The 10 Best Toothbrushes for Receding Gums, Dentist-Approved & Editor-Tested


Receding gums occur when the gum tissue surrounding the teeth starts pulling away, exposing more of the tooth or its root. Various factors can contribute to its formation, including poor dental hygiene, aggressive brushing, periodontal diseases, and aging. The first signs of receding gums are often tooth sensitivity and the appearance of longer teeth.

Kyle Gernhofer, DDS, co-founder and CEO of DenScore, a dental software company that helps consumers make smarter decisions about their dental care needs, says choosing the wrong toothbrush can expose the tooth’s cementum, which covers the surface of the tooth root. When this happens, the tooth is more susceptible to wearing down at the gum line and causing discomfort, says Dr. Gernhofer.

You can prevent receding gums by practicing good oral hygiene and brushing techniques and by using a soft-bristled toothbrush. These softer bristles are gentle on your gums while still effectively removing plaque and bacteria. With thousands of options on the market, we spoke with dental experts and tested 45 popular models to narrow down the best toothbrushes for receding gums.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Philips


Why We Like It

The Philips ProtectiveClean 6100 combines unbeatable performance with cutting-edge features, like its three intensity settings and three cleaning modes—Clean, White, and Gum Care—to tackle sticky dental plaque. Its pressure sensor technology protects your teeth and gums from excessive brushing by pulsating when you press too hard. Plus, the brush automatically syncs with each smart brush head and lets you know when to replace it.

During testing, we especially loved the quick setup and how easy it is to maneuver around the teeth and gums. The sleek design and travel case means it’s convenient for home and great for traveling. This model also boasts a two-minute timer to help you brush the dentist-recommended amount of time. Though the manufacturer advertises a two-week battery life, ours is still at full charge after using it daily for one month.

This pick comes recommended by Calvin Eastwood, DDS, dentist at Summerbrook Dental in Fort Worth, Texas.

It’s Worth Noting 

It’s a pricier model that may not suit budget-conscious shoppers. Replacement heads cost $18 for a pack of two—experts suggest replacing your brush heads every three months to prevent bacteria growth and damaged bristles. Also, the handle itself isn’t compatible with all Sonicare brush heads.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Medium
  • Features: Brushing timer, pressure sensor, brush head replacement reminder
  • Includes: Handle, travel case, charger, one DiamondClean brush head

Oral-B Genius X Limited

Amazon


Why We Like It

With a blend of functionality and technology, the Oral-B Genius X Limited is a powerful model that adapts to your brushing style and habits. Its Bluetooth capability pairs with your smartphone to give real-time feedback on your brushing habits to prevent further gum recession and sensitivity. The integrated timer and pressure sensor ensure you’re brushing for the recommended time without applying harmful pressure to your delicate gums—a red light indicates when you press too hard.

This model features six modes you can easily toggle between with the touch of a button. We appreciate the round brush head that pulsates to loosen plaque and oscillates to sweep it clean, but the brush isn’t overly aggressive like some models. Our teeth felt much cleaner compared to traditional manual brushes, and we loved the non-slip handle for keeping it secure when wet.

Dr. Eastwood also recommends Oral-B Genius models to his patients.

It’s Worth Noting

You must have a compatible smartphone and download the app to get the most from its tech-based features. You can still use the basic electric toothbrush without connecting to the app, but you’ll miss out on the valuable data and feedback that hike up the cost. Additionally, two CrossAction brush head replacements cost $25.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Brushing timer, pressure sensor, Bluetooth capabilities, real-time app feedback
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base, one brush head, travel case

Oral-B iO Series 5

Target


Why We Like It

Like the Genius X Limited, the Oral-B iO Series 5 uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your smartphone for personalized brushing feedback. The small, round brush head reaches tight areas that larger heads struggle with, and the five-mode options (Daily Clean, Intense, Whitening, Sensitive, and Super Sensitive) offer a custom brushing experience based on your sensitivity level, gum health, and cleaning preferences.

We love seeing Oral-B’s helpful tips through the app, from showing our brushing behavior to personalized feedback on areas we may have missed. During testing, we were blown away by how polished our teeth felt after regular use. We also appreciate the charging stand that keeps the brush upright when not in use.

Dr. Eastwood recommends Oral-B iO models for improving brushing techniques and preventing gum damage.

