Photo credit: Philips

A toothbrush used to be a fairly simple device -- some bristles and a handle. But like everything, this rudimentary implement has become more complex and, therefore, expensive.

But unlike a $600 smartphone, a good electric toothbrush can have very real health benefits, providing a massage motion that can help protect against gum disease while removing plaque and keeping teeth white.

Philips pioneered the concept and still dominates the market with its Sonicare line of electric toothbrushes. But not everyone is happy, including longtime customers who say the quality isn't what it used to be.

Other consumers have had problems with mold build-up and general durability issues. 

Sonicare is heavily recommended by dentists so it may be that the complaints we've heard are isolated incidents. Before spending big bucks on any electric toothbrush, it might be worth checking with your dentist to see if he has strong feelings -- and evidence to back them up.

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