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Medically Reviewed
Published: February 10, 2024

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024

Author: Jon Love (39 Comments)
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS
Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 1

Our verdict

Best all-round: CrossAction / Amazon, Oral B / ~$21.99

Best for a gentler clean: Pro Gum Care / Amazon, eBay / ~$15.99

Best for whitening: 3D White / Amazon, eBay / ~$21.38

Best for braces: Ortho care / Oral B, Amazon / ~$23.74

Quick summary

We recommend the CrossAction and Pro GumCare as the best Oral-B toothbrush heads.

Both provide a great clean. The Pro GumCare (also known as the Sensi UltraThin) offers the softer bristles for a more gentle brushing experience.

Do be aware that you will get more benefit from brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time, with the right technique than you will worrying about which brush head style to choose.

If you want to know more about each brush head or the other choices you have, this guide tells you all you need to know.

Our Choice
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Our Choice
Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Amazon $21.99 $15.99
Oral B $31.24 -
eBay - View price

Please Note

In summer 2020, Oral-B introduced the Oral-B iO Series electric toothbrush.

The iO has a range of interchangeable heads, however, these are exclusive to the iO.

They are not interchangeable with other Oral-B toothbrushes and the non-iO heads included in this article are not compatible with the iO.

If you have an iO or wish to know more about Oral-B iO heads, please view our Oral-B iO brush heads section.

Best all-round Oral-B brush head

The CrossAction or Pro GumCare are the best brush heads to go for.

I know this is 2 options and not 1, but they are both excellent choices.

The CrossAction is the brush head most commonly supplied with a new Oral-B toothbrush.  The bristles are firmer than the Pro GumCare, which is another very popular option if you prefer or your dentist recommends soft bristles.

Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads – 2pk – White

Best for sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth or gums, perhaps inflammation or even bleeding the best brush head in this instance for cleaning your teeth will be the Pro GumCare.

The softer bristles move over the teeth and gum surfaces with a motion, less abrasive than some other brush heads, reducing the sensitivity on the teeth.

If you regularly experience sensitive teeth and gums, you should seek further advice from a dentist as you may need to consider a change in diet, specialist toothpastes or even dental work.

You can use this brush head with any cleaning mode on your Oral-B toothbrush, but for the best effect if you brush handle has the Sensitive or Gum Care cleaning mode, then do make sure to choose one of these when brushing.

With a good oral healthcare routine, sensitive teeth and gums should subside, as often the cause is poor brushing technique and irregular cleaning. If after a couple of weeks you have seen little or no improvement you should seek further advice from a dentist as you may need to consider a change in diet, specialist toothpastes or even dental work.

Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Pro GumCare Brush Heads – 2pk – White

Best for whitening teeth

Whilst the Oral-B 3D White brush head will not achieve the same results as professional whitening at the dentist, it can help to remove surface stains from your teeth. 

The polishing cup in the centre of the brush head is designed to replicate the motion and effect of professional dental tools.

To enhance the effect of the whitening head it is best, although not essential, to use it with an Oral-B brush that has a Whitening Mode

The Whitening Mode lasts for 2 minutes 20 seconds — the first 2 minutes are for your normal clean, and the last 20 seconds can be used to focus on any particularly stained areas. 

It's worth noting that this brush head won't work miracles — it's worth trying if you have some light staining you want to remove, but if the desired results are not achieved, you will likely need professional cleaning or bleaching.  

Oral-B 3D White Brush Heads – 6pk – White
Oral-B 3D White Brush Heads – 6pk – White

Best for braces

Braces are fantastic in what they can do to our teeth, but fixed braces, in particular, can pose a real challenge in keeping them clean.

Thankfully Oral-B has a specialist Ortho brush head.

The Ortho brush head helps to remove the small food particles that can get caught on the teeth and gums and around the dental work.

Whilst you can use any brush head on braces, the specially designed head has a bristle formation that works effectively, reaching in between the brace and around fittings to clean as effectively as if you had no braces at all.

Oral-B Ortho Care Brush Heads – 1pk – White
Oral-B Ortho Care Brush Heads – 1pk – White

Which brush head should I use?

Don't panic or worry too much about which style of brush head to pick.

I recommend the CrossAction or Pro GumCare brush head.

The small round heads do a fantastic job of cleaning the teeth and gums.

Arguably just as, if not more important than the actual brush head is the way in which you clean your teeth. This includes how long you brush for, how frequently and the brushing technique.

However, for those looking to achieve specific results or have special brushing requirements, Oral-B does offer a little more choice.

If you want to get into the details, you first need to consider the brush head style.

Do you want the small round brush head, which Oral-B are famed for, and that is clinically proven to offer a superior clean?

Or, would you like the sweeping action of the Deep Sweep brush head which is more aligned with a manual toothbrush?

A Deep Sweep brush head reaches over 2-3 teeth at any one time compared to the one tooth approach of the small professional inspired heads.

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 2

Both will offer a better clean removing more plaque than a manual brush.

Seeing as the small round heads are clinically better and more popular, I will presume you want the small round brush head.

With that covered you have another slight consideration to make. What bristle configuration do you want?

The options include:

  • CrossAction
  • FlossAction
  • 3D White
  • Pro GumCare
  • Sensitive Clean
  • Precision Clean

Each of these have potential advantages based on your specific needs. CrossAction is a good general clean option whilst the FlossAction is advantageous if you particularly suffer with plaque build up in between teeth.

3D White is best used if you are trying to remove stains from the teeth and get more of a polished shine.

Pro GumCare is best suited if there is inflammation in the mouth or you have particularly soft gums whilst Precision clean attacks the gum line removing up to 5x more plaque.

