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Ditch the manual toothbrush, smart toothbrushes under $50 are better buys

Though once relegated solely to the confines of a dentist office, electric toothbrushes are readily available over the counter — and in some cases, sales make them attractive on even the tightest of budgets. Some of these toothbrushes even have smart features that can help improve your overall oral hygiene and get you a better clean in less time, which are the main differentiators between them and ordinary electric ones.

Smart toothbrushes like Hum by Colgate, Quip, and Philips One by Sonicare are all recent examples of how innovations have trickled down from high-end models to more budget-conscious ones. They’re more affordable now than ever before, giving people more of an incentive to buy them over manual toothbrushes, which typically don’t exceed $10 in cost. Here are five reasons why smart toothbrushes under $50 are so useful.

Better, more efficient clean

A traditional toothbrush relies entirely upon your technique and the power and speed of your arm. Depending on the kind of smart toothbrush you use, your toothbrush can provide feedback on your brushing technique and help you learn how to better clean your teeth.

Pressure sensors let you know if you’re pressing the brush down too hard, while gyroscopic sensors can measure the angle of the brush. If you aren’t sure you’re brushing your teeth the correct way, a smart toothbrush can help correct bad habits. For example, the Quip provides feedback in its app about the intensity of your brush, the duration, how much time you spent on both the top and bottom of your mouth, and the number of strokes per minute.

Under the $50 price point, most smart toothbrushes have vibrating bristles, not rotating heads. However, even those vibrations are enough to dislodge plaque and provide a more thorough cleaning than a traditional toothbrush.

Rewards for brushing your teeth

Some smart toothbrush companies offer rewards programs for good routines. Take Quip, for example. If you brush your teeth twice per day, you earn points that can be redeemed toward replacement brush heads, packs of floss, and more. Since you’re going to practice good oral hygiene anyway, why not get something in return?

Hum by Colgate Smart Toothbrush in hand

Rewards include things like a tote bag, a refresh bag, and even Target gift cards. Quip isn’t the only toothbrush to offer a rewards program, either — Colgate also has a rewards program for its smart toothbrushes.

Quip gives one point for your first two-minute brush in the morning and 2 points for your second brush in the evening. If you brush for two minutes, twice per day, for seven days in a row, you will receive an extra 5 points. In other words, you can early 19 points per week. After 550 points, you can get a $5 Target gift card.

Save money in the long run

Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months, which results in a lot of plastic waste — and a lot of money spent on toothbrushes. Smart toothbrushes remedy this by providing you with a rechargeable solution. Thanks to rechargeable batteries, the only part that needs to be replaced is the brush head itself.

It results in less overall waste and allows you to keep a single toothbrush for much longer. Some companies (like Quip, Oral-B, and Colgate) even offer a subscription program where you receive a brush head every three months. If a quality standard toothbrush is $10 and a replacement head is $10, you’re spending the same amount for a superior clean.

But if you combine that replacement brush head with the savings from reward programs, that cost drops even more, saving you money.

Putting in the right amount of time

The dentist-recommend two minutes of brushing is something few people actually meet. In fact, the average person only brushes anywhere from 45 to 70 seconds per day. Part of the reason people fail to brush their teeth properly is because they are in a hurry.

Many smart toothbrushes will vibrate for two minutes once you power them on, with pulses every 30 seconds to remind you to move the brush to another part of the mouth. One of the easiest ways to have a cleaner mouth and fewer dental issues is to brush your teeth properly, and a smart toothbrush can help you do exactly that.

Never miss a brush with notifications

They’re called smart toothbrushes for a reason. While some people religiously brush their teeth in the morning and night, others just aren’t as structured. Many of the corresponding apps for smart toothbrushes will inform you through notifications when it’s time to brush — or if you’ve missed a session. If you’ve been extra bad, you may even get bugged on a more frequent basis to get you to brush.

Knowing when to brush and being notified goes a long way when it comes to maintaining a healthy hygiene with your pearly whites. Through the apps, you’ll uncover potential patterns and habits around your brushing, which is something you won’t get with a manual toothbrush. Information about your brushing is vital, but you won’t be able to get it without those notifications reminding you to brush in the first place.

Wrap up: Ditch the manual toothbrush

Smart toothbrushes range in price anywhere from $25 all the way up to $300 or more. Sure, high-end smart toothbrushes like the Oral-B iO Series 9 go the extra mile by introducing fancy tech behind its brush head, but the fact is that you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get a high-quality product that will help improve your health. A $45 Quip toothbrush will give you a thorough clean that’s better than any manual brush.

The main difference between a lower-price smart toothbrush and a high-priced one is the head itself. Brushes that cost less $50 tend to have straight brush heads that vibrate, while more expensive brushes have rotating bristles powered by a high-tech drive system. Both are effective at cleaning teeth, so your choice largely boils down to personal preference.

A smart toothbrush can revolutionize your daily routine and provide you with a cleaner mouth overall. The good news is that there’s no reason to spend a fortune on one, and there are quite a few options available under $50. You can ditch the manual toothbrush thanks to the choice and variety you have when it comes to smart toothbrushes that cost less than $50.

If you are looking for more, check out our collection of the best toothbrush cases.

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Patrick Hearn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Patrick Hearn writes about smart home technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart light bulbs, and more. If it's a…
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