There are a range of toothbrushes on the market which use differing technologies to get your teeth clean. The most effective brush for cleaning plaque is said to be the rotation-oscillation brush or you can get high-tech sonic brushes.
Here are a few basic functions to look for:
You can either get removable or fixed head electric toothbrushes. With fixed head toothbrushes you have to replace the whole unit once the bristles start to go - so these are normally a cheaper option. If you opt for one where you have to replace the heads - factor in this cost before buying as this needs to be done every two to three months.
You may want to share the toothbrush base with other members of your family so look for one with a variety of brush heads. Some come with different sizes for different age groups and many use colour codes to distinguish them.
Make sure you check the batteries (usually AAA) can be replaced when they run down - some toothbrushes don't let you change the batteries, which makes them an expensive disposable option. Some brushes come with different power settings such as high or low. Typically the brush will be most effective when on the highest setting but you may want to opt for one with a low setting or 'easy start' option if you are just getting used to an electric brush.
Good ways to make sure you're brushing for the recommended two minutes. Some indicate when you have been brushing for two minutes while others have 30 second timers making you aware when to move onto the next area in your mouth.
Look for a brush that has a sensor to warn you if you are pressing too hard on your teeth when brushing - you shouldn't push too hard against your teeth as this can cause damage.
A good handle makes the brush easier to hold and use and stops the vibrations going through your hand when brushing.
If you're unsure whether to go electric, some manufacturers offer a trial period where you can try their brush out to see if it's for you.
Check the warranty as even the best products can fail, sometimes long before their expected lifetime. Buy from a reliable manufacturer/vendor.