There are of course the more specialized Ortho and Power Tip/Interspace brush heads which should ideally be used by those with braces, teeth implants or dental crowns.

All give the teeth a good general clean, do not be worried that you will lose out by selecting one over the other, but it can be good to change brush heads if your needs change over time.

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Oral-B brush heads explained

You may be wondering what the difference is between the various Oral-B brush heads and how they compare.

I explain all the different heads in detail below to make it easy for you to understand which one to opt for.

I’ve also created a comparison chart to help summarise the key differences.

Comparison table

The brush heads shown in the table below will work with any Oral-B brush handle, apart from the Stages Power Kids and the Oral-B iO series.

There are specific brush heads for the iO series, as noted in the table.

CrossActionFlossActionPro Gum Care3D WhitePrecision CleanTriZone/Deep SweepOrtho CareInterspaceUltimate CleanGentle CareKids
Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 4Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 5Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 6Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 7Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 8Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 9Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 10Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 11Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 12Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 13Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 14
DescriptionBest all-roundBest for sensitive teethBest for whiteningBest for bracesBest for crowns, bridges & implantsBest all-round - iO SeriesBest for sensitive teeth -iO SeriesBest for kids
Everyday brushing solution?YesYesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Speciality brushing solution?NoNoYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
Compatible with all handles?*YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesiO Series OnlyiO Series OnlyYes
Cleaning modes best suitedDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanSensitiveWhiteningDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily CleanDaily CleanDaily Clean, Whitening, IntenseSensitive, Super Sensitive, Gum Care
Daily Clean
*Not compatible with Oral-B iO Series

Fitting Oral-B brush heads

To replace a brush head, you pull off the existing brush head and push on the replacement. The heads will require a small amount of force to push on and pull off, they are designed to be a snug fit.

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 15

Are Oral-B brush heads interchangeable? 

One of the fantastic things about Oral-B brush heads is that they are fully interchangeable*.

This means that if you have any of the Oral-B electric toothbrushes, you can use any of the brush heads explained here.

So whether your brush came provided with a CrossAction or Sensitive brush head you can easily clip on a FlossAction or 3D White head if that is your preference.

No longer does one person in a household need to have a different brush to another. Share the same handle, just swap the brush head.

It is advised to only use Oral-B brush heads with the brush handles as performance and wear on the brush using other brush heads cannot be guaranteed.

The interchangeable nature of the brush heads are explained in the following video:

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 16

*This does not apply to the iO Series. Other odd exceptions may apply. The OxyJet nozzle will not fit to electric toothbrushes.

Pro vs Deep sweep

I mentioned earlier that there are different styles of heads, Pro and Deep Sweep.

You may be wondering what is the difference between the Pro and Deep Sweep and the way they work. The following videos show the brush head in action and how the movement differ.

Deep Sweep brush head:

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 17

Pro Oscillating Rotating brush head:

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 18

What you should notice is that the motion of the heads are different. Deep Sweep is more like a traditional manual brush compared to the more advanced and arguably better oscillating rotating brush head of the Pro.

It is the Pro series brush heads with the 3D oscillating, rotating and pulsating technology that tends to be most popular and are particularly praised for their cleaning abilities.

Colored brush heads

Oral-B might make a range of different colored brush handles such as white, black, pink, purple, rose gold and, but sadly the choices of a color matched brush head are limited.

The vast majority of brush heads are available in a white color only.

There is a black colored CrossAction head, or for iO toothbrush owners, the Ultimate Clean head is available in black.

These are the only alternative choices from white that are available.


A look at the different types of brush head

I have tested almost all of these different brush heads (with the exception of Ortho, Interspace and DualClean) and my personal favorites are the CrossAction and Sensitive brush heads.

Being able to actually tell the difference between each and how well they clean is very difficult.

Personal opinion is most certainly going to influence the thought about each. You might get different feelings and results when compared to my everyday use.

Oral-B makes many claims about the efficiency of plaque removal and how well each head cleans in combination with their brush handles. I am not here to judge or make comment specifically on how well they remove plaque, this is not a scientific test.

Having tried each, here are a few of my thoughts.

Cross Action heads

Oral-B CrossAction Brush Head

This is the brush head most often provided in the box with new electric toothbrushes and is essentially the ‘default’ recommendation for users unless they have specific dental needs and requirements.

Positioned at a 16 degree angle, the bristles are placed in a crisscross configuration to give an effective clean to the tooth surface and along the gumline.

Reaching deep in between teeth to loosen bacteria and remove up to 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush the CrossAction head is ideally suited to everyday use.

The CrossAction brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B CrossAction brush head review

This is my brush head of choice, that I use on a daily basis.

Why?

Well, although the bristles are not as soft as the Sensitive brush head, I actually quite like the slightly firmer bristle and the way they are laid out.

The clean feels more aggressive. It is not, but what I mean by this, is after a clean my mouth pops with a certain freshness I do not get with other brush heads.

If you have sore, swollen or inflamed gums it might be a bit rough on these.

Many dentists preach about using soft bristles, and I will second that. However, the bristles still have a nice flex and movement to them and I don’t think you could consider them overly firm, they are just firmer than a Sensitive brush head. They are not going to do any damage to your teeth and gums.

During every use, it feels like the head is cleaning deep and gets into the gumline, giving an invigorating clean.

The small round brush head is like the calling card for Oral-B electric toothbrushes and what makes them so popular.

The shape makes for much easier control and movement, particularly in the tighter space at the back of the mouth.

Making up the brush head are clusters of bristles, 26 to be precise.

In the center, you have 2 clusters of short white bristles

Around this is a ring of 8 bristle clusters that are a dark blue and green in color.

