Electric Toothbrush Heads For Sensitive Teeth and Gums

Electric Toothbrush Heads For Sensitive Teeth

Many people who switch to an electric toothbrush find that it helps reduce gum sensitivity, especially if they’re able to get a comfortable fit between the bristles and the gum line. Some electric toothbrushes have specific brush heads for sensitive teeth and gums that feature extra soft bristles designed to remove plaque more gently, without causing irritation. These heads can be used with any cleaning mode, but they’re most effective if the brush handle has a Sensitive or Gum Care cleaning mode that takes advantage of the bristles’ softer design.

The Oral-B Pro GumCare, Oral-B 3D White, and Philips Sonicare HX9023/65 C2 replacement electric toothbrush heads are a few options that have received good reviews for their gentleness. These head designs use a petal-shaped arrangement of softer, smaller bristles that allow them to move more easily over the gumline and in between the teeth without irritating the delicate tissue in those areas. Some of these heads also have pressure alerts that warn you when you’re applying too much force during your cleaning, which may be a problem for those with sensitive gums or teeth.

A number of the heads we tested, including the Oral-B Cross Action EB50, Oral-B FlossAction, Arm & Hammer Spin Brush Pro, and Voguish Replacement Heads Compatible with Oral B, have soft, flexible bristles that bend with the shape of the teeth and gums for a more thorough clean. Some of these also have a rounded, oscillating head to better reach all sides of the teeth and in between the gaps. While all of these models have a good amount of cleaning power, they don’t quite match the performance of our top pick, the Oral-B DiamondClean head.

Electric Toothbrush Heads For Sensitive Teeth and Gums

In our tests, the DiamondClean head performed exceptionally well and removed a large majority of visible plaque from the surfaces of teeth and around the gumline. The Oral-B Xtreme Clean was also very impressive, removing most of the visible plaque from the surface and getting to hard-to-reach spots in the mouth. The Oral-B Sensitive and Oral-B AdaptiveClean were also close competitors, with the Sensitive head using extra-soft bristles to reduce gum discomfort, while the AdaptiveClean model has a more dynamic approach that adjusts the bristle density to best meet the needs of each individual user.

All the replacement heads we tested have a snap-on/clip-in design that allows them to be attached to most electric toothbrush handles. Many have different colored rings on the base to help identify which brush head is attached, which can be useful for households where multiple people share the same toothbrush handle.

Most electric toothbrushes offer modes that vary the frequency of the vibration or pulsating motion of the head. These modes can include gum care, sensitive, whitening, and more. Novick said he’s found that only a few of these have real benefits and most of them just change the intensity of the head’s movement.

The whitening mode on some of our favorite brushes, like the Oral-B iO Series 9 and Philips Sonicare 6100, uses a charcoal-infused head with cup-shaped bristles to help remove surface stains from teeth. However, he doesn’t recommend using a whitening head if you have sensitive gums or are prone to sensitivity symptoms, as it can be too harsh for these delicate tissues.