Patients often ask me what is the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. Having sensitive teeth sucks. It affects you when you least expect it, often with little warning. It can range from a quick electric shock that lasts seconds to a prolonged discomfort that can last minutes. You are not alone. From recent estimates:
About 1 in 8 people suffer from sensitive teeth
Is there an electric toothbrush that can help with sensitive teeth? Yes, an electric toothbrush with a reduced power, sensitive cleaning mode and equipped with a soft, sensitive brush head will help prevent sensitivity. For this reason, I have chosen the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 (USA) and the Oral-B Genius 9000 (UK) as the best electric toothbrushes for sensitivity.
As I am a dentist who aids patients daily with sensitive teeth and have written about electric toothbrushes for over 4 years, I feel qualified to give you the information you need to choose the right electric toothbrush for your sensitive teeth. As new electric toothbrushes are released and updated, I carefully analyze them and update this list if they are worthy. I last updated this list in February 2019.
Please use the quick navigation below to jump to the area that you are most interested in. I hope you enjoy this article and get what you are looking for from it, if not then please let me know in the comments section at the end of this article.
Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth 2019
1. Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
The Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 is the perfect electric toothbrush to help with your sensitive teeth. It has a specially designated sensitive cleaning mode that reduces cleaning power. It also is compatible with the soft Oral-B sensitive brush head that is designed to be gentle on your teeth. Please note, you will have to buy this separately.
It also has a built-in two-minute timer with quadpacer that is a must have for any good electric toothbrush. The visible pressure sensor located on the back the toothbrush handle is great for anyone who presses likes to press too firmly when brushing. Heck, it even makes sure you don’t miss an area whilst brushing through its position detection! I would thoroughly recommend this brush to anyone who suffers from sensitive teeth. It is currently $149.94 on Amazon.
2. Oral-B SmartSeries 7000
The Oral-B SmartSeries 7000 comes in a close second. Like the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000, it has a specific sensitive cleaning mode which reduces the cleaning power, to make it gentler on your teeth. It also comes with a soft-bristled, sensitive brush head as standard, so you do not need to purchase it separately.
The only downside to the Oral-B SmartSeries 7000 is that it uses the old fashioned Nickel Metal Hydride battery. This takes longer to charge and does not last as long, so more charging and less brushing. Also, although it has Bluetooth Connectivity, it does not have position detection meaning that it does not show you which areas you have missed whilst brushing. It is currently $119.99 on Amazon.
3. Oral-B Pro 3000
Third Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth in the USA
The Oral-B Pro 3000 is the cheapest electric toothbrush in the Oral-B line up to have a designated, reduced power sensitive mode. It offers great value for money for those looking for a bargain.
It has the two must have features on any good electric toothbrush, the two minuter timer with quadpacer and visible pressure sensor. Also unlike the Oral-B Smartseries 7000, it has an upgraded lithium ion battery that can last 14 days between charges. This is amazing since the Oral-B Pro 3000 is the cheaper product.
It does not come with a sensitive brush head as standard and this will have to be purchased separately. The Oral-B Pro 3000 does miss out on some useful features which is why it does not feature higher on this list.
It does not have any form of Bluetooth connectivity and it does not have a travel case. It is currently $79.94 on Amazon.
4. Oral-B Genius 9000
Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth in the UK
Oral-B Genius 9000 Review
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The Oral-B Genius 9000 is the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth and is the toothbrush that I personally use at home. The Oral-B Genius 9000 comes as standard with a reduced power, sensitive cleaning mode and the new, soft, Oral-B SensiClean brush head. This makes it perfect for anyone with sensitive teeth.
The new upgraded visible pressure sensor can now be customized to flash the color of your choosing. This is particularly useful as brushing too firmly can make your sensitivity worse. On top of this when the Oral-B Genius 9000 is connected to the Oral-B app it monitors and tracks how often you press too hard.
Through its clever position detection system it can even tell you if you have missed an area whilst brushing. The only thing that this electric toothbrush does not do is brush your teeth for you! It is currently £90.00 on Amazon.