The green bristles are the same height as the inner white bristles and the dark blue sit slightly taller. All of these bristles are angled at 16 degrees.

There is then the final outer ring of bristles. 16 clusters all of which are angled at 16 degrees. There are shorter white bristles and then taller light blue bristles.

In most cases, the CrossAction head is the ‘default’ brush head supplied with most Oral-B electric toothbrushes and I understand why.

Many replicas exist, but there are many reasons to stick with this manufacturer original head.

I have used a CrossAction head since Oral-B first offered them. Whilst I change the head every 3 months, never have I had a head break, bristles fray, become loose, wear unevenly or give me any cause for concern.

They even have the indicator bristles that fade over time as the brush head is used. A great reminder to you that your brush head will need changing, it is the light blue bristles on this head that fade.


Deep Sweep heads

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 19

The head that is most like that found on a manual toothbrush.

It is physically larger covering more teeth at once and the motion of the bristles are different to the Pro head.

The Deep Swee head has 3 different bristle zones.

A power tip reaches the back teeth whilst shorter bristles clean the tooth surface and longer sweeping bristles that reach up to 2X deeper between teeth compared to a manual brush to deliver a more superior clean.

The Deep Sweep brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B Deep Sweep brush head review

You might consider this somewhat of an odd brush head amongst the Oral-B range, given that the shape of it is not round, like all the others.

It is however still a popular style and is Oral-B’s answer to a brush head a little more like that you might get on a regular manual toothbrush.

A few years ago, the Deep Sweep head was more widely promoted and offered in the box with the brushes Oral-B made. However, as the efficiency of the round heads have been proven this larger style head does not get as much attention.

Unlike a manual brush head though, the bristles move slightly differently.

The head is made up of 7/8 rows of bristles (depending on how you look at it), made up of differing numbers of bristle clusters that run horizontally across the brush head.

At the very top of the brush head is what is known as the ‘Power Tip’, 3 clusters of light blue bristles, shaped almost in a triangle. You have 1 cluster at the with 2 clusters below, 1 to the left and 1 to the right.

Noticeable when you look side on at the brush head, you will see that these bristles in the tip are angled back slightly to help clean deeper between teeth.

This ‘Power Tip’ moves left to right when connected to the brush handle and does so in perfect harmony with the 3 rows of white bristles on the head.

Longer than the rows of stationary blue bristles, the moving white bristles do too clean deep between the teeth.

The rows of white bristles each have 2 bristle clusters within them. They are not particularly thick but are wide.

In comparison, the dark blue bristles are made up of 3 clusters. The same depth and width as the white bristles, 3 clusters means they cover a wider surface area.

Cleaning the teeth via the sonic vibrations that pass into the bristles from the brush motor. The cleaning action feels different to a round head. It is not as intense and you certainly feel the sweeping motion that takes place.

I found the head still cleans relatively well, but it does not personally give me the same level of confidence the CrossAction head would.

Its larger size is too slightly more awkward for cleaning the rear teeth and harder to reach areas of the mouth.

Deep Sweep is an option for those transitioning or who like the bigger head style.


Floss Action heads

Oral_B_Floss_Action_Banner

Designed to get deep between the teeth this brush head has unique MicroPulse bristles (the yellow one) that give a floss like clean.

The remaining bristles focus on effectively cleaning the tooth surface and along the gumline to remove bacteria and surface stains.

The Floss Action brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B FlossAction brush head review

As the name of this head implies, the idea is that it can get deeper in between teeth to give an effective clean and help remove additional plaque and bacteria.

Keeping with the traditional round brush head, it is the 4 yellow paddle like bristles that help with the flossing action.

There are 4 tall rubber pieces, 2 either side of the brush head. A tapered shape, they get thinner towards the tip and move around a lot more than a normal bristle would.

The technical name for this yellow bristle is a ‘MicroPulse’ bristle.

Right in the center of the brush head are 7 clusters of shorter mint green bristles.

Above and below this are 2 clusters of light blue bristles with a further 2 clusters above them.

The outer bristle formation is slightly thinner, but wider in formation and are positioned to form a slight arc or curvature to the edge of the brush head. The very outer bristles are the tallest on the head.

To the right and left of the brush head is a single cluster of white bristles in a circle, with then a single taller but not so thick formation on the very edge. These are the same height as the inner mint green bristles.

You will see from the images how the MicroPulse bristles are positioned at 8, 10, 2 and 4 o’clock.

A third of the way down the MicroPulse bristle is a blue colored band that wraps around the whole bristle. It is actually thicker and gives extra strength.

These bristles wiggle a lot more. Firmly fastened, they are not going anywhere, but the extra movement allows them to disrupt bacteria and debris they come into contact with.

Watching the movement of the brush head in slow motion shows how these bristles flop side to side.

When actually using the brush head, I can’t say I can feel the MicroPulse bristles working all the time. Of course, they are, at a very rapid rate, but every so often there is a slight sensation which can only be these bristles.


3D White heads

Oral_B_3D_White_Banner

Ideally suited for those wanting brighter and whiter teeth, the specially designed brush head has a dentist inspired polishing cup in the middle with traditional bristles around the edge.

Offering a tooth by tooth clean, it buffs away surface stains to achieve whiter teeth within 2 weeks.

The bristles move across the tooth surface and along the gumline to clean away bacteria and plaque buildup.

The 3D White brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B 3D White brush head review

As the name implies, this is a brush head best used by those looking to achieve fantastic white teeth.

Usable on any cleaning mode, it is most effective on a brush that has a ‘whitening’ mode.

Round in shape the head is, but in the center is a round rubber polishing cup.