It’s Worth Noting

This isn’t the best option if you’re not interested in app connectivity and real-time feedback, as those features are what drive up the price. While the battery doesn’t charge as fast as upgraded iO models, storing it on the charging base keeps it at optimal power.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Pressure sensor, multiple cleaning modes, timer, Bluetooth capabilities, personalized in-app feedback
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging stand, travel case, and one Ultimate Clean replacement head

Oral-B iO Series 9

Best Buy


Why We Like It

The Oral-B iO Series 9 is a premium electric toothbrush with upgraded features and a sleek design. It’s one of Oral-B’s newer models offering 3D tracking using artificial intelligence to monitor and guide your brushing habits. While it offers some of the same features as the iO Series 5, it has two additional cleaning modes (Gum Care and Tongue Cleaning) to enhance its functionality.

Other upgraded features include a color display screen on the handle, an updated magnetic charging dock to keep the brush in place, and faster charging. The app is also more user-friendly and provides more detailed feedback on your brushing habits. As you work through the 16-zone map of your mouth, the AI technology detects areas that need extra attention to help you achieve a healthy smile.

It’s Worth Noting

As the most expensive model on our list, it’s not within everyone’s budget. It also requires a smartphone and app to access all the features. You should read the manual in full to get the most from its features.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Pressure sensor, multiple cleaning modes, AI tracking, color display, timer, Bluetooth capabilities, personalized in-app feedback, magnetic charging base
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, magnetic charging stand, three brush heads, travel case

Philips Sonicare 4100 Electric Toothbrush

Amazon


Why We Like It

Despite the lower price point of the Sonicare 4100 Series, it’s loaded with features typically seen in higher-end models. From a protective pressure sensor to its quad-timer that ensures you brush each section of your mouth evenly, this brush has everything you need without the tech bells and whistles.

Ours came charged and ready to use right out of the box with a battery that lasts three weeks or longer on a single charge. The handle vibrates when brushing too hard, and a light indicates when it’s time to replace the brush head. Though it lacks Bluetooth capabilities, the features and affordability outweigh the need for app connectivity.

It’s Worth Noting

While the 4100 Series delivers a satisfying clean, it may not satisfy tech-savvy users who crave advanced features like real-time feedback on brushing habits. The toothbrush also lacks different cleaning modes and a travel case.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Pressure sensor, timer, battery and brush head replacement indicators
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base, one brush head

Philips Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 Electric Toothbrush

Philips


Why We Like It

A dentist-like clean is possible at home thanks to the Sonicare ExpertClean 7300. It combines gentle cleansing with smart features to make the investment truly worthwhile. The toothbrush has a pressure sensor and three modes (Clean, Gum Health, and Deep Clean+) to cater to your brushing needs. Its technology delivers up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute for an optimal deep clean that removes plaque without irritating gums.

Sonicare has several brush heads in its line-up, and this version automatically syncs to adjust the mode and intensity based on the brush head you attach. The Bluetooth app tracks your progress and updates you with tips for improving your technique. We appreciate the small brush head that fits into tight spots and easily maneuvers around braces, crowns, and other dental work.

It’s Worth Noting

The app can be overwhelming with its many features and settings, so it may take some time to get used to. It’s also a bit louder than we expected.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Pressure sensor, multiple cleaning modes, Bluetooth capabilities, personalized in-app feedback
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base, two brush heads, travel case

Waterpik CC-01 Complete Care 9.0 Sonic Electric Toothbrush with Water Flosser

Amazon


Why We Like It

Water flossers are an excellent addition to your personal care routine because they help remove plaque and debris from tight crevices, especially braces, where traditional floss can be difficult to use. The Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 combines a powerful water flosser and an electric toothbrush into one charging base to free up counter space and outlet usage.

The set features a sonic toothbrush with 31,000 brush strokes per minute, a 10-setting water flosser, a 90-second water tank, and additional flosser tips. The toothbrush has three modes (Clean, Whiten, and Massage) and a two-minute timer with a 30-second pacer. We were pleased to experience a noticeable improvement in how clean our teeth and gums felt after switching from manual flossing. You can store and charge the toothbrush and flosser on the same base when not in use.

It’s Worth Noting

The water flosser can be loud and messy, so it’s best to use it over the sink. People with sensitive gums should start with a low setting and gradually increase the pressure as needed. Unlike other models, there’s no app or pressure sensor with this model.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Multiple cleaning modes, timer, swivel flosser handle, magnetic charging base, 10 water pressure settings, battery indicator light
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base with built-in water flosser, two brush heads, five water flosser tips, brush travel case, tip storage case

Oral-B iO Series 8

Oral-B


Why We Like It

One thing we love about the Oral-B iO Series Electric Toothbrush is its premium travel case, which holds the handle and up to two brush heads when on the go. Its interactive color display streamlines the process of rotating between modes and intensity settings so you can quickly adjust as needed.