5. Oral-B Smart 5
Second Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth in the UK
The Oral-B Smart 5 is a worthy runner up because it provides a great compromise between features and affordability. It has a specially designated, lower power sensitive cleaning mode, which cleans for 2 minutes. The Oral-B Smart 5 as standard also comes with a soft, Oral-B Sensitive brush head. Although this brush head has largely been superseded by the Oral-B SensiClean.
Although the Smart 5 lacks position detection, it does have Bluetooth connectivity and also comes with a travel case. It is perfect for people looking for a similar product to the Oral-B Genius 9000 but not willing to pay the price. It is currently £59.99 on Amazon.
6. Oral-B Smart 4 4000N
Third Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth in the UK
The Oral-B Smart 4 4000N is the cheapest electric toothbrush in the Oral-B range to offer a designated, reduced power sensitive cleaning mode. It comes with all the essential features of any good electric toothbrush, two-minute timer with built-in quadpacer and a visible pressure sensor. However, due to its price, it is rather basic.
It does not come with a soft, sensitive Oral-B brush head, this must be purchased separately. It does come with a medium bristled, Oral-B CrossAction Brush head, which I am fond of, however it is not ideal for sensitive teeth. The Oral-B Smart 4 also does not come with a travel case. It is currently £49.99 on Amazon.
Buying Guide: Best Electric Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth
When walking down an aisle filled with electric toothbrushes, it can be difficult to know what to look for. There are so many different electric toothbrushes out there, all offering the latest feature or fad. This buying guide will explain to you what features are important for sensitive teeth. It will also go into detail as to why I chose the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 (USA) and the Oral-B Genius 9000 as the two best electric toothbrushes for sensitive teeth.
How did I decide on the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth?
Over the years, I have tested hundreds of electric toothbrushes. After all that testing I decided to personally use the Oral-B Genius 9000 on my own teeth. The Oral-B Genius 9000 is currently only sold in the UK and the nearest alternative in the USA is the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000.
You may be wondering why I have chosen all Oral-B electric toothbrushes for the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. This is because Oral-B is one of the only manufacturers to do sensitive cleaning modes, pressure sensors and sensitive brush heads. All these features are integral for anyone looking to reduce sensitivity.
The Oral-B Genius series is particularly awesome for sensitive teeth. Not only does it have a specially designated, reduced power sensitive cleaning mode and visible pressure sensor, it is also fully compatible with a whole range of Oral-B Sensitive brush heads. When connected to the Oral-B app, the Oral-B Genius tells you how long you have brushed too firmly for and gives you helpful hints and tips to improve for next time. It is like having your own oral hygiene coach.
The cheaper Oral-B Smartseries are OK but miss out on some of the features, particularly position detection. Although they provide great value for money, I do not think they are on the same level as the Oral-B Genius Series.
Electric toothbrush features to look for if you have sensitivity
Sensitive Cleaning Mode
For people who suffer from sensitive teeth, an electric toothbrush with a specially designated sensitive cleaning mode will help ease your sensitivity. These work by reducing the power of the oscillating-rotating or sonic motion so that the electric toothbrush is gentler on your teeth.
Toothwear caused by your toothbrush and gum recession are frequent causes of sensitivity. Thus limiting the power of your electric toothbrush will help prevent this from occurring.
Sensitive Brush Head
Toothbrush abrasion and gum recession are the two most common causes of tooth sensitivity. This is because pressing too firmly with a toothbrush causes gum recession which reveals the root of the tooth. The root of the tooth is not covered by protective enamel and makes the tooth sensitive to cold.
Using a softer bristled sensitive brush head will thus help prevent any unnecessary gum recession and ultimately tooth sensitivity. This is because a softer brush will dissipate some of the pressure you apply whilst brushing.
Visible pressure sensor
For the same reasons as using a sensitive brush head, the visible pressure sensor is crucial to prevent you from causing unnecessary damage to your teeth and gums. The optimal amount of pressure to place on your teeth when brushing is around 150 grams, which is about the weight of an orange.
