If you’re looking for a new electric toothbrush, there are two things that are good to have: A pressure sensor and a timer.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the number one recommendation for good oral hygiene is to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Another important recommendation is to only apply gentle pressure as well as using a soft-bristled toothbrush, in order to help reduce the risk of injury of your gums.
Based on the toothbrushing methods discussed by ADA, we believe an electric toothbrush with pressure sensor is the best choice for anyone who wants to improve their brushing habits.
Our top pick is the Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries due to the useful pressure sensor that alerts you with a bright red light if you’re applying too much pressure. It has also been given the ADA Seal of Acceptance, proving that it’s both safe and effective against plaque.
Best overall: Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries
Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries
The Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries is our top pick because of the efficient pressure sensor with a bright, visible alarm.
Pros: Pressure sensor with a bright red light, includes a covered brush head storage compartment, the timer display promotes proper brushing habits, many different brush heads available, lots of different cleaning modes.
Cons: The lid of the brush head storage compartment seems a bit flimsy, the abundance of accessories drives the price up, slightly noisy. Only has a NiMH battery.
The Oral-B Pro 7000 SmartSeries Black is a great choice for those seeking a family friendly electric toothbrush with a clearly visible pressure sensor.
If you press too hard, it will stop vibrating and a red light turns on and alerts you that you’re pressing too hard. With this feature you’ll have no issues noticing the pressure sensor, and this is great news for those struggling with their brushing habits.
Besides having a practical pressure sensor, this electric toothbrush comes with an abundance of accessories that are particularly useful for families who want to promote good brushing habits. The timer works great and ensures that you and your kids brush for two minutes, and splits the time equally between each quadrant.
It also comes with a storage compartment for brush heads, but we think the plastic lid has flimsy hinges that might break quickly if not treated well.
Another thing that we were a bit disappointed to discover, is that it only has a NiMH battery. While it does give you up to 10 days of runtime for one person, you’ll have to keep it in the charging base unless you want to run out of power unexpectedly.
Best on a budget: Oral-B Smart 1500
Oral-B Smart 1500
We believe the Oral-B Smart 1500 is the best choice for anyone who wants an effective toothbrush without the bells and whistles.
Pros: Solid build quality, works great for most people, easy to use, lithium-ion battery gives you plenty of runtime, great pressure sensor with a visible alarm.
Cons: Relatively noisy during use, some users might find the vibrations a bit uncomfortable.
The Oral-B Smart 1500 is the best electric toothbrush for most people, and it is also a great, affordable toothbrush for those specifically seeking one with a pressure sensor and visible pressure alert.
It performs very well, and because it doesn’t have a lot of accessories included it comes at a lower price than many other models. Although it’s affordable, Oral-B did actually equip it with a lithium-ion battery, so you’ll have sufficient runtime for up to 14 days between charges, and lithium-ion batteryes are generally praised for their long lifespan and durability.
Some users found it relatively loud though, especially in comparison with Sonicare toothbrushes. However, no electric toothbrushes are particularly silent, and we got used to the noise over a few weeks.
Best splurge: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300
It’s smart, it’s beautiful, and it has a great pressure sensor. The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 is our favorite splurge.
Pros: Pressure sensor with a visible light at bottom of handle, stylish glass charger included, practical travel case included, multiple colors to choose from.
Cons: Quite expensive, brush heads are a bit bigger than the round ones, no brush head holder included.
If you want an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor that looks beautiful at the same time, the Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 from Philips should be on your wishlist. The pressure alert is located at the bottom of the handle, and lights up if you apply too much pressure.
No other toothbrushes that we know of come with a charging stand made of actual glass, and the travel case is a nice addition as well. You can choose between multiple colors of your liking, and it also comes with a brush head replacement reminder so you know exactly when to replace it with a new one.
What you need to know about the Sonicare toothbrushes, is that they work a bit different than other electric toothbrushes. It vibrates in a certain pattern in order to create the friction needed to clean your teeth, and most users think it makes less noise than other brands usually do. However, some people don’t really like the buzzing it generates, but we found that it just takes a little longer getting used.
We do miss a brush holder for this expensive toothbrush though, especially because the charging base is of such a high class. We would really love to have a proper storage base for the brush heads as well, but unfortunately this is something that you’d have to buy on your own.
All in all, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 definitely deserves a consideration if you want to spend a little on additional features and a stylish look.
Why are pressure sensors important?
Pressure sensors will help you brush your teeth properly, but there’s actually more to it than that.
Here’s why pressure sensors are more important than you think:
- Pressure sensors promote good brushing habits by alerting you of too much pressure during brushing.
- Pressure sensors help you focus on applying less pressure, which according to ADA “may help reduce the risk of gingival injury”.
While a pressure sensor isn’t a necessity, we do recommend it to anyone who struggles with their brushing habits.
If your dentist recommends that you get an electric toothbrush, we suggest that you ask him/her whether or not a pressure sensor would be a good idea for your specific situation. Usually the answer is yes, but if you’re unsure we always recommend that you consult your dentist.
What type of pressure sensor is best?
There’s a few different types of pressure sensors built into electric toothbrushes, and in order to understand how they work we’ve listed the most popular ones below:
- Motor signal:
This type of pressure sensor will send a signal to the motor built into the electric toothbrush, and the motor will either stop or buzz a few times to let you know that you’re pressing too hard.
- Light signal:
More advanced toothbrushes have a bright warning light built into the handle, and if the pressure sensor detects that you’re using too much force the light turns on.
In some electric toothbrushes the motor signals are used to indicate when it’s time to change to another quadrant of the mouth in order to brush all their teeth for an equal amount of time. Some people, especially kids, may get confused by this and think it means that they’re supposed to switch quadrant.
For that reason we believe the light signal is a better way to warn against pressing too hard, because there’s no doubt what it means and most people understand a bright, red warning light.