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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 Christmas and it's still one of the best gifts I've gotten. It had around 7,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon and was on sale for around $12.
Philips Sonicare Essence, $20 (usually $50), Amazon
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 two-minute timer that activates each time you turn it on. So, I just brush until it automatically shuts off.
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.
At first, 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.
Bottom line: Is it worth it?
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.