Sitting lower than the rest of the bristles on the head, the pinky/purple cup has 4 thin bristles/upright rubber pieces inside that help give the cup strength. These are positioned at 9, 12, 3 and 6 o’clock if you imagined the circle being that of a clock face. In between each of these are even smaller ridges inside the polishing cup, there are 3 between each larger support/bristles.

3 clusters of white bristles are positioned above and below this dentist inspired polishing cup.

Moving out towards the edge of the brush head, on the left and right side are 3 deep blue colored bristles in 3 small clusters that essentially form the outer edge of the brush head. These are the shortest bristles on the head.

At the top and bottom of the head are the tallest bristles, formed in 2 clusters they are a very dark blue color. The clusters are not as deep, but wider with a gentle curvature them.

As the head moves in use, the bristles sweep away the food debris and plaque, whilst the polishing cup buffs the tooth surface removing extrinsic staining to leave a bright and white look to the teeth.

How effective this brush head is at whitening your teeth is dependant upon your teeth and level of staining. When used with a good toothpaste it can remove extrinsic staining, i.e the staining that builds up due to use of tobacco, drinking coffee or red wine. But, the effects and change in tooth color may be little if you already have good oral hygiene and little tooth staining and the overall color of the tooth will not be whitened.

It is perfectly fine to use this brush head everyday, but for me, I tend to avoid it as I do not feel the clean is as invigorating as the CrossAction.

Please note. You may have seen or still see the 3D White brush head referred to as Pro White, with a yellow polishing cup and different colored bristles. It does the same job, but 3D White is the updated version.


Pro GumCare heads

Also known as Sensi UltraThin brush heads, there are engineered to be softer on the teeth and gums, the bristles are softer and formed into a petal shapes for a more gentle movement along the gumline, tooth surface, in and around sensitive and inflamed areas.

The Pro GumCare brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B Pro GumCare review

Pro GumCare is the new and improved brush head that is designed to replace the Sensitive brush head that has been available for many years.

The brush head is round in shape made up of a number of bristle clusters.

These clusters are called ‘petals’ by Oral-B. They are made and positioned in such a way that there is a slight sweep and curve to the bristle clusters on the outer ring.

There are 8 clusters on the outer ring that are white in color and have fading blue tips.

There is the inner ring with a further 8 bristle clusters. These are all white in color

Right in the center is a tight cluster of blue bristles.

Shortest are the inner blue bristles, with the inner ring of white bristles slightly taller. The height of the bristles on the very outer ring vary in height. For the most part, they are the same height as the inner ring of bristles, but quite a few of the outer bristles are fractionally taller.

Oral-B have designed the bristles to be much softer on the teeth and gums and whilst there is a certain firmness to the bristles they do feel soft.

During cleaning, the head seems to do a good job and I enjoy the clean it offers.

It does feel softer and many dental professionals will advise opting for a soft bristles head on your toothbrush.

In comparison to the older style Sensitive brush head style, which is still sold in places the new head has fewer bristles. The older style has bristles of all of the same height. On the outer edge are a number of tightly clustered bristles that essentially form a ring around a much denser array of center bristles.


Sensitive heads

Oral-B Sensitive Brush Head

Softer on the teeth and gums, the Sensitive brush head works well for those who have inflamed gums, sensitive teeth or for those who want a softer brushing experience.

Not as stiff, the bristles on the brush head move more gently over the teeth and gums to remove plaque, bacteria and food debris that builds up on the inflamed and sensitive areas of the mouth.

The sensitive brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B Sensitive brush head review

Super soft bristles make this the most gentle of all the brush heads and the one that most dentists would say you should use.

The softer bristles are very gentle on the teeth and gums and are particularly pleasing if you are suffering with sensitivity, inflammation or bleeding.

This style is certainly a must for any older children moving to an adult brush for the first time.

All the bristles on this head are cut to the same length. There is no cupping of the tooth in the way the 3D White or Precision Clean head might.

Round in its shape, the outer edge has 14 clusters that form a circle. Each cluster is equally spaced and have a palish blue color to them.

Inside this ring of bristles is another ring of very pale blue bristles. The formation is not quite as tight as the tips of the bristles appear to splay out a little more. I believe there are 12-14 clusters in total.

You now essentially have 2 rings of bristles. Running across the middle of the inner ring are 2 clusters that in turn leave a small but noticeable D shape above and below.

The clean is good and I have no real complaints. Of course, the experience is softer, more gentle and less invigorating than the CrossAction head, but this is my 2nd choice and it is such a pleasure to use.


Precision Clean heads

Oral-B Precision clean brush heads

Capable of removing up to 5x more plaque than a manual toothbrush the precision clean head leaves your whole mouth feeling cleaner thanks to an arc trim that cups each tooth as you brush it.

The Precision Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Oral-B Precision Clean brush head review

Until Oral-B launched the criss cross bristle configuration that adorns the CrossAction brush head, it was the Precision Clean head that was the standard head supplied with new brushes.

Just like most of the other styles, this brush head is circular in shape with bristles of different lengths to help give a deep and thorough clean to the teeth and gums.

Hold the head side on and you really see the profile of the bristles and how they cup each tooth in the mouth.

Shorter bristles on the inside clean the center of the tooth surface, whilst the longer bristles clean the edges and the sides.

The bristles are certainly softer and more flexible than the CrossAction head and would be a good choice for those looking for something a little less firm and more gentle on the teeth and gums.

The bristles on the Sensitive head are softer still though.

In the middle of the head are white bristles in 4 cluster.

3 clusters of bristles can be found on the right and left side. These clusters arc slightly around the center bristles to give the head a little more shape.

On the outer edge of both the left and right side of the head are 4 clusters of dark blue bristles.2 clusters are closer together to provide a thicker and more oval shaped formation.

