The electric toothbrush was developed in the 1960s and many say its rotating or vibrating bristles not only clean the teeth better than a manual toothbrush but that it is safer for the teeth and gums, too.
A variety of studies support the superiority of electric toothbrushes. Today’s versions of these brushes include capabilities that go far beyond bristles that vibrate. There are electric toothbrushes that offer gum massage, built-in LED whitening lights, and many kinds of timers. Many are digital and connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone, providing additional features for tracking the user’s progress and effectiveness of brushing.
In this article, we explore all the benefits of electric toothbrushes and how to choose one when you make the switch.
Benefits Of An Electric Toothbrush
There have been many studies done on the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes compared to manual toothbrushes. Here are some of the top reasons why electric toothbrushes were found to be better than traditional, manual brushes:
#1 – Electric Toothbrushes Clean Better
A 2014 review by The Cochrane Collaboration of 56 studies of 5,000 adults and children gave an edge to electric toothbrushes’ ability to clean plaque off the teeth. There was an 11% reduction of plaque within one to three months and a 21% reduction after three months. Another series of studies analyzed in 2021 supported those results.
The electric toothbrush also reduced gingivitis (gum disease), from 6% at one to three months to 11% after three months. A separate German study from 2019 supported these results, with participants all having healthier gums.
Why do these results so strongly support using an electric toothbrush? Simply put, this toothbrush takes human error out of the equation. When you use a manual toothbrush, you have less chance of reaching all the corners of your mouth that hide bits of leftover food. You may not brush thoroughly enough to remove all the bacteria that lead to plaque. Newer models of electric or digital toothbrushes remind you or are timed to brush for the recommended two minutes, which also stimulates the gums. All of this reduces future expensive dental work later.
#2- Electric Toothbrushes Require Less Pressure
Experts all say that less pressure is better when brushing, whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush. However, there are segments of the population that find it easier to use an electric toothbrush due to either age or lack of hand strength. The vibration of the brush provides micro-movements with the user merely moving it across the teeth.
Those with arthritis or carpel tunnel, such as many older adults, find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric brush. The handles are generally larger and the power does the work for you. Children can also brush better for these same reasons. Plus many toothbrushes that are made for kids play music or have timers to encourage better brushing.
#3 – Electric Toothbrushes Are More Effective For Those With Braces or Other Orthodontic Appliances
Studies found that electric toothbrushes were helpful for people with braces, bridges, or other devices in the mouth. The vibration and rotation of the brush made it possible to reach areas around the appliances that a manual toothbrush often missed. This was especially true for those people whose oral hygiene habits needed help regardless of what type of toothbrush was used.
This benefit has become more significant in recent years with more people of all ages using braces to straighten their teeth.
#4 – Electric Toothbrushes Use Technology For Better Oral Health
Early versions of electric toothbrushes offered simple back-and-forth movement of the brush head. Today’s versions utilize advanced technology to benefit you even further every time you brush. Brushes are now available with oscillating/pulsating and cupping, oscillating/rotating, or sonic technology.
Here are some of the advances in newer toothbrushes:
- Multiple brushing modes target specific needs such as sensitive teeth and gums.
- Brush signals when you are exerting too much pressure.
- Timers help you keep track of how long you’re brushing.
- Digital reminders that the brush head needs to be replaced.
- Bluetooth connectivity with your smartphone to track brushing progress and the effectiveness of your brushing.
- Real-time tracking technology to ensure the thoroughness of your brushing.
- Multiple brush head compatibility to offer various bristle designs.
This technology means better results at your visits to the dentist for preventative checkups. That in turn results in fewer visits to repair damage, such as cavities and gum disease, as well as lower dental care costs all year.
Choosing an Electric Toothbrush
Once you decide to use an electric toothbrush, it’s important to know how to choose the best brush for you. Here are some things to consider:
The motor should provide enough power to do the brushing for you. The user simply glides the brush across the teeth and gums.
Look for a toothbrush that has a two-minute timer to meet the recommended brushing time. Most electric toothbrushes provide many additional features but this should be the minimum requirement.
Affordable Replacement Heads
Consider a toothbrush that is compatible with several affordable replacement brush heads.
Electric Toothbrushes Support Superior Dental Health
One of the easiest things you can do to ensure superior daily dental care is to switch to an electric toothbrush. It cleans and removes plaque from your teeth better than a manual toothbrush, plus newer technology offers many other options to promote optimal gum health. Plus, electric toothbrushes are significantly easier to use for children and those with manual dexterity problems.
Wilmington Dental Associates supports the use of electric toothbrushes and will be glad to answer any questions you might have. Your dental health is our top priority and we look forward to helping you keep your teeth as clean and healthy as possible.
Contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment!