If you are buying a new electric toothbrush but you can’t decide what brand suits you best, you are at the right place. This is the ultimate Oral B vs. Sonicare comparison that will help you understand all the differences between the different types of electric toothbrushes these two brands produce; clinical studies and technology behind them.
But what do we know?
We tested and analyzed over 50 electric toothbrushes. We published 30+ extended reviews of Oral B and Sonicare dental care products. We talked to several dentists and dental hygienists and asked them to help us understand the benefits of using an electric toothbrush.
Here are our favorite toothbrushes of these two brands.
Before we get into the technical stuff, let’s have a word or two about Sonicare and Oral B brands.
Both of these brands are owned by large corporations; Oral B is owned by Braun and Sonicare by Philips. They have been around for over 90 years and both of them are competing head to head in several markets, including electric toothbrushes, electric shavers, and several others.
The first ever Sonicare toothbrush was introduced to the world in November 1992 while the first Oral B electric toothbrush was introduced in 1987.
Sonicare vs Oral B brushing technology
Sonicare electric toothbrushes use sonic technology.
This means that the Sonicare brush heads are similar as traditional brush heads and they produce vibrating movements that can reach speeds of over 31,000 revolutions per minute.
This technology drives fluids between teeth and along the gum and gets rid of the plaque in the process.
Oral B develops toothbrushes with 3D cleaning action / oscillating technology.
While Sonicare toothbrushes just vibrate, Oral B toothbrushes use all kinds of motions – rotating / oscillating, sweeping back and forth, and vibrating; depending on what brush heads you are using.
When it comes to testing efficiency of electric toothbrushes, nothing is more relevant than clinical studies.
Who should you trust?
There have been dozens of clinical studies comparing sonic and oscillating technology and the results have been very inconsistent. It’s safe to say that many of these studies were conducted by one of these two brands and it’s logical to assume that some of them are biased.
It’s also important to know that not every sonic and not every oscillating toothbrush performs the same.
Dentist’s Sonicare vs Oral B debate
We talked to 12 dentists and dental hygienists and asked them to share their opinions for our Sonicare vs. Oral B debate and these are the results:
Is Sonicare better because most of the dentists we have talked to prefer it over Oral B? Is the Oral B better because some clinical studies find it more efficient than Sonicare? Or are they equally effective and the differences between them are just minor?
Our comparison and findings
We analyzed over 50 different electric toothbrushes and most of them are manufactured by Sonicare and Oral B. We analyzed their design, comfort, usability, and other technical specs such as battery life.
Which one should you buy?
When you’re buying an electric toothbrush, it all depends on how much are you willing to spend. The most expensive ones can cost up to about $200, but they have the same brushing technology and they are equally effective as most middle-priced ones. The main advantage the most expensive toothbrushes bring to the table is the number of cleaning modes, and the amount of goodies that come with them (travel case, USB charging glass, etc).
Our favorite electric toothbrush with a hefty price tag is the Sonicare DiamondClean because it looks great and because we believe it’s the best toothbrush we ever tested.
Our favorite medium-priced toothbrush is the Oral B 5000 which offers 5 cleaning modes, comes with SmartGuide and is about 50% cheaper than the most expensive toothbrushes we tested.
We weren’t able to find a clear winner, but maybe there really isn’t one in this battle. Most clinical studies that have compared Oral B and Sonicare efficiency are conducted by one of these two brands. That’s why it’s impossible to know which one really has the edge. It seems that the Position Detection technology of the newer Oral B toothbrushes has the edge when it comes to advanced technology. But you should always remember that the most important thing about any dental product is the cleaning efficiency. It doesn’t matter what electric toothbrush you will choose at the end because it will almost definitely have a better impact on your oral health than a manual one.
Some people prefer vibrations and some prefer oscillating brush motions. Both Sonicare and Oral B brands produce some of the best dental hygiene products in the world in several price ranges. The only advantage we could find is that Oral B brush heads are usually cheaper. Is that enough to turn you away from Sonicare toothbrushes? Probably not.
It’s also safe to say that most people use the same brand of electric toothbrushes for ever. If you start your journey with Oral B, you will probably never know how Sonicare works and the same goes the other way around. If you are really not sure which one to try out, you can always start with a cheaper electric toothbrushes just to be sure that you like it before you decide to throw in more money for a more advanced one.