Looking above and below those white centrally located bristle clusters are 2 clusters of lighter blue bristles.

Stepping out further from these is a much wider arcing cluster that forms the upper and lower edge of the brush head. These are the tallest bristles.


Charcoal-infused heads

Designed to help with the natural whitening of the teeth, the bristles have charcoal infused into them.

The cup-shaped bristles remove surfaces stains that come about as a result of the likes of tea and coffee. These are then absorbed into the bristles of the brush.

The Charcoal brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Ortho heads

Oral_B_Ortho_Banner

Designed specifically for those with fixed braces and undergoing orthodontic treatment, this brush head targets the areas around the fixings to effectively clean and remove bacteria.

Inner bristles target the fixings whilst outer bristles focus on reaching the all important gumline.

The Ortho brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Interspace/Power Tip

Oral_B_Interspace_Banner

Referred to as either Power Tip or Interspace this brush head is specifically designed to clean between teeth and around dental work such as bridges, crowns and tiny, hard to reach areas in between teeth and implants.

The Interspace / Power Tip brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Dual Clean heads

Oral_B_Dual_Clean_Banner

Made up of two moving sections, the upper rounded bristle formation oscillates and pulsates whilst the lower section moves in a side to side motion.

It is a combination of the Pro and Deep Sweep cleaning approaches that aims to reach deep into hard to reach areas.

The Dual Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Nozzle/Oxy Jet (Also known as Aquafloss)

Oral_B_Oxyjet_Banner

A specialized head, this is not strictly a brush but a nozzle for Oral-B’s Oxyjet and water flossers.  It infuses water with micro bubbles and forces this through to attack plaque and bacteria below the gumline.

The Oxyjet/Aquafloss nozzle is compatible with:

  • Oral-B's Oxyjet only. It is not compatible with its electric toothbrushes.

iO Series brush heads

The Oral-B iO has a different design and build to most other Oral-B electric toothbrushes.

As a result the brush heads on offer are different too.

The basic ethos behind the brush heads are the same, small and round, but the fitting and brush head styles are slightly different.

Existing brush heads from Oral-B are not compatible with the iO and the iO brush heads do not fit to or work with other Oral-B toothbrushes.

Therefore, if you have an iO Series 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 electric toothbrush then you will need to ensure the heads you buy are compatible.

A new design is somewhat frustrating for existing Oral-B electric toothbrush users, but there are some benefits too.

The range of options has been reduced.

The choices are:

  • Ultimate Clean
  • Gentle Care
  • Radiant White
  • Targeted Clean (also known as Specialized Clean)
Oral-B iO Ultimate Clean toothbrush head

To summarize, the Ultimate Clean and Gentle Care heads are essentially the iO equivalents to the CrossAction and Pro GumCare that are our recommended choices.

Therefore the 'Best' brush head for the iO is the Ultimate Clean.

The Radiant White and Targeted Clean are equivalent to the 3D White and Interspace/PowerTip.

Just like the original heads, these iO specific brush heads do push onto and pull off of the iO Series brush handle. There is no need to twist or lock the heads into place.

You can fit and remove as often as you like.

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 20

Ultimate Clean

Inspired by the CrossAction brush heads, the Ultimate Clean refill brush head has a 'Tuft-in-Tuft' structure to reach deeper in between the teeth.

These 'Tuft-in-Tuft' structures are found on the outer edge of the brush head, there are 6 in total.

Up close you can see how the tuft of bristles in the middle of the outer bristle tuft is actually slightly taller/longer to achieve this.

In the center of the brush head, are a further 7 tufts, 6 of which are grouped around a single tuft right in the center.

The brush head is small and round with tufts angled at 16 degrees to be most effective in the clean, but to also sweep away plaque from the gumline.

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 21

The Ultimate Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Gentle Care

A brush head comprising of 4000 individual filaments for a gentle, but effective cleaning experience.

The small round brush head has contouring to the bristles to help adapt to the curvature of the tooth and gumline for a deep and thorough clean.

The curved shape gives a smooth and gliding feeling when in use.

6 tufts of cushioning bristles on the outer edge of the head have the smallest diameter bristle filaments (4.5mil) of any Oral-B brush head.

Inside sit a further 7 tufts, 6 of which are grouped around a single tuft right in the center.

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 22

The Ultimate Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Radiant White

A combination of 6 bristle tufts and 5 polishing petals work together to buff away stains on the outer tooth surface, to make your teeth appear brighter and whiter.

5 larger tufts of bristles create a rounded edge to this small circular brush head. They are made up of 3 different colored bristles (white, lilac and dark blue).

The bristles are angled so that the white and lilac appear longer than the dark blue ones. This angling helps to make the overall cleaning of this brush head that bit better.

Inside the outer edge are what Oral-B calls the 'polishing petals'. They are not nylon bristles they are instead made of a rubber/silicone type material. They have a wider profile to them, with a tapered tip. They are designed to mimic the polishing cup found on professional dental tools to help give that brighter shine to the tooths surface.

The petals wrap around a large inner tuft of bristles shaped in a perfect circle.

That inner circle of bristles is made up of an outer ring of blue bristles with some white ones in the center. They are cut to the same height as the petals, sitting a little lower than the outer bristles on the head.

All of the nylon bristle tips have been rounded to give a softer brushing sensation and reduce the chances of gum irritation.

iO Radiant White Toothbrush Head

The Radiant White brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Targeted Clean (Also known as Specialized Clean)

These heads are designed to reach and clean around hard to reach areas in the mouth. Examples of when they are ideally suited are for cleaning dental implants, braces and misaligned teeth.

