Best electric toothbrushes from Consumer Reports

As students head back to school, our morning routines might feel like more of a rush. But one thing you should not rush is brushing your teeth.

Consumer Reports has some top-tested electric toothbrushes to help keep your pearly whites healthy.

Dentists agree you should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. And some studies suggest an electric toothbrush may help keep your teeth cleaner than a traditional one.

Kelly Starzec is teaching her son that a twice a day brushing habit helps eliminate the bacteria that causes plaque potentially saving you from tooth decay and gum disease.

"Every night I brush my teeth with my kids to make sure they're brushing properly. I like the electric toothbrush because I, admittedly, am not always the best flosser, but my dentist thinks I am," Starzec said.

Some studies show using a powered brush, like Starzec's, might reduce plaque and cases of gingivitis and lead to better gum health. Since they can cost well over a hundred dollars, how do you choose the right one? Consumer Reports just tested a batch of powered toothbrushes.

"Our volunteers were told to skip brushing or using other dental products for eight hours. We then had a dental hygienist check their plaque levels," said Misha Kollontai, Consumer Reports Testing Engineer.

Each volunteer was then given an electric toothbrush and asked to brush for two minutes. The hygienist measured their plaque levels again.

"The before-and-after differences gave us our cleaning performance score. We also tested for battery performance, ease of use, and noise," said Kollontai.

The electric toothbrush at the top of CR's ratings model is from Oral-B, which got the top score for ease of use. A cheaper option that also did well is one from Philips Sonicare.

Whether you're using a top of the line powered brush or a simple manual one, experts say the way you brush is important like angling your toothbrush at 45-degrees to reach the space between the teeth and gums.

Another tip? Focus on two teeth at a time and work your way around your mouth. And, try not to brush too hard. That could do more harm than good.

Consumer Reports said another thing to consider: how much waste most plastic manual toothbrushes create. With powered models, you're only replacing the brush head regularly, so you're tossing a little less plastic each time.
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