September 19, 2019
If you’ve decided to finally buy an electric toothbrush, you’ll naturally be wondering which brand is the best. A quick internet search will list the top names, and of those names the most popular brands by far are Philips Sonicare and Oral-B.
Both toothbrushes are recommended by dentists and both boast innovative features that make them efficient and easy to use. So which is the best electric toothbrush for you? In this article, we compare the two most popular brands of electric toothbrush so you can give your teeth that just-went-to-the-dentist clean at home.
Brush head motion
The most important aspect of an electric toothbrush is obviously the actually brush itself. Oral-B and Sonicare have approached the brush head each with a different philosophy. Let’s take a look at some of those differences:
Oral-B brush head motion
The Oral-B line of electric toothbrushes is known for the oscillating, rotating, pulsating head. The brush spins to the right, then to the left, and meanwhile also goes up and down. The oscillating motion provides straight-forward brushing action, while the pulsating motion actually helps get rid of plaque without making contact with the teeth. What’s more, since Oral-B brush heads actually rotate a full 180 degrees, the heads have to be smaller, making them great for cleaning one tooth at a time and for those with smaller mouths.
Philips Sonicare brush head motion
Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes use their patented “Sonic” motion. This motion means that the actual bristles, not just the head, vibrate side to side. This side to side motion has the same straightforward brushing cleaning effect as the Oral-B oscillating movement, and it also cleans without making contact. Unlike Oral-B’s round brush head, the Sonicare brush head is oval shaped, better for cleaning multiple teeth at the same time, but not great if you just want to focus in on a single tooth.
It could be argued that the design of the brush is more of a personal matter than how the brush head actually cleans. But since brushing your teeth is something you should do at least twice a day, it’s also important that your toothbrush has a user-friendly design. Because when all’s said and done, if you don’t brush your teeth, it doesn’t matter what kind of brush head you have. Let’s have a look at the different aspects of design, and how each brand measures up:
The Sonicare electric toothbrushes tend to have a cleaner look, being mostly matte white with neutral accents. Some also come with a rubber grip on the handle. Oral-B brushes tend to have a glossier body with a contrasting grip. Both brands offer luxury models with options like rose gold, black and silver.
According to reviewers, Sonicare brushes in general are quieter than Oral-B brushes. Sonicare electric toothbrushes of all models are described has having more of a strong humming noise, while Oral-B electric toothbrushes sound almost like a small drill.
Oral-B electric toothbrushes last around 16 days at the longest charge. Sonicare electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, last two weeks on the low end and five weeks on the high end, even while using twice a day.
Best for travelling
To decide whether Sonicare or Oral-B electric toothbrushes are best for travelling, let’s have a look at the most popular cordless model of each brand. For Oral-B we’ll consider the Oral-B Pro 1000, and for Philips the Sonicare DiamondClean.
Oral-B Pro 1000
The Oral-B Pro 1000 is a toothbrush that you can take on the road with you, but that still offers a wide range of handy features. It has a two-minute timer with 30-second intervals as well as a pressure sensor to let you know if you are brushing too hard.
Additionally, the brushing surface has a 16-degree angle that helps get into those hard-to-reach spots. This brush also uses the Oral-B “3D cleaning”, involving oscillating and pulsating motions that break up black along the gum line.
It has a standard charger and a standard battery that will last for 10 days with one charge, helpful if you accidently leave your charger charger behind while travelling.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean
This brush has a variety of cleaning options available to you depending on your needs, including different settings for whitening, gum health, tongue cleaning and intense cleaning. It also comes with Bluetooth so you can link it with an App on your phone. And of course, it comes with a pressure sensor.
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean probably wins over the Oral-B Pro 1000 for travel, because it comes with a premium USB travel charging case.
Best for families
Oral-B Pro Genius X Toothbrush
This Oral-B electric toothbrush comes with Bluetooth connectivity, so it will work with an app on your smartphone. This is great for both parents and kids, and especially encourages children to focus more on achieving clean teeth.
There are plenty of different modes with this brush, including whitening, deep clean, tongue cleaning, gum care and sensitive, especially handy when it comes to your little ones’ more delicate mouths. Plus, the pressure sensor will alert everyone in the family when they are pushing too hard.
Due to its multiple teeth-cleaning features, many parents prefer this toothbrush for their kids who have braces as well.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean
The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is a popular choice in many categories. It uses the patented sonic technology to clean with seven different brushing modes.
What really makes this toothbrush special, however, is its innovative technology. It comes with a stylish holding glass that charges your toothbrush as it rests inside, and it comes with a travel case that charges the brush with USB connectivity.
It comes with the standard two-minute timer with pulses every 30 seconds, but stands out because of its illuminated display. And similarly to the Oral-B Pro 7000, it works with an app on your mobile phone.
For families, it’s going to have to be the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries. Despite the impressive high-tech look and feel of the Sonicare model, the Oral-B offers the same technology, but with a more family-friendly price tag.
Oral-B on average costs about 20–20% cheaper than its Sonicare counterparts. However, the best toothbrush is also relatively subjective—most toothbrushes will be able to keep your teeth and gums healthy if used with the appropriate technique and twice a day or as recommended by your dentist.
In conclusion, deciding between Oral-B and Sonicare comes down to what you prefer in a toothbrush. Different dentists recommend different brands, and both Oral-B and Philips Sonicare will do a stellar job cleaning your teeth. You’ll just have to decide which features mean more to you, and what you prefer for aesthetics.