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Last updated: September 16, 2022
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Your electric toothbrush might not be doing as good a job at keeping your teeth clean as you think. Electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes, but they lack the cleaning power of the best ultrasonic toothbrush. An ultrasonic toothbrush vibrates multiple times faster than a standard one, allowing your toothpaste to reach into corners of your mouth that otherwise won’t be properly cleaned.
We set out to help you find the best ultrasonic toothbrush on the market today. For that, we considered how many pulses a toothbrush can deliver per minute and whether it offers different modes for gentler or deeper cleaning. We also looked at features for ease of use like a built-in timer, oral care tracking, and a long battery life. So, let’s dive into our reviews of the eight best ultrasonic toothbrushes you can use for a deeper teeth cleaning.
More features: non-abrasive technology; specially formulated nano-bubble ultrasound toothpaste included
The Emmi-dent Silent Care ultrasonic toothbrush is hands-down the best cleaning experience for your teeth available today. This brush is fully ultrasonic and offers 90,000,000 pulses per minute – so unlike other oscillating ultrasonic brushes, you won’t notice any vibrations or feel any abrasion on your teeth or gums. The oscillation is fast enough to later up the included nano-bubble ultrasound toothpaste and push the paste deep into the crevices of your mouth.
The brush only has one cleaning mode, unlike many of the other brushes we look at. But since it’s non-abrasive – and can actually be used effectively without even touching it to your teeth – there’s little need for a sensitive gum setting or a pressure sensor. That said, the toothbrush does come with a built-in interval timer. This releases a soft beep every six seconds to let you know that it’s time to move the brush from one tooth to another.
The toothbrush uses a lot of battery, which explains why it’s somewhat bulkier than many of the other models we looked at. A single charge only lasts for two weeks with normal use, and you’ll need a wall outlet and the included wired charger to add more juice.
The Emmi-dent brush offers an exceptional experience, but it is expensive. For the price, users found themselves wishing for more brush heads and a larger tube of nano-bubble toothpaste.
What are our favorite features?
Fully ultrasonic with no vibrations
Includes nano-bubble toothpaste
Built-in interval timer
Non-abrasive and can be used without touching your teeth
More features: 4 brush heads, charging glass and charging travel case included; personalized coaching with an app; smart replacement reminder
This DiamondClean sonic toothbrush from Philips Sonicare stands out for its Bluetooth connectivity. This brush connects to the Philips Sonicare app on your smartphone (iOS and Android) to provide feedback and coaching for your brushing. If you’re applying too much pressure in one area of your mouth, for example, or not brushing another area for long enough, the app will let you know and gently help correct your behavior. As a result, this brush is a great option for anyone who’s struggled with proper brushing technique in the past.
Beyond its Bluetooth capabilities, this toothbrush is similar to many of the other top models we looked at. It offers 62,000 pulses per minute and five cleaning modes, including two modes specifically for your gums and tongue. There’s a built-in timer separate from the mobile app, and you can also switch between three different intensities while brushing.
The brush’s battery only lasts two weeks at a time, but Philips includes two different and unique charging options. The first is a wireless charging stand that resembles a water glass – it’s a stylish option for keeping your brush out on your bathroom sink. The second option is an included travel case that’s designed to charge your brush when connected to a portable battery by USB. The portable case also carries two brush heads, which makes it easier to travel for extended periods with this toothbrush.
Despite the low maximum pulse rate, the XFU Sonic Electric Toothbrush is still quite an impressive ultrasonic toothbrush. It’s also one of the most portable since there aren’t many components.
It ships with two DuPont brush heads that are designed to match the topography of your teeth. This gives the brush better reach when cleaning hard-to-reach areas, and it performs just as well where your gums are concerned.
Another component in the package is the multi-use cover. Since it features an adhesive back and mounts to mirrors, it can easily work as a stand for your brush whenever it’s not in your travel bag.
Notably, the XFU Sonic Electric Toothbrush comes with two use modes, i.e., strong and weak. The latter definitely works better if your teeth are sensitive. That said, the use mode you pick could determine how effective the brush is with regard to plaque removal.
