This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

Let’s assume from the outset that you already own an electric toothbrush. It’s one of the must-have modern items. If you don’t, you and your gnashers really need to get with the times. Because seriously: Who has the energy to actually move a brush up and down, back and forth with their own hand? We’re not cavemen anymore, guys.

That’s not to mention the huge benefits of using an electric toothbrush. Recent studies confirm that people who use electric toothbrushes have healthier gums and less tooth decay. That’s especially true with electric toothbrushes that have “oscillating” heads, which rotate in both directions and sweep away even more plaque.

If you do already own an electric toothbrush, you’ll know that these devices have come an awfully long way. Modern electric toothbrushes have multiple cleaning modes, Bluetooth connectivity, pressure sensors, and much more. Which makes upgrading to a new one even harder. To help you out, here’s some information to brush up on.

What makes a good electric toothbrush?

We can get really detailed but there are some very basic things to look out for:

  • Action There are different types of toothbrushes that provide different movements, such as oscillating (rotates in one direction and back again), pulsing (moving backwards and forwards against teeth), and rotating (bristles that actually turn).

  • Battery life Thankfully, most electric toothbrushes come with a charging base, though some are powered by regular batteries (that all depends on how fancy the toothbrush is). But still check battery times. A few weeks’ worth of power is good.

  • Replacement heads — The head of your toothbrush will need replacing. That’s just a dentist-endorsed fact of life. Some toothbrushes come with a few heads, which is helpful. If not, look out for models that have readily available replacement heads.

Keep these things in mind when shopping around for a new model.

How often should you change your toothbrush head?

General advice is to change every three months, though the more specific rule says when the bristles are worn down. Some brush heads have bristles that change colour to let you know when it’s time to replace the head. While brands like Oral-B and Philips offer lots of different toothbrush models, the heads are one-size-fits-all.

What are the most important electric toothbrush features?

As well as the basics, there are lots of more specialised features to consider. Here are some that are worth knowing about:

  • App connectivity — The most advanced toothbrushes will connect to an app via your smartphone, giving real-time feedback and advice on your brushing. These toothbrushes may also have AI that adapts to your bushing style.

  • Pressure sensor — Pressure sensors will alert you if you’re pressing too hard, which can lead to damage to your gums and tooth enamel. Oral-B includes this feature in its SmartRing, which lights up to warn you if you’re brushing too hard.

  • Two-minute timer — Exactly as it sounds, this alerts you when you’ve cleaned for the recommended two minutes. Some timers also pause every 30 seconds, helping you clean each “quadrant” of your mouth equally.

Keep an eye out for these features when shopping around for your next brush.

What is the best electric toothbrush?

There is a wide range of top-quality electric toothbrushes currently on the market, from some of the biggest names in technology and personal care. We have worked our way through this selection to bring you the very best devices from some top brands, so that you can upgrade to the toothbrush that is perfect for you.

These are the best electric toothbrushes for 2024.

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