The iO Series 8 boasts six smart modes, including Sensitive and Super Sensitive, for those with tender gums. Like the Oral-B Series 9, it uses AI to track and display your brushing progress in the Oral-B app. However, the Series 8 model lacks a few features, like the Tongue Cleaning mode and a larger zone tracking map. If you’re not worried about AI capabilities, it’s a worthy and more affordable alternative to its upgraded counterparts.

It’s Worth Noting

The AI zone tracking feature maps your brushing throughout six zones versus 16 on the Series 9. You must create an Oral-B account and download the app to access this feature. You also can’t charge the toothbrush while in the case.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Multiple cleaning modes, pressure sensor, interactive color display, timer, Bluetooth capabilities, personalized in-app feedback, quick charging feature, battery indicator
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, magnetic charging stand, two brush heads, travel case

Oral-B Smart Limited Electronic Toothbrush

Oral-B


Why We Like It

The Smart Limited Electronic Toothbrush is user-friendly and ready to use as soon as you open the box. It’s a reliable option for those who prefer a straightforward electric toothbrush and comes with everything you need minus the complicated instructions. While it is compatible with the Oral-B app, it’s pretty straightforward to use without it—you can skip the technology and focus on the basics.

Some of our favorite things about this toothbrush during testing were its ergonomic handle and ease of switching between the five cleaning modes. You can toggle through settings without ever removing it from your mouth. It’s compatible with seven Oral-B brush head options (sold separately) ranging from sensitive to deep clean. This model also has a pressure sensor that slows the brush speed and alerts you when brushing too hard.

It’s Worth Noting

The motion sensor that tracks your brush movements is less advanced and accurate than some other models. It’s also pricier if you don’t plan to use the app-based features.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Pressure sensor, position detection, multiple cleaning modes, timer, Bluetooth capabilities (optional)
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base, two brush heads, travel case

Voom Sonic Pro 5 Rechargeable Electronic Toothbrush

Amazon


Why We Like It

The performance and features of the Voom Sonic Pro 5 Rechargeable Electronic Toothbrush rival that of many higher-end toothbrushes—but it’s much easier on the wallet. It has five cleaning modes, an impressive eight-week battery life, and a two-minute timer that pulses every 30 seconds so you know when to switch quadrants while brushing.

We were shocked by the power behind the brush compared to more expensive Oral-B models. It’s also waterproof, compact, and comes in five color options. The soft bristles are gentle on gums, and the lighted handle makes it easy to see which mode you’re in. A four-pack of replacement brush heads costs around $10, making this a cost-effective option that doesn’t compromise our favorite features.

It’s Worth Noting

This simplistic model lacks app connectivity, a pressure sensor, or a travel case, which may be a dealbreaker for advanced brushers.

Product Details

  • Bristle type: Soft
  • Features: Multiple cleaning modes, timer with quad-pacer, lighted handle, waterproof, long battery life (up to eight weeks), affordable replacement brush heads
  • Includes: Rechargeable handle, charging base, two brush heads

Toothbrushes That Didn’t Make Our List

Here are a few other toothbrushes we tested and why we don’t recommend them.

  • Smart 1500 Electric Rechargeable: While its performance impressed us, this model was a bit aggressive and loud.
  • Sonicare 9900 Prestige Power Toothbrush: We appreciate the built-in timer and quick set-up but didn’t love the mess it made while brushing.
  • Brüush Electric Toothbrush Kit: This model pauses every 30 seconds, so you know when to switch quadrants, but the price is a bit steep for a model that lacks other advanced features.
  • Periosciences LED² Sonic Electric Toothbrush: The simplistic design looks great on our countertop, but the oval head is challenging to maneuver in tight spots.

Where We Stand

After in-depth evaluation and countless hours of research, our top pick for the best toothbrush for receding gums is the ProtectiveClean 6100. It impressed us with its middle-ground price point and an array of features, such as a pressure sensor for protecting gums, multiple cleaning modes, and automatic brush head syncing. It also comes recommended by Dr. Eastwood. We continue to rigorously test new products and reevaluate our current favorites, factoring in aspects like user-friendliness, value, and innovative features you can’t live without.

Our Testing Process

To find the best toothbrushes for receding gums, we personally tested 45 of the top toothbrushes on the market—including each product in this list—at home to get a feel for their performance. We also spoke to dental experts who recommended features like soft bristles and pressure sensors to avoid further damage. 

