Whatever the time of year, you can still find a great deal on an electric toothbrush.
The obvious times to buy, however, are in the run-up to Black Friday and during the Black Friday sales period (including Cyber Monday), Prime Day and during the Christmas and January sales.
The first step is to figure out what you need from an electric toothbrush. They now come with an array of features. If you don’t know which are be important to you, have a look at the buying advice which follows, or to find out which brushes we’d recommend, check out our round-up of the best electric toothbrushes we’ve tested.
How to get the best deal on an electric toothbrush
Buying an electric toothbrush in the US is a relatively straightforward business. But buying in the UK is more complicated. When electric toothbrushes are launched in the UK, they’re often given a pretty inflated RRP (recommended retail price), but most brushes only sell at this price point for a couple of months.
After this, they may be reduced by as much as half. Prices may then swing back up before major sales events, and drop again during them. The price of brushes also fluctuates depending on the time of year and the retailer. All this means that it’s quite hard to tell whether or not you’re getting a good deal as retailers can show big savings that aren’t as good as they seem.
If you’re after a specific model, you can note down its price and watch it at a couple of retailers, or, if you’re looking to buy on Amazon, use a site such as Camelcamelcamel to track prices.
Where to find electric toothbrush savings
As with most things, Amazon is one of the best places to look for toothbrush deals first, especially if you look in the Deals of the Day. These discounts, also known as Lightning Deals, are offered for a limited time (often for a few hours only), or until stocks run out.
We’d recommend signing up to Amazon’s 30 day free trial of Prime, which will not only get you access to Lightning Deals 30 minutes earlier than non-Prime members, but will also get you free next-day delivery. Plus, you’ll get access to Prime Video, which you can access through your smart TV, and other benefits during your trial, too.
US users should also check out:
TargetWal-MartBest BuyBed Bath & Beyond
If you’re in the UK, other great places to look include:
Types of electric toothbrush
There are two main types of electric toothbrush. First, there are mechanical brushes, which you might also see described as rotating, oscillating, pulsing, or a variation on the above. These work by rotating (or oscillating, or pulsing) the bristles on the brush head to remove plaque and clean teeth.
The Oral-B Vitality brush is one of these but most Oral-B brushes now use a combination of oscillations and sonic vibrations to clean.
The second broad type of brushes are sonic. These vibrate rather than rotate, the idea being that they hit certain frequencies that break down plaque and help to drive toothpaste between your teeth. Philips Sonicare brushes are the best-known example.
Finally, there are a few more recent brushes in a third category, but they’re much less common: ionic. We’ve reviewed the Sanyei Ion-Sei, which claims to generate ions that stop bacteria from growing in your mouth. Clinical studies have shown good results but it’s still early days for the technology.
More and more toothbrushes are now boasting smart features like Bluetooth and app support, with a few even claiming to be ‘AI toothbrushes’. Take all of this with a pinch of salt – but still, the companion apps for brushes can be a great way to improve your brushing technique or monitor your child’s.
Different brushes handle it in different ways, but the core functionality of most apps is to monitor where in your mouth you’re brushing the most (and the least) and give you tips on how to give yourself a more thorough clean. The Oral-B Genius 9000 does this in a slightly awkward way by using your phone’s camera to monitor your brushing, but newer brushes like the Oral-B Genius X and the pricier models in the iO range use inbuilt sensors to detect the brush’s position in your mouth.
They may even include games to encourage kids to move the brush to a new spot in their mouth to collect virtual coins or something similar, teaching them good brushing technique in an entertaining way. As you’d expect, there’ll also be all sorts of stats tracked so you can monitor your progress and how often you brush.
Even if an app doesn’t appeal, there are a few key features you might want to look for in a brush. One is a pressure sensor: this means that the brush will alert you (either with a light or a change in vibrations) when you’re pressing down too hard with the brush, potentially damaging your teeth and gums.
The next concern is a brushing timer. Your brush will alert you every 30 seconds to move onto the next section of your mouth, making sure that you’re brushing for long enough (two minutes is the total recommended amount of time) and not missing spots. Most people favour certain areas of the mouth, while neglecting others and a timer can help you break this habit.
Finally, look for brushes with multiple speeds or modes – especially if you have sensitive teeth – as these will allow you to adjust the power to suit your preferences. It’s especially useful if you’ll be sharing the brush with other family members (though please remember that everyone needs their own brush heads!).
The battery might not be an obvious concern when it comes to a toothbrush, but if you don’t have a handy charging socket in your bathroom, it could make a massive difference in terms of day-to-day convenience. A long enough battery life will also save you from having to bring a charger with you on holiday.
Top brushes should last for a couple of weeks of twice-daily use, and we wouldn’t recommend buying anything that won’t run for at least a week. Even better, some modern brushes will charge by USB, which at least gives you more options for topping them up while travelling, and might compensate for a shorter battery life.
Replacement brush heads
There are two considerations with brush heads. First, what choice of brush heads will you get? With a big brand like Philips or Oral-B, odds are you’ll be able to choose brush heads designed specifically for whitening, gum care or sensitive teeth. With a smaller brand, you’re likely to be more limited.
Price is also a key factor. While the brush itself may be expensive, the bigger cost could end up being replacement brush heads. Again, big brands have the edge here: thanks to bulk manufacturing, they can sell brush heads for less, and you can usually find third-party duplicates at even better prices. Smaller brands like Sanyei just can’t compete here.
So before you snap up a cheap brush, make sure you won’t pay for it later when it comes to buying new brush heads.
Health and Beauty