If you’re using the strong mode, you should start seeing definitive results in as little as seven days.
The toothbrush also helps enforce the recommended brushing time by dentists. It shuts down automatically after two minutes of brushing. This means you should brush each section of your mouth in 30 sections, and the device will pause mid-brush briefly to tell you it’s time to change the section.
Why did it make our list?
Features a multi-use cover
Two DuPont brush heads are provided
Brush heads are designed to match teeth topography
More features: pressure sensor; Brush Sync technology; Protective Clean and Optimal Gum Care features; travel case
If you want a pressure sensor in your toothbrush to help protect your gums from overbrushing, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean sonic toothbrush is for you. This brush will automatically pulse when you press the head too hard against your mouth so you know to go easier. That can save you a lot of pain and potentially solve issues with a receding gum line.
The brush only has three cleaning modes, but one of them is specifically designed to massage sensitive gums. We liked that the brush offers a maximum pulse rate of 62,000 oscillations per minute, which is more than enough to dislodge any food stuck deep between your teeth. This ultrasonic toothbrush also comes with an interval timer pauses briefly every 30 seconds to ensure you move the brush evenly throughout your mouth.
The only major complaint users had about this toothbrush is that the battery needs to be charged every two weeks. In addition, the charging stand needs to be plugged into a wall outlet rather than a USB port. This isn’t a huge deal at home, but it can make it more difficult to take the ProtectiveClean brush on long trips. If you do decide to travel with it, the brush comes with a protective travel case.
More features: semi-automatic operation, 2-minute timer, DuPont brush heads
The Initio Sonic Electric ultrasonic toothbrush is your go-to option if you’re having trouble whitening your teeth and has a dedicated mode for the same. However, that is only one of five modes available, meaning it’s easily usable for other functions as well. The other four modes include cleaning, polishing, massaging, and sensitivity.
Notably, the toothbrush even eliminates 45% of your plaque index in just a matter of days. The 40,000 pulses per minute may be partly to thank for that.
Another one of the brush’s most impressive features is just how many brush heads come with the initial purchase. There are a total of eight Dupont brush heads, meaning the nylon bristles are soft, flexible, and gentle on the skin and gums. However, this softness doesn’t seem to be a problem where removing coffee and tea stains is concerned.
Each of the brush heads is sealed, meaning it will remain clean and hygienic until it needs to be used. Furthermore, they come in a convenient but elegant black carry case for travel.
Seemingly, the handle provided is just as impressive. You can charge it with the included USB cable, it has a low battery indicator, and is made with non-slip material. Lastly, the entire brush is waterproof, and thus cleaning it after you brush shouldn’t be a problem.
More features: wireless charging; IPX 7; 8 brush heads and travel case included
The AquaSonic Black series ultrasonic toothbrush offers an incredible value. For half the price of competing brushes, this toothbrush comes with a portable travel case, eight brush heads, and a wireless charging stand. The brush heads are designed to last for up to four months each, which means you can go fully two and a half years before you need to order more brush heads.
Users liked the wireless charging function on this toothbrush, although that in itself probably isn’t reason enough to pick this model. You’ll need the base for charging to work, so the wireless system doesn’t save any hassle over a standard USB system. That said, the battery lasts for up to 30 days on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about charging all that frequently anyway.
The brush itself isn’t as impressive as some of the other designs we’ve seen. It offers a maximum pulse rate of 40,000 oscillations per minute and only has four cleaning modes instead of five. That said, one of those modes is a “Soft” mode for users with sensitive gums.
On the whole, the AquaSonic Black series brush isn’t perfect, but it’s close. For the price, you won’t find a much better value on the market today.
What are its best features?
Comes with eight brush heads
Includes carrying case and wireless charging stand
More features: IPX7; CrossClean Technology; multiple charging options
This modestly priced sonic toothbrush from Mueller is a fan favorite. The brush oscillates at up to 66,000 pulses per minute, but most users reported that they couldn’t feel any vibrations at all. That’s in part thanks to Mueller’s CrossClean technology, which helps eliminate bacteria and tartar from your teeth in just seconds of brushing.
