THE ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

It's not hype: Toothbrushes that plug in really do get your teeth cleaner. Invest in a new high-tech model with soft bristles and extra whitening power. Here are three to try.

Photograph by Jamie Chung

It's not hype: Toothbrushes that plug in really do get your teeth cleaner. Invest in a new high-tech model with soft bristles and extra whitening power. Here are three to try. Katie Hintz

1. Ultreo

Pro: The pared-down toothbrush uses ultrasound technology that breaks paste into microbubbles to clean teeth more deeply.

Con: The way the ultrasound waveguide—a rubber ball in the center of the bristles—knocks against your teeth is annoying until you become accustomed to it.

$170, ultreo.com

2. Philips Sonicare Healthy White

Pro: The streamlined design makes the transition from manual to electric easier, and the "Clean & White" mode purports to lighten teeth by two shades in two weeks.

Con: That whitening mode is noisy enough to wake any nearby sleepers.

$110 for two modes, $130 for three, sonicare.com

3. Oral-B Triumph With SmartGuide

Pro: A separate wireless display reminds you to switch mouth quadrants every 30 seconds and automatically stops the bristles when you're brushing too hard.

Con: The multistep assembly rivals that of an IKEA shelving unit.

$150, oralb.com

The Alternative: Whitening Toothpaste (Email Diamant Red Formula)

Photograph by Jamie Chung

The average whitening toothpaste comes in a glittery box that advertises supposed miracle ingredients—peroxide! Free oxygen molecules! But the French brand Email Diamant has been winning fans since 1893 with a more refined approach. Encased in a retro metal tube, the licorice-flavored paste makes gums look redder, which gives the illusion of whiter teeth. The effect is subtle enough that you won't look like a Seacrest acolyte.

$18, bigelowchemists.com

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