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I tried a $20 toothbrush with 7K Amazon reviews — my teeth feel cleaner than ever

So fresh and so clean, clean.
by Aline Peres Martins / / Source: TODAY

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Look, I don't have perfect teeth. They're not perfectly straight, nor blindingly white. But, at least they're squeaky clean.

Why? Because my electric toothbrush — the Philips Sonicare Essence — cleans so well it deserves its own plaque. (Yes, that was a tooth pun.)

I got the gadget last December when I was in need of a new electric toothbrush on a budget. It had around 7,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon and was on sale for around $12. Boy, it was a great decision.

Philips Sonicare Essence, $20 (usually $50), Amazon

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It doesn't boast many fancy features, making it budget friendly, but it's still a fantastic toothbrush.

The sonic vibration cleans teeth on its own

There's no need to vigorously brush back and forth. The toothbrush creates a strong vibration, capable of whisking away plaque without making gums bleed.

The timer helps me brush longer

To me, two minutes seems like a long time, but that's how long the American Dental Association recommends people brush their teeth.

The Sonicare Essence has a built-in 2-minute timer that activates each time you turn it on. So, I just brush until it automatically shuts off.

It also helps me save money on toothpaste because the brush is fairly small.
It also helps me save money on toothpaste because the brush is fairly small.Aline Peres Martins

It's a good balance between price and quality

I've been using electric toothbrushes for a while. About two years ago, I read that harsh brushing could injure gums (yikes). Then, one day, my gums bled as I tried to remove the gunk behind my teeth.

My traditional toothbrush had to go.

A friend recommended the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean toothbrush. It looked promising, but the thought of spending $200 on a toothbrush hurt my soul. So, I settled on a $5 Oral B toothbrush, which gave out after a few months of use.

Then, I got a $100 Colgate Smart toothbrush as a gift. I used that one for a few months. But, I wasn't a huge fan of the brush shape, it never seemed to clean thoroughly and the smart tech kind of freaked me out.

The Sonicare Essence — a $20 toothbrush from the same line as the $200 Diamondclean — is better than both the $5 Oral B and $100 Colgate brushes.

Bottom line: Is it worth it?

It may not be the prettiest toothbrush, but it sure is effective!
It may not be the prettiest toothbrush, but it sure is effective!Aline Peres Martins

When my Sonicare Essence dies (it hasn't yet), I'll buy another Sonicare toothbrush.

If you just want a basic electric toothbrush that thoroughly cleans your teeth, this is the way to go.

It features a traditionally shaped brush head, a tilted design to make it easy to reach back molars, a two-week battery and a strong sonic vibration.

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