What with all the sugary gels and post-run recovery drinks, runners need to look after their teeth.
Brushing your teeth correctly is key for preventing decay and gum disease. The better you look after your teeth and gums now, the less likely you are to face costly and invasive dental treatment in the future.
Speaking of savings, thanks to Amazon Prime Day, you can get the most advanced electric toothbrushes on the market without having to spend big. But you’ve got to act fast, the sale ends at 23.59 tonight!
With prices varying from around £30 to £300, finding the best electric toothbrush is still an investment. So you need to make sure you're buying the right one for you and getting the best deal possible.
To help guide you, we tested a range of sonic and oscillating models to find the best on the market:
- Best electric toothbrush: Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush
- Runner-up electric toothbrush: Oral-B Genius 9000 Electric Toothbrush
- Best smart electric toothbrush for beginners: Oral B Genius X
- Most hi-tech electric toothbrush: Oral-B iO9 Ultimate Clean Electric Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for ease of use: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Electric Toothbrush HX6876/29
- Best electric toothbrush for sustainable materials: Bambooi Bio Max Eco-Friendly Electric Toothbrush
- Most stylish electric toothbrush: Philips DiamondClean Sonic Electric Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for sensitive gums: OCLEAN X Pro Elite
- Best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth: Curaprox Hydrosonic Pro
- Best electric toothbrush for a personalised clean:The Moon Electrical Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for preventing plaque build-up: ION-Sei Sonic Toothbrush with ION Technology
- Best electric toothbrush for gentle whitening: Curaprox Hydrosonic Black is White
- Best electric toothbrush for flossing: Waterpik Complete Care 5.0 Water Flosser and Oscillating Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for an all-in-one clean: Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
- Best budget electric toothbrush: Ordo Sonic+ Electric Toothbrush
- Best teeth whitening kit: Stylsmile Sonic Blue Light Toothbrush
- Best recycling scheme: Brushd Electric Toothbrush
- Best electric toothbrush for long-lasting battery life: Silk’n SonicYou Electric Toothbrush
- Best battery-operated electric toothbrush: Philips One Battery Operated
- Most hygienic electric toothbrush: FOREO ISSA 3
How do electric toothbrushes work?
Electric toothbrushes are battery-powered brushes that make oscillating or sonic vibrating movements to remove plaque build-up, debris and bacteria. Most modern models feature two-minute timers, multiple cleaning modes and pressure sensors to help ensure optimum brushing.
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes?
If you’re vigilant about looking after your teeth, both manual and electric toothbrushes can keep them healthy. However, dentists recommend going electric.
"They do the work for you and their bristles move in more directions than you could move the brush yourself," says Dr Wadia. "They are effective at removing plaque because they’re designed to gently massage teeth and gums correctly, with many now featuring a pressure sensor that warns you if you’re pressing too hard."
What's the difference between sonic and oscillating?
Sonic refers to the side to side vibrating motion of the brush filaments, while oscillating refers to the rotating and pulsating movements of the brush head. There is little evidence to show which is more effective.
Oscillating toothbrushes have round heads that can reach the back of teeth and effectively dislodge plaque. They have a brushing action of 2,500 to 8,000 rotations per minute and have more directional changes than a sonic brush.
Sonic toothbrushes have diamond or oval-shaped heads and can reach up to 24,000 to 40,000 vibrations per minute, making their motions faster than oscillating models. They help to clean a bigger surface area, as any fluid in the mouth is forced between the teeth and gum line by the powerful vibrations.
Will an electric toothbrush damage my teeth?
Brushing correctly will clean effectively without causing any harm. If you’re concerned about teeth sensitivity, look for toothbrushes that offer a gentle/sensitive setting or a softer brush head.
What's the most effective way of cleaning?
"Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the spot where the gums and teeth meet," says Dr Wadia. "Angle upwards for the upper teeth and downwards for the lower teeth. Clean between your teeth – flossing or use of interdental brushes is the best way to get into these nooks and crannies.
"Use a toothpaste containing fluoride. If you have specific issues such as sensitivity, find a toothpaste that helps tackle this. Remember to spit and don’t rinse out your mouth after using the toothpaste, else it will wash away all the good stuff."
Key features to consider
Timer: The best electric toothbrushes will have a buzzing timer to help you brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes. Look for brushes with quad pacers that buzz every 30 seconds to guide you through each quarter of your mouth (upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right).
Cleaning modes: Some toothbrushes offer different cleaning modes, such as deep clean and sensitive, which is useful if you have a specific concern, such as sensitivity or yellowing.
Pressure sensor: Good electric toothbrushes include a pressure sensor that lights up when you’re pushing too hard on your teeth to keep you from damaging them.
Electric toothbrush apps: Some toothbrushes released over the last few years are "smart", with an app that connects to your phone. They provide you with tips on how to brush your teeth better, such as telling you if your pressure was too hard, if you missed a spot or if you didn't scrub well enough.
How we test
We recruited a panel of 317 testers to trial 30 electric toothbrushes for a fortnight. They were asked to judge each model on its ease of use, design, features, battery life and overall performance. We asked them to use a disclosing tablet before and after brushing their teeth to determine how effective their toothbrush was at removing plaque.
We also measured how loud each device was using a noise meter in our lab, so you know if it's going to make a racket before buying.