Looking quite different to most other brush heads, 3 outer bristle tufts sit around a single inner tuft. The 3 outer tufts are blue in color, longer in length and angled to create a kind of tip as they lean into the center of the round brush head where you find the cluster of white bristles. That central cluster of bristles is slightly longer than the outer blue ones.

Specific to the iO range of heads, the Targeted/Specialized Clean head can be used daily but is not designed for an all over clean of the teeth. It is specifically designed to be used in addition to the likes of the Ultimate Clean or Gentle Care head to reach more awkward locations that a normal head just won't reach.

Like other Oral-B heads, the bristle tips are rounded for a more gentle brushing experience.

The Ultimate Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

Different cleaning modes

Depending on which Oral-B electric toothbrush you have or are looking to opt for will depend on the cleaning modes available.

The main cleaning modes are however:

  1. Daily Clean
  2. Gum Care (Also referred to as Massage)
  3. Sensitive
  4. Super Sensitive
  5. Whitening/Whiten
  6. Pro Clean
  7. Intense
  8. Tongue Cleaner

Each of the previously mentioned brush heads can be used with any of these cleaning modes but some are better suited to particular modes — we show which brush heads are best suited to which cleaning modes in the comparison table above.

The sensitive brush head is best suited to the sensitive and gum care cleaning mode whilst the 3D white brush head is best partnered with the whitening cleaning mode.

Using the correct brush head with the most appropriate cleaning mode can result in a more thorough and suitable clean for your teeth and oral health conditions. If ever in doubt it is worth speaking to your dentist to find which is the best combination for you.

Click here to learn more about Oral-B cleaning modes.

Replacing your brush head

The recommended time period for changing an Oral-B brush head is every 3 months.

This is a general consensus among the dentistry profession.

You will find that the brush heads will normally last 3 months and whilst the intensity of the bristle colour may have changed the bristle formation should still be virtually the same as it was when new at the end of the 3 month period.

Using a brush head for longer can actually cause harm to the teeth because bristles can become damaged and less effective at how they sweep across the tooth surfaces, in between teeth and along the gum line.

Therefore it is always important to monitor your brush head and consider whether it is necessary to change your brush head sooner rather than later.

Those using a smart, Bluetooth enable toothbrush can track the brush head within the smartphone application.

Oral_B_Brush_Head_Indicator

Indicator bristles

On any Oral-B brush head you have what are classed as indicator bristles.

The colour of the bristles start off fuller and darker, but as time passes they become lighter and appear more worn.

It is this fade in colour that acts as a guide to tell you to change brush heads.

Brush_Head_Colour_Changeb

Bristle condition

Take a look at the bristles, are they still fairly uniform in their direction and look.

Does the bristle layout look similar to when the brush head was new?

If bristles are shorter, frayed or all over the place then it is time to change.

Brushing with too much pressure is often a cause of wearing out brush heads quicker than normal.

CleanMaximiser bristles

Oral-B have introduced a range of brush head styles with what they refer to as 'cleanmaximiser bristles'.

Essentially they do the same job as regular indicator bristles, but they have been reworked to be a little more obvious in daily use.

A new brush head will have a number of bristle tufts where all the bristles are green in colour.

What happens is that over a period of approximately 3 months, the green bristles are dyed yellow to indicate the brush head requires changing.

At the time of writing this technology has been added to Precision Clean, FlossAction, CrossAction and 3D White brush heads.

Oral-B Clean Maximiser Brush Heads

Bacteria Guard bristles

There are a select number of brush heads, notable CrossAction and FlossAction that have 'Bacteria Guard Bristles'.

It is not clear precisely what the bristles have on them but they are designed to resist bacteria build-up, inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

This will help keep your bristles clean over the days, weeks and months you use it.

It will not kill the bacteria in the mouth or protect you against disease.

Whilst a regular rinse and air drying of the brush head should be enough to prevent excessive bacteria buildup, this is another approach to help prevent bacteria developing on the brush head.

Different users

It is possible to share a toothbrush handle with another user, providing each user has their own brush head.

Sharing a toothbrush handle can potentially save quite a bit of money.

Oral-B have implemented a simple, yet effective method to ensure you know you are using the correct brush head.

Colored rings are fitted to the heads. Just remember the color ring of yours and providing other users have different colors, you will easily know which is yours.

The colored rings have been dropped with the iO Series, but instead, each head has 1 of 12 different icons printed on it, so you can identify which one you own.

Author: Jon Love
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS

Related Topics

Leave a comment

BL
Bev Lockard
August 9, 2023

Which is the Very softest oral b toothbrush head

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
August 11, 2023

We beleive the Seni UltraThin/ProGum Care (Same head different names). Some beleive that the older 'Sensitive' head is softer, but the latter is replacing this head really.

SB
Shannon Breytenbach
February 21, 2023

Good day I am an oral hygienist and I would like to know where you found the articles/studies showing the differences in results/efficacy between the toothbrush heads. I would like to do some further reading. Thank you, Kind Regards, Shannon

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
February 22, 2023

Hi Shannon. Are you referring specifically to comparisons between Oral-B brush heads? Some of this comes from our own hands-on testing and using studies Oral-B has done themselves on specific heads. As far as we are aware there isn't really any propper study/data that compares each head side by side.

S
Shannon
February 22, 2023

Hi Jon Thanks for your response! Yes specifically Oral-B. -How is the cleaning efficacy of the different brush heads tested when you test them? Do you know of any studies by Oral-B comparing their heads and different models of etb's? I have looked on Google Scholar but I am struggling to find any. I would like to see studies on things like: -Was the cross action head found to remove more plaque, and how much more compared to the rest? -Does the 3D white brush head remove stains significantly more (or even noticeable to the naked eye) than the others. And if it removed more stains, does it remove less plaque or the same amount. If the same, why not just sell the the whitening head only. Thank you!

