Oral-B vs Sonicare: Which is a Better Electric Toothbrush?

If you are still using a manual toothbrush, then it is time to take another look at some battery-powered alternatives. Dentists generally recommend electric toothbrushes over manual brushes, and for good reason.

Few people brush for the full 2 minutes recommended by dentists when using a manual brush. Electric toothbrushes have built-in timers to make sure you brush for a full 2 minutes per session (the recommended duration for each brushing).

When using a manual brush you are also more likely to apply too much pressure which can cause premature gum recession. The rapid movements of electric brushes effectively clean and polish your teeth, and electric toothbrushes can often help you avoid being overly aggressive on sensitive areas like the gum line.

With a manual brush, you will usually clock about 200 strokes per minute. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, will average about 30,000 strokes per minute. For people who have conditions such as arthritis, an electric toothbrush can make daily brushing easier and less painful by doing most of the work for you. Electric toothbrushes are also great to get into nooks and crannies of things like braces or other dental restorations that are tough to reach effectively with a manual brush.

So now that you know that an electric toothbrush is your best bet, what brand is the best for you? There are many options in the electric toothbrush market. There are two frontrunners – Oral-B and Sonicare – that are favorites amongst dentists and users alike.

Oral-B Electric Toothbrush

What is an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush?

Oral-B electric toothbrushes are battery-powered, using either AA or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries depending on the model. They have a signature round head design that oscillates in a circular motion to clean the teeth. The rounded head is thought to surround each individual tooth for a complete clean. Some models also have a small second brush that moves in an up and down motion beside the oscillating round brush head. The various models come with a pre-set 2-minute timer, after which the brush turns off automatically. The brush heads are replaceable and come in a variety of styles, softness, and materials.

How does an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush work?

The round brush head design fits snugly around each individual tooth for an effective clean. Oral-B reports that their electric brushes remove up to 100% more plaque than regular brushes. You can also choose from multiple brushing modes with most models. The different modes change the intensity and motion of the brush head to target the teeth in different ways, such as whitening, sensitivity care, deep clean, or gum care.

Where can you find an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush?

Oral-B electric brushes can be purchased at most major drugstores, big box stores like Target and WalMart, at many major grocery stores, and online. Replacement heads are easily found in the same places. You can also purchase Oral-B electric toothbrushes at many dental offices.

How much does an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush cost?

The Oral-B electric toothbrush comes in many different models that range from about $15 to about $200. Replacement brush heads range in price from about $12 to $30 depending on the model and brush head type.

Oral-B Electric Toothbrush Pros

  • Affordable range of models to choose from
  • Rounded brush effective at polishing individual teeth
  • Easy to find at major retailers or online
  • Various brush head styles and materials to choose from

Oral-B Electric Toothbrush Cons

  • Some models do not have rechargeable batteries
  • Features vary between models
  • Shorter battery life

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush

What is a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush?

Sonicare toothbrushes are rechargeable sonic electric toothbrushes with a lithium-ion battery. The brush heads are small, oval-shaped brushes. The brush heads vibrate using sonic motion which means that the brushes vibrate rapidly from side to side. The oval-shaped brush head can clean 1-2 teeth at a time.

How does a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush work?

The sonic vibrations move the brush bristles in a motion that cleans the teeth with approximately 31,000 brush strokes per minute combined with non-contact sonic waves that loosen plaque which cannot be reached by bristles. The brush has a built-in timer that automatically shuts off after 2 minutes to ensure that you get a complete session. The brushes also have multiple modes such as whitening, gum care, sensitive, and clean which vibrate at different intensity.

Where can you find a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush?

Sonicare electric toothbrushes can be purchased online or at most drugstores or big box stores. Some dental offices also carry Sonicare brushes. Replacement brush heads can also be found online and at most major drugstores, big box stores, and grocery stores.

How much does a Sonicare Electric Toothbrush cost?

Sonicare electric toothbrushes range from about $40 to about $300. Replacement brush heads for Sonicare range from about $20 to $45 depending on the model and brush head type.

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Pros

  • All models come with a rechargeable battery (no need to buy replacement batteries)
  • Cleaning power is consistent across a range of models
  • Easy to find at major retailers or online
  • Sonic technology combines physical and non-contact cleaning

Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Cons

  • Base models and replacement heads are more expensive
  • The oval brush head shape does not conform to tooth shape

Which one is best?

Is Sonicare or Oral-B better for you? It mostly comes down to personal preference. Studies have shown that they both have unique benefits, but one does not clean significantly better than the other.

Some people love the oscillating circular head and how it hugs around each individual tooth. Some people love the feeling of the sonic deep clean. If cost is your primary consideration, then you may prefer the Oral-B. Oral-B base models and replacement heads are generally more affordable than Sonicare.

If you like the sonic clean and traditional brush head shape then Sonicare is your brush. With either brand, you will get a deeper clean and extra assurance that you are cleaning for a full 2 minutes for a bright, healthy smile!

Author: Karl Townsend