The brush comes with four different cleaning modes, as well as an extra mode that enables you to cycle between them. That’s helpful if you want to go full speed ahead on your teeth, but use the last 30 seconds of your brushing session to massage your gums. For those with sore gums, the toothbrush has a mode specifically dedicated for gum cleaning.
Users also appreciated that Mueller put some thought into how this ultrasonic toothbrush charges. The battery lasts up to 21 days, and then you can either charge it via a portable battery or plug it into the wall with the included adapter. Just note that if you want to travel with this toothbrush, it doesn’t come with a case for either the brush or individual brush heads.
Another thing to keep in mind about this brush is that the brush heads aren’t commonly stocked in the US like brush heads for Philips Sonicare and AquaSonic brushes are. The toothbrush comes with two heads, but you’ll want to order early to make sure you have more available when those are used up.
If you want to upgrade to an ultrasonic toothbrush but need to work within a tight budget, we’d recommend this brush from Dr. Jim Ellis. The brush is comparable to some of the top models from Fairywill and AquaSonic, yet it costs a fraction as much.
You get 40,000 pulses per minute, three cleaning modes, and a built-in interval timer. One of the cleaning modes is specifically designed for massaging sore gums. Plus, the interval timer pauses the brush every 30 seconds so you know when to move the brush to another quadrant of your mouth for an even clean.
This toothbrush comes with three brush heads, which means you can go more than a full year without buying replacements. In addition, this is one of only a few models we’ve seen that comes with a two-year warranty. Dr. Jim Ellis promises that you can return the brush anytime within that period for a full refund if you’re not happy with it.
The brush is slightly heavy and bulky compared to other models, which can make it a little more difficult to travel with. You’ll need to bring the plastic charging stand with you, too, which requires a wall outlet to function properly. The good news is that the brush is rated to IPX7, meaning that you don’t need to worry about getting it wet during cleaning.
Why did it make our list?
Built-in interval timer
Massaging mode for sore gums
Multiple brush heads included
What is not ideal about it?
Bulky with wired charger
Doesn’t come with travel case
Things to Consider
Now that you know more about our eight favorite ultrasonic toothbrushes, how do you decide which one is right for you? Any of these brushes is an improvement over a standard electronic brush, but it’s still important to get one that suits your mouth. In our Buying Guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing an ultrasonic toothbrush.
Sonic or ultrasonic technology: What’s the difference?
The first thing you need to know when picking out a new toothbrush is whether it uses sonic or ultrasonic technology. These two technologies are actually very different, despite having similar names.
Sonic toothbrushes rely on a physical brushing motion to clean your teeth. The brush head rotates anywhere from 12,000 to 24,000 times per minute, and it’s that rotational motion that lathers up the toothpaste and brushes it into your teeth.
Ultrasonic toothbrushes, on the other hand, don’t rely on physical motion to brush your teeth. These brushes move incredibly fast – the FDA requires that a brush make at least 192,000,000 oscillations per minute to be classified as an ultrasonic model. This high frequency creates a tiny shockwave that breaks up bacterial cells, including those that are underneath the surface of your gums.
Notably, most modern ultrasonic brushes do also rotate similarly to sonic brushes to provide even more cleaning action. This isn’t strictly necessary, but the motion can massage your gums as well as brush away larger food particles from between your teeth.
Important features to consider before you buy
What features should you prioritize when choosing an ultrasonic toothbrush? Here, we’ll take a look at the factors that differentiate different models and explain why they matter for your teeth cleaning experience.
Pulses per minute
The number of pulses per minute is a measure of the rate of oscillation of the bristles. Remember that ultrasonic brushes don’t rely on these pulses for cleaning action, so a higher pulse rate isn’t strictly necessary. That said, a higher pulse rate can offer a deeper clean in between your teeth, which is why many ultrasonic brushes compete to push this rate higher.
Most of the ultrasonic toothbrushes we looked at offer around 40,000 oscillations per minute, which is significantly faster than the standard sonic brush. Our Editor’s Choice, the Emmi-dent Silent Care brush, stands out for moving at a rate of 90,000 pulses per minute – it’s one of the fastest brushes on the market today.