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
February 22, 2023

Our testing isn't scientific. More user testing, and general feeling and opinion form use. We will use plaque disclosing to help etc, but we are certainly not testing with strict conditions. We generally find them to be comparable with no significant differences from the most popular brush heads. I'm not aware of any study that compares one head to another specifically or in any detail.

C
Carsten
October 8, 2022

Hello, thank you for your excellent work and your fantastic expertise. In the modes "Gum Care" and "Tongue Clean" with my iO9 I have used so far the "Ultimate Clean" brush head. I have no problems with the gums, no bleeding and nothing else. During regular check-ups my dentist is very happy with my gums . My question is: Could a "Gentle Clean" brush head instead of the "Ultimate Clean" brush head in the modes "Gum Care"/ "Tongue Clean" even improve the results from a dental angle? Thank you in advance for your advice. Best Regards, Carsten.

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
October 9, 2022

Hi Carsten. Great question. The Gentle Clean head isn't going to clean the teeth/gums any better than the Ultimate Clean. Your dentist won't be able to tell which head you are using for example. Where Gentle Care might be better in the long term is it is less harsh on the gums and softer surfaces. The softer bristles could be good for them over many months and years of use. It varies from one person to another but sometimes people have sensitivity issues or recession of the gum and the softer head will be more gentle here.

C
Carsten
October 9, 2022

Hi Jon, thank you for drawing my attention to the long term effects. I will use the “Gentle Care” brush head in the modes “Gum Care”/ “Tongue Clean”. ElectricTeeth is by far the best source on the internet. Thank you for the detailed, clear and objective analyses and recommendations. Please continue running the site on this level. Best Regards, Carsten.

A
Amy
February 15, 2022

Hello, I'm researching a new toothbrush and am finding your website to be a great resource! I thought I was decided on the iO, but I have seen several reviews that complain that the brush head is uncomfortably big. I haven't seen the sizes of the brush heads mentioned in your reviews. Is there a big difference in size between the iO and the non-iO? Or between Oral-B and Sonicare (I know the difference in shape, but not sure if these reviews are complaining about the height of the brush head or width or something else. Can you provide any insight? Thank you!

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
February 15, 2022

Amy. Great question. As a very approximate answer, I would suggest the iO head is about 10% bigger (total surface area of the head). This impacts the width and height of the head a bit. We are talking very small measurements and although technically possible to measure, it isn't that meaningful as everyone's mouth and experiences are different. Compared to other Oral-B heads, it is noticeable when used side by side. But for most people in use not really an issue or something to be concerned about. I have found personally no issues with using the marginally bigger head of the iO. If you haven't used an electric brush or Oral-B before you don't have the previous experience and expectations. Sonicare heads often feel bigger because of the length of the head rather than the width or depth/height. I don't promote using this service unless you really have to, but Oral-B does have a money back scheme that you could use, if you picked the iO and didn't get on with the size, preferring the smaller head. I hope that helps.

a
amy
February 15, 2022

Hello again, Jon. I found a review where someone posted a photo of this issue--they are talking about the distance from the end of the bristles (the brushing surface) to the back or base of the head, if that makes sense. In that photo, it looks like the iO is about 40% taller than the Sonicare.

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
February 16, 2022

Hi Amy. Glad I could help. I wouldn't suggest it was quite as much as 40% taller, perhaps nearer 25-30%. But then the heads are not as long so that plays a part too. I think you will probably be fine with the iO's heads. Rarely do people really not get on with them. It might be worth, if you are not sure, buying some brush heads only and just trying them out to at least get a rough feel or idea yourself of how they compare.

a
amy
February 16, 2022

That is a very smart idea! Thank you!

a
amy
February 15, 2022

Thank you! Yes, I am new to electric. Although I generally prefer small manual toothbrushes, it sounds like I will be okay with iO. Thanks for your helpful and speedy reply!

a
amy
February 15, 2022

Very helpful, Jon, thank you! Yes, I am new to electric. I prefer the smaller heads on manual toothbrushes, I hate the large ones, so I am sensitive to size, but based on what you said, it seems I should be safe with the iO. Thank you for your helpful and speedy reply!

MF
MARK FERGUSON
September 26, 2021

I qualify for the CVS Over the Counter Program. I need new tooth brush heads. CVS offers 2 brands the Smiles Sonic and Easy Flex replacement. Would these be comparible to the Oral B?

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
September 27, 2021

Hi Mark. I have not tried these heads, but it looks like the Easy Flex should be compatible. Taken from this CVS webpage - The EasyFlex Perfect Angle brush heads fit the EasyFlex Pro Premium and Infinity Rechargeable toothbrushes and are also compatible with most Oral-B power toothbrushes*. These brush heads also feature light blue Replace-Me bristles that fade with use to remind you when it's time to replace your brush head. *Does not fit Vitality Sonic, Oral-B Sonic Complete, Pulsonic, CrossAction Power battery toothbrush, Oral-B Complete battery toothbrush, and 3D White battery toothbrush. Oral-B, Vitality, CrossAction Power, Oral-B Sonic Complete and Oral-B Complete are registered trademarks of The Procter & Gamble Business Services Canada Company. 3D White is a registered trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company. Pulsonic is a registered trademark of Braun GmbH.

J
Joe
June 29, 2021

What do you think of buying something that's compatible with Oral B. They're so much cheaper. https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Compatible-Professional-Electric-Toothbrush/dp/B08NW2X12S/ref=asc_df_B08NW2X12S/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=475773119418&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15406949743510561250&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031163&hvtargid=pla-1130107990955&psc=1

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
June 29, 2021

They are certainly an option.

