If you can't remember the last time you replaced your toothbrush, it may be time to invest in a new one. The American Dental Association recommends doing so every three to four months, though it's easy to let this chore slide. And while you can remove plaque with a manual option, electric toothbrushes offer loads of benefits (think healthier gums and less tooth decay). So it's no wonder why Spotlight, an oral care brand started by two dentists who happen to be sisters, sold one of its sonic toothbrushes every five minutes last year.
The device uses sonic technology to combine the gentle feel of a manual toothbrush with the deep-cleaning capabilities of an electric one. This results in an effective clean that won't leave gums bleeding or irritated after brushing. Trust me, I gave it a try for myself after growing frustrated with my old electric toothbrush that often felt too strong for my sensitive gums.
Spotlight's sonic brush has three cleaning modes, so you can find a comfortable way to properly clean your teeth. You get to choose from a sensitive setting that uses 31,000 brush movements per minute, a clean setting with 41,000 movements per minute, and a white setting with 48,000 movements per minute. The sensitive option is ideal for gentle care; the clean one helps you get a deep scrub while protecting your teeth; and the white setting is good for serious stain removal. I typically choose the sensitive setting simply because it's the most comfortable on my gums, but my teeth still feel fresh and clean afterwards.
To buy: $150; ulta.com.
As with other electric toothbrushes, you'll want to let the device do the work for you. The brand recommends tilting the bristles at a 45-degree angle against the gumline and moving in sections throughout your mouth for a total of two to three minutes. You'll know when it's time to stop thanks to a built-in timer that pauses vibrations to signal how much time has passed.
Other Spotlight users have good things to say about the toothbrush, too. One called it a "game changer," and another said, "I get a dentist clean every time I use it."
When you purchase the toothbrush, you'll also get three replacement heads (a nine-month supply) and a battery charging dock that provides up to 70 days of battery life. It also comes with a handy travel case for easy storage. Pick one up from Ulta if you're due for a replacement.