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How we test electric toothbrushes

Here's how our experts land on the best models for your choppers.

woman holding electric toothbrush


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Looking after your teeth will go a long way towards reducing dental problems down the track. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and for at least two minutes to help remove the plaque that forms on your teeth after eating. While you can achieve a good clean with a manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative. Electric toothbrushes provide the cleaning action for you, so you only need to guide it along the surfaces of your teeth.

We put each electric toothbrush through a user trial which forms the basis of our overall score. We also conduct some performance testing in our CHOICE labs. Here we'll give you the details on how we put them to the test.

Our expert testers

Our expert tester looks at a range of products in the CHOICE labs. He tests cotsstrollers and other children's products as well as electric blankets and electric toothbrushes. He also participates in Australian Standards committees and regulatory forums so we can keep an eye on trends and government regulations.

How we choose what we test

With a range of products on the market, what makes us choose one electric toothbrush to test over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you are most likely to see in the retailers.

We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, we check market sales information and we also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a normal consumer would. We do this so we can be sure they are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way.

How we test


Our tester puts each electric toothbrush to the test in the lab by testing:

  • Battery power
  • Electrical safety
  • Energy consumption
  • Operating time (in days)

He also carried out a shower test, which all of the electric toothbrushes passed.

Ease of use

We recruit CHOICE staff members and conduct a user trial. Each person used a selection of electric toothbrushes and answered a range of questions relating to ease of use. This formed the basis of our ease of use score, which takes into account how easy the toothbrush is to manoeuvre, how comfortable it is to grip, how easy it is to understand the controls and attach the cleaning head.

We also asked trialists how easy it was to clean and reach their front, back and side teeth as well as how the toothbrush felt against their gums.

Test criteria explained

Overall score

The overall score is made up of:

  • Ease of use (60%)
  • Ease of cleaning and reaching the front teeth (10%)
  • Ease of cleaning and reaching the back teeth (10%)
  • Ease of cleaning and reaching the side teeth (10%)
  • Feel against gums (10%)

Our test lab

Our test lab is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you the right results.

Ready to buy?

Check out our electric toothbrush reviews to see which brands come out on top, or if you want to learn more about what to look for, check out our electric toothbrush buying guide.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.