Most people press too hard when toothbrushing. A visible pressure sensor will flash red whenever you press too hard, so is a constant reminder to brush with the correct force.
Two-minute timer with built-in Quadpacer
A two minuter timer with built-in Quadpacer is a must have for any good electric toothbrush. This is because it reminds you to brush for two minutes. Most people on average brush for only 45 seconds, which means that the teeth do not receive a good clean. This leaves dental plaque on the teeth which can result in gum disease and tooth decay.
A quadpacer is an in built timer which buzzes every thirty seconds. This is a reminder for you to change side of your mouth. Many people when brushing have a preferred side they like to clean. This leads to one side getting brushed well and the other sides being cleaned poorly. A quadpacer will make sure that you clean your mouth evenly, ultimately helping you prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
For obvious reasons, having a waterproof electric toothbrush is essential. Most manufacturers do make their electric toothbrushes waterproof, however not all of them. It is always worth checking, as you would not want a nasty surprise!
A travel case is an important feature to look for because of convenience. Electric toothbrushes are quite fragile and you want to protect them when travelling abroad. A travel case will give you something to put them in when away from home.
The other benefit of a travel case is you are more likely to take your electric toothbrush with you on your holiday, instead of switching back to a manual brush. This will help you maintain a consistently good oral hygiene programme.
Many of the modern electric toothbrushes come with Bluetooth connectivity. How important they really are, really depends on how good the smartphone app is. A great smartphone app which helps remind you to brush your teeth on a regular basis and comes stacked with features is a fantastic oral hygiene tool. Some apps even give you tips how to improve your brushing, giving you statistics on how long you have pressed too hard for and whether you missed out an area.
Charging electric toothbrushes are a necessary evil. There is nothing worse than getting to your electric toothbrush and it is out of battery (first world problems). Unsurprisingly, the longer the battery life is the better it is for you.
A good battery life to aim for is 2 weeks of use two times a day for two minutes (56 minutes of continuous use). Anything above 2 weeks is a bonus.
The other feature to look for is a decent battery indicator light, that indicates low battery at least 5 minutes in advance. Also, it is worthwhile paying attention to is charging time. As most rechargeable electric toothbrushes use “trickle” chargers, it often takes a good six to seven hours for an electric toothbrush to charge from flat.
An important consideration for obvious reasons. Really you are looking for value for money, what electric toothbrush is going to give you the best bang for your buck.
It is always important to remember that cheaper electric toothbrushes from the same manufacturer will have less features than the more expensive ones. There is a reason that it is cheaper.
Number of Cleaning modes
For people who suffer with sensitive teeth, the only really important cleaning mode to look for is a sensitive one and a daily clean. The other cleaning modes like whitening and gum massage are not really important and just over complicate the electric toothbrush. I am not sure why manufacturers have this obsession with lots of cleaning modes, just because one has two cleaning modes and another has five, it does not make it any better.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What are the benefits of electric toothbrushes for sensitive teeth?
- A more consistent brushing experience, meaning better plaque removal and ultimately better oral hygiene
- Pressure sensors to indicate when you are pressing too firmly. This is particularly important for people with sensitive teeth.
- Simple to use as you are effectively holding the electric toothbrush against your tooth and letting it do the work for you.
- An inbuilt two minute timer to ensure that you are brushing your teeth for the correct amount of time.
What toothpaste should I use for sensitive teeth?
The key ingredients for a toothpaste that is good against sensitivity are:
- Fluoride – this helps harden the tooth and prevent sensitivity
- Potassium Nitrate – works by calming the nerves of the tooth
- Arginine – blocks the tubules within the tooth preventing sensitivity
- Novamin – forms a protective layer on the teeth, creating a barrier protecting the tooth from sensitivity
What features are the most important for an electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth?
The most important features are:
- Soft bristled, Sensitive Brush heads
- A reduced power, sensitive cleaning mode
- Two minute timer with in built quadpacer
- Visible pressure sensor
Thank you for reading this blog post on the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. If you have any questions then please ask them in the comments section below.