Having a brush with different cleaning modes can help you optimize your brushing for different parts of your mouth. This is particularly important if your teeth are widely spaced or crowded in one part of your mouth, but not another. Those different areas of your mouth might require different brushing modes to get the deep clean you want. Having multiple cleaning modes can also be important if you need to go gentle on your gums or if you find the standard mode causes you discomfort when brushing.
In any case, it’s worth choosing an ultrasonic toothbrush that has several different modes available. Most of the models we reviewed have between three and five different brushing modes that vary the intensity and pulse frequency.
A built-in timer is one of the most important extra features you can spring for when purchasing an ultrasonic toothbrush. The most common mistake people make when brushing their teeth is to not brush for long enough. No matter how good your toothbrush is, not brushing for the proper amount of time can lead to plaque and bacterial buildup.
An automatic timer works by simply turning off your toothbrush after two minutes of brushing. Since ultrasonic brushes are vibrating intensely, you won’t get the same vibration after 30 seconds to remind you to move to another quadrant of your mouth as you might with a standard electric brush.
No one wants to be charging their toothbrush battery constantly. Plus, if you travel with your brush frequently, charging your brush can be a bit of a hassle. Look for an ultrasonic toothbrush with a relatively long battery life. Most models we looked at last two to three weeks, but the Initio and AquaSonic Black Series toothbrushes can last a whole month in between charges.
If you do travel with your brush, another thing to think about is how the battery charges. A toothbrush that can be charged with a micro USB cord can connect to a portable battery pack.
A pressure sensor is another helpful feature to keep an eye out for, especially if you have sensitive or receding gums. This sensor simply alerts you if you’re pushing the brush head too hard against your teeth or gums so that you know to go a bit lighter on your mouth. Pressure sensors aren’t overly common on the ultrasonic toothbrushes we reviewed, but you’ll find this feature on the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100.
Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app available
Some ultrasonic toothbrushes, like the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750, come with a mobile app that connects to your brush via Bluetooth. While some people might not find that they need this, a mobile app can help you track health metrics like your brushing times and the number of times you brush per day.
The Philips Sonicare app is designed to sit in front of you while you brush and coach you through moving the brush around your mouth. This can be an effective way to get the most out of your brushing.
An ultrasonic toothbrush vibrates upwards of 192,000,000 times per minute. That vibration is intense enough to break up the bacterial cells that cause tartar, even if they’re hiding beneath the surface of your gums. Most ultrasonic toothbrushes also physically rotate to help get the bristles in between your teeth.
Ultrasonic toothbrushes are safe to use with braces and implants, and they’re actually recommended by some dentists over other types of electric brushes. That’s because the ultrasonic action helps the brush penetrate around the metal wires and fasteners, and it won’t impact the stability of your braces or implants.
Ultrasonic toothbrushes can be helpful for gum problems like receding gums, especially if you’re switching from an old manual toothbrush. However, keep in mind that some ultrasonic toothbrushes can be too intense for your gums. In that case, it helps to have a low-intensity mode available on your brush.
Our three overall favorite ultrasonic toothbrushes on the market today are the Emmi-dent Silent Care brush, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9750, and the XFU Sonic Electric Toothbrush.
It’s easy to see why the XFU Sonic Electric Toothbrush is among our top three ultrasonic brushes. It’s affordable, effective, has the brush design deep clean your teeth, and packs nicely into any travel case.
The Philips Sonicare toothbrush is great if you want Bluetooth connectivity and a mobile app for coaching. It’s an excellent choice for monitoring your long-term dental care and identifying areas of your mouth where you apply too much pressure.
We think the Emmi-dent brush is the overall best ultrasonic toothbrush available today. It moves at a rate of 90,000,000 pulses per minute and doesn’t feel like its vibrating at all. You don’t have to worry about abrasion since it works without even touching your teeth. Plus, we like that Emmi-dent provides an ultrasound-activated toothpaste to help you get an even deeper clean.