher-end toothbrushes. You’ll need to factor in buying them regularly. Consider how wide a range of brush heads are available, especially if you have sensitive teeth. These tend to have even softer bristles and a smaller head size. If you’re sharing your electric toothbrush handle with the family, different head options can cater for different needs. 

Brush heads are a great way of expanding an electric toothbrush that only has 1 cleaning mode. Different brush heads offer different cleaning experiences, such as whitening or enhanced plaque removal.

Storage for brush heads

Rather than cluttering up the bathroom sink, see if the charging stand includes a place to keep spare brush heads. This is also handy for families who share the same toothbrush handle but have different brush heads.

It’s not essential but is a basic nice-to-have.

Good size charger

The point of an electric toothbrush is that it’s rechargeable. Ensure its charger isn’t too big or bulky. You don’t want it to take up too much space on a crowded sink. Plus, a smaller, lighter charger makes for easier travelling.

Cleaning modes

Consider an electric toothbrush that offers different cleaning modes, like sensitive, deep clean or whitening. These can make your toothbrush more versatile to suit multiple family members. 

Bear in mind there’s no impartial research that proves that cleaning modes are important to the quality of the clean. Although a sensitive mode can be helpful for people who find the brush’s normal movements too quick or uncomfortable.

Just got one cleaning mode? That’s absolutely fine.

Cleaning action

Regardless of how many cleaning modes there are, you’ll notice that brush heads claim to do different things:

Rotate – a circle of bristles may rotate, or individual bristles may spin. 

Pulsate – the head moves backwards and forwards against teeth to help dislodge plaque.

Oscillate – small, round heads which oscillate, which means it rotates in 1 direction then the other.  

Sonic – vibrate at high speeds and frequency to help break down plaque.

The major brands prefer 1 style over the other: Oral-B offers oscillation action, Philips sonic. Is one better than the other?

Oscillating toothbrushes rotate back and forth about 8,800 times per minute (and pulsate at around 40,000). They can be kinder to sensitive teeth because they don’t give a ‘tickling’ sensation. But they can be louder.

Sonic toothbrushes can vibrate up to 62,000 movements per minute to help break down plaque, but it can feel uncomfortably ticklish. 

There is some evidence that rotation oscillation is better than sonic. Non-profit Cochrane reckons “rotation oscillation brushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than side to side brushes”. A 12-week clinical study of 130 adults found that “an advanced oscillating-rotating power toothbrush produced substantial, statistically superior reductions in plaque and gingivitis … compared to a new sonic toothbrush”.

We reckon they’re both valid cleaning methods. What you choose depends on your level of sensitivity to a tooth-tickling feeling. 

Charge indicator

If you regularly unplug your charger or are frequently on-the-go, opt for a charge indicator. It’ll alert you when your brush is almost dead and it’s time to recharge.

Travel container 

Another basic nice-to-have is a travel container. It’ll safely store your brush away when you’re travelling, keeping your brush heads clean and everything in one handy place.

What you get if you spend more

Does spending more get you a better brush and clean? Honestly, we’re not convinced. They might make the brush look prettier or swank it up with some modern technology, but that doesn’t mean they’re better for your mouth health.

Pressure sensor

You might think that pressing harder on your teeth makes a better clean. But according to the ADA, too much pressure can damage your gums and tooth enamel. A pressure sensor warns you if you’re pressing too hard. It might beep, vibrate or turn off.

Another way to work this out without paying for a pressure sensor? If your brush head’s bristles are wearing out or start to spread apart before the 3-month mark, you’re pressing too hard. 

Bluetooth connectivity and app coaching tools

Ever wondered if you’re brushing your teeth the right way? A Bluetooth-enabled coaching tool can help. It might feature a position sensor that tracks how long you brush a certain area of your mouth. This could be helpful if you don’t have a quad timer. But if you do, you’ll know exactly how long you’re spending (30 seconds). Or it might tell you if you’re using too much pressure. Which again, is also done by a pressure sensor.

If you’re a super tech type who loves stats and tracking stuff, this could work for you.

Premium storage case and charger

A premium storage case may have room for multiple brush heads, or be enclosed in premium material, like leather. Or the charger may come with a USB port and a built-in smartphone stand for use with the toothbrush’s app.

Fancy, yes. Necessary, no.

Quad pacer

A quad pacer tells you when you’ve spent 30 seconds on one quadrant of your mouth. Currently, there are no studies that show brushing longer in smaller areas makes any difference to plaque removal. So, again, a quad pacer isn’t necessary but it does help you avoid overbrushing in certain areas.

Better battery

You might get a slightly longer battery life with a premium model. But if you’re planning on leaving your toothbrush on its charger, there’s no need to upgrade. If you’re travelling off-grid for a while, it may be worth considering.

Frequently asked questions

Are electric toothbrushes better?

Forget whether there was room on the door for Jack*, we all know the real debate is whether manual or electric toothbrushes are better. 

The experts generally think that electric toothbrushes can be better at removing plaque than their manual siblings. A 2014 review of over 60 studies shows that people who used electric toothbrushes for 3 months saw a 21 percent reduction in plaque and a 11 percent reduction in gingivitis.

But what really makes the difference in good brushing is good technique. And an electric toothbrush can make a big difference here. All you need to do is focus the brush on a certain area and brush until it tells you to stop (this is where a quad timer is a big help). 

Other advantages of electric toothbrushes are:

  • They’re easier to use for anyone with limited mobility (like arthritis) because they do all the work for you.
  • They help you reach the 2-minute recommended brushing time thanks to their built-in timers.
  • They’re more fun for kids to use which can help build healthy habits. 
  • You’re less likely to press so hard, which can damage your teeth and gums.

*There was. Clearly.

What's the difference between sonic and oscillating action?

A sonic toothbrush vibrates super quickly to loosen the plaque from your teeth. Philips and Colgate brushes use sonic technology.

An oscillating toothbrush moves quickly side to side to do the same thing. Oral-B favours oscillating tech.

No study has proven that one type of cleaning action is better than the other. So, it’ll come down to personal preference. With its super high speeds, sonic cleaning can feel tickly at first. 

I have sensitive teeth, what should I look for in an electric toothbrush?

First, look for a toothbrush that comes with a sensitive brush head (or compatibility with one). Sensitive brush heads have super soft bristles that are gentle on your teeth and gums.

Second, look for a toothbrush that offers more than 1 cleaning mode. Ideally, it’ll offer a gentle or sensitive cleaning mode. These are less intense and powerful than standard modes. 

Combine your toothbrush with a sensitive toothpaste too.

Oh, and swing by your dentist to get your teeth checked out. They can make sure there’s nothing else going on.

What age can a child use an electric toothbrush?

Although you should start brushing your child’s teeth once they start appearing, most manufacturers say you should wait until they’re 3 to use an electric toothbrush. 

How much do replacement toothbrush heads cost?

You’ll part with between $10 and $20 depending on the brand, pack size and retailer.

References +