We considered six key attributes during testing:

Ease of use: Whether the setup was difficult or intuitive and how important it was to follow the instructions carefully

Design: Such as whether the handle was too thick, thin, or just right, if the brush head felt like it was the correct size for our mouths, and how easy it was to toggle between settings while brushing

Functionality: Whether or not the brush had a built-in timer, multiple brushing settings, and how long the battery life lasted

Features: Whether the brush had special features such as app integration, brushing timers, or sensors and alerts for brushing too hard

Quality: How our teeth felt after brushing and whether or not the electric toothbrush did most of the work, as it should

Value: Whether or not the price reflected the value the toothbrush provided

We documented our experience and any noticeable differences (good and bad) compared to our previously used toothbrushes. Finally, we averaged the ratings for each attribute to get an overall score for comparison. We narrowed our final recommendation down from 45 models to our 10 top picks.

Our Experts

We spoke with dentists and oral health experts to understand the key factors to consider when choosing a toothbrush for receding gums. Our team played a pivotal role in the testing and review process, providing valuable insights and feedback on the best toothbrush options for protecting delicate gum tissue. Our experts include:

  • Marc Schlenoff, DDS, FAGD, dentist and VP of clinical development at Tend, a boutique dental franchise with studios across six major cities
  • Kyle Gernhofer, DDS, co-founder and CEO of DenScore, a dental software company that helps consumers make smarter decisions about their dental care needs
  • Calvin Eastwood, DDS, dentist at Summerbrook Dental in Fort Worth, Texas

What to Know About Toothbrushes for Receding Gums

  • Manual vs. Electric: According to the American Dental Association, both types can be equally effective as long as they are used correctly. Manual toothbrushes are an affordable, low-tech option, while electric toothbrushes offer advantages like pressure sensors and built-in timers to ensure your brushing technique aligns with that recommended by dentists like Dr. Gernhofer.
  • Bristle Softness: Many electric toothbrushes come with soft to medium bristles, with additional bristle options available separately. Dr. Gernhofer recommends soft bristles for those with receding gums to help avoid further damage, irritation, and tooth sensitivity.
  • Brush Head: Consider the size and shape of the brush head when choosing an electric toothbrush for receding gums. A smaller brush head may be easier to maneuver around tight areas, including those hard-to-reach spots along the gum line.
  • Pressure Sensor: This feature alerts you if you’re brushing hard enough to cause damage to the gums. Our dental experts recommend this feature to those with receding gums, as over-brushing can worsen the condition.
  • Extra Features: Many electric toothbrushes offer additional features like multiple cleaning modes, Bluetooth connectivity, timers, and automatic brush head syncing. Models like the Waterpik Complete Care 9.0 include a built-in water flosser for spraying water between teeth and braces to remove additional debris and improve gum health. Consider which features are most important to you when shopping for your next toothbrush.
  • Price: Manual toothbrushes cost as little as $1, while electric models range from $10 to $300 or more. Consider your budget and whether the features and benefits of an electric toothbrush justify the cost for your specific needs. It’s also important to remember that investing in a quality toothbrush could save you money in the long run by preventing costly dental procedures related to gum disease.

Tips for Using a Toothbrush for Receding Gums

Proper brushing is critical to maintaining oral health and preventing further gum recession. Aggressive brushing can erode enamel and cause the gums to recede. The following tips can help prevent gum recession and keep your mouth healthy and clean.

  • Opt for gentle, circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Avoid pressing too hard or scrubbing back and forth
  • Use a timer or app to make sure you’re brushing for the recommended two minutes
  • Don’t forget to brush along the gum line and between teeth
  • Consider using an electric toothbrush with pressure sensors to alert you when you’re brushing too hard
  • Regularly replace your manual toothbrush or electric brush heads to prevent worn bristles from damaging your mouth

Your Questions, Answered

Is a soft or hard toothbrush better for receding gums?

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are generally recommended for those with receding gums or gingivitis because they are gentler and less likely to contribute to further recession. However, it’s important to note that proper brushing technique is just as crucial as the bristle type. Use gentle circular motions and avoid pressing too hard, regardless of the bristle softness.

Are electric toothbrushes good for gum recession?

Electric toothbrush prevents the back-and-forth scrubbing motion that can wear away gums and teeth, says Dr. Eastwood. Additionally, some electric toothbrushes come with features that help prevent gum damage by alerting you (either by light or vibration) when you apply too much pressure. Make sure your electric toothbrush has soft or sensitive brush head options before purchasing.

How do you brush your teeth with receding gums?

Dr. Gernhofer recommends applying a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle towards your gums and use gentle, circular motions to brush each tooth. Focus on brushing each side of every tooth while working through the four quadrants of your mouth. 

Who We Are

Lindsay Modglin is a nurse and journalist with expertise in purchasing products for wellness. As a health and commerce writer, her byline has been featured in global publications like Forbes, Insider, Verywell, Parents, Healthline, and more. Her goal is to help readers make actionable and informed decisions about the products and services they use to improve their lives.



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