BL
Bruce Lewis
May 3, 2021

I just purchased an oral b 6000 from Costco. For several years I was using an Oral B battery operated Pro-Health ($20) elec tooth brush. I now have 6mm gum pockets at my lower molars on both side and am getting at deep cleaning in a few weeks. I have many fillings but all of my teeth. I am 73 years old. What brush head should I use--it is still very confusing. Or does it really matter which brush to use ?

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
May 4, 2021

Hi Bruce. Our recommendation would be the sensitive/Pro GumCare brush head as this has the soft bristles. It wouldn't then hurt to get the opinion from the dental professional who does the deep cleaning in a few weeks, but I am sure they would suggest similar.

BM
Bianca McGuire
March 24, 2021

When brushing my teeth I can never decide, do I hold the brush in one place or move it back and forth like a tooth brush

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
March 25, 2021

Keep it in one place. We explain and demonstrate in more detail in our guide on brushing your teeth properly.

SK
Sam Khoury
March 18, 2021

Hi Jon, I have another question about toothbrush heads. This article doesn't mention the following Oral-B Advanced Clean replacement toothbrush heads that are available at Costco. These are also for all Oral-B electric toothbrushes except the iO series. Could you please tell me if these match any of the toothbrush heads on the chart? It looks very similar to the Precision Clean. Thanks in advance. Sam

M
MSA
December 2, 2021

I just chatted with Oral-B support, and they basically said the two are identical, except for special packaging (and maybe the bristle colors?) for Costco (and Walmart apparently). They said they are the same softness as well

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
March 19, 2021

Hi Sam. I do believe these are based on the Precision Clean brush heads. I haven't personally bought or handled these. They are not as widely marketed/sold. They seem to be available at select sellers only. These heads are not actually listed on the Oral-B website either. They have what is called 'CleanMaximiser' bristles. What happens is that over a period of approximately 3 months, the green bristles are dyed yellow to indicate the brush head requires changing. Simply put I believe they are more than suitable as an everyday brush head.

SK
Sam Khoury
March 19, 2021

Thanks Jon. I'm actually having a tough time deciding whether to get the iO Series 7c or the Genius from Costco. When the iO is on sale it's still double the price of the Genius so then I figured I'd look at the replacement head options from Costco to help me decide because their pricing is great compared to other retailers. For the Genius they have 3 options: Advanced Clean and Floss Action (which are both soft bristles) and they're on sale now for $40 for 9 heads which is a great price and Charcoal heads which have medium bristles so I wouldn't consider it. None of these heads are on your recommended list. For the iO series they only have the Ultimate Clean heads for $55 for 6 heads which are on your recommended list but they're medium bristles which I'd prefer not to get because I have receding gums. If Costco sold the Sensi Ultra Thin heads for the Genius series or the Gentle Care for the iO series then this would make my decision easy. Thanks. Sam

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
March 19, 2021

Hi Sam. I understand your situation. I would suggest go for the Genius. There is limited justifiable reason to spend the extra on the iO. That extra you could spend on the iO can get you a lot of extra brush heads for the Genius X! The brush heads for the Genius are cheaper which has a big benefit too. I also understand Costco might be cheaper on the brush heads, but perhaps paying the small premium for the soft Pro GumCare (Sensi UltraThin) would be beneficial so you can ensure you get the softest bristles. The few extra $ saved on not buying the iO can go to the heads you really want. If that is not justification for buying the soft bristled heads elsewhere, perhaps the peace of mind you will have from knowing you are using the best combination will be worth it.

NM
Nancy Moore
November 13, 2020

I’m very confused. I have a Braun Oral B electric toothbrush. It came with the standard round brush. After three months I bought new heads - the ultra white by Oral B Braun as I thought the brush heads are interchangeable. But I can’t figure out how to get the new head on the handle. Is there a video on your website that shows how? Thanks.

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
November 14, 2020

Hi Nancy. Oral-B brush heads should just pull off and push on as demonstrated in this video we created: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEdRcYLV6t4

IS
Ina Schaffer
November 1, 2020

How can I stop the base of the oral B charger from becoming stained. Should I remove the brush head after each use. Should I rinse the entire Oral B after each use. I really appreciated these videos. But I want to know how to keep the entire system clean and ready to go

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
November 2, 2020

Hi Ina. Cleaning the toothbrush regularly and removing excess moisture from the handle with a cloth/towel will help. Removing the brush head after each use will help too, as it gives greater opportunity for the handle and head to dry correctly. It is always advised to rinse the head to remove debris after brushing. You can find more tips and information here.

CM
C M Johnson
October 25, 2020

Husband has an Oral B Braun Professional Care electric toothbrush that came with 2 standard brushes and 2 white heads with a triangular end and a turquoise green band of small bumps on one side. What is the latter called and what are they for? Husband threw away the instructions.

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
October 27, 2020

I have to say I am really not sure what exactly you are referring to. The closest thing I can imagine is an older style of brush head called 'Dual Clean' as shown in this image. But I will admit that is a bit of a guess. Have you got any more information, such as a model number on the base of the handle? Where did he buy it from and for roughly what price?

sL
siobhan Long
October 14, 2018

Thank YOU, you provided a lot of great detail. I am still confused about the purple ring head. I guess I'll soon find out if I can use the other heads to replace it!

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
October 16, 2018

Hi Siobhan, The Purple ring head? Do you mean a brush head that looks like: Oral-B 3D White Brush Head

M
Melba
March 7, 2021

Yes where can I buy these. I want to purchase 5. Thanks Melba

JL
Jon Love - Chief tester
March 8, 2021

You can buy them here on Amazon.

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