Do you use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush? The electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland in 1939 but didn’t make its way to the United States until the 1960s.
Using an electric toothbrush may help you improve your dental health and take better care of your teeth. With rechargeable batteries, electric toothbrushes are more convenient now than they ever were, and you have a range of options from the handle to the brush head to different software when choosing the right brush for you.
In case you’re still on the fence about using an electric toothbrush, here are seven facts everyone should know about using one for better oral care.
- There Are Two Different Kinds of Electric Toothbrushes
There are actually two kinds of electric toothbrushes: electric (also called oscillating/rotating brushes) and sonic. Both kinds of toothbrushes are electric, and both can be efficient at cleaning your teeth. However, there are a few important differences.
Electric toothbrushes can perform several thousand strokes, or motions, per minute, while sonic toothbrushes can perform tens of thousands per minute. Compare this with manual toothbrushes, where people can only do a couple hundred motions per minute.
Sonic toothbrushes can be superior for gum health in people who have a history of gum disease. However, both sonic and oscillating/rotating brushes are effective when cleaning your teeth.
2. Electric Toothbrushes Do a Better Job
Research shows that electric toothbrushes do a better job at cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes. In fact, electric toothbrushes do a better job at removing plaque and supporting gum health in both the short- and long-term than manual brushes.
Over the long term, electric toothbrushes may also help you retain more of your teeth. This could be due to the fact that electric toothbrushes can help support gum health by better cleaning your gums, which can ensure the connective tissue that anchors your teeth in place stays strong and healthy.
If you’re wondering which toothbrush is the most effective, electric is the way to go.
3. Some Electric Toothbrushes Prevent You From Brushing Too Hard
Today’s electric toothbrushes are very different than they were when they first came out. Modern electric toothbrushes can have sensors that let you know when you are pressing too hard on your teeth with the brush. These brushes can then make a sound or even stop moving to let you know to lighten up on your teeth—which can protect your tooth enamel.
Electric toothbrushes that provide this type of feedback can be helpful for people who tend to brush their teeth too aggressively. It can also be helpful for children just learning how to brush, or for elderly people who may be dealing with cognitive issues. You don’t get this type of feedback when using a manual toothbrush!
4. Electric Toothbrushes Are Easier to Use
People who have mobility concerns, people with arthritis, differently-abled people, and people dealing with cognitive disorders such as dementia may find using an electric toothbrush easier.
Electric toothbrushes come with a thicker handle, which can make them easier to hold and move for people who may have challenges using a manual toothbrush. With an electric toothbrush, there’s also less need to hold the toothbrush a certain way and move the brush to clean certain areas of the oral cavity.
Instead, electric toothbrushes can help people thoroughly clean their teeth with less effort, which makes them a great option for kids and adults alike.
5. You Can Use Electric Toothbrushes With Apps
Some electric toothbrushes today come with the ability for you to download an app to use on your smartphone that transmits data from your toothbrush to the app about your brushing habits.
You may be able to see information such as how long you brushed for, how much pressure you applied, areas you missed, and even when your brush head needs to be changed. Having personalized feedback can help you improve your brushing skills and support your oral health.
Children can also benefit from having this information when they are just learning how to care for their smiles.
6. Electric Toothbrushes Are Better for Braces
If you or your child has orthodontia, electric toothbrushes can make it easier to clean fixed oral appliances.
Cleaning your teeth and gums with braces can be challenging with a manual toothbrush and regular floss. Orthodontia can prevent the brush from properly making contact with your teeth and gums, and flossing may be impossible without floss threaders or water floss. As a result of this difficulty cleaning, some people with braces experience more plaque on their teeth and gum inflammation, or gingivitis.
Switching to an electric brush can help remove more plaque and support gum health, reducing the chances of cavities and gum disease while you receive orthodontic treatment.
7. You Can Improve Gum Health by Going Electric
One of the best benefits of electric toothbrushes that we already touched on is the potential to improve your gum health. Research shows that using an electric toothbrush can significantly improve your gum health and reduce plaque, both of which can help reduce your risk for gum disease.
Making the switch from a manual to an electric toothbrush may also be pivotal for people who are recovering from gum disease and want to keep their gum tissue as healthy and cared for as possible to prevent recurrence of the disease.
How to Find the Right Electric Toothbrush
Looking for an electric toothbrush can be overwhelming. There are many options to choose from, from different brands to brush heads to brushes with different features. Here are some important things to keep in mind when looking for the right electric toothbrush for you:
- Consider the size. Some electric toothbrushes come with larger handles that may not be the best size for your grip. Whether you’re buying the brush for you or someone else, ensure that the handle will be a comfortable size (you can also check the manufacturer’s return policy in the event that you don’t like the brush).
- Get a soft-bristled brush head. Always choose a soft-bristled brush head for your electric toothbrush, as it is what the American Dental Association recommends and will still be effective at removing plaque yet gentle on your tooth enamel.
- Look for features you may use. Different toothbrushes have different features, so it’s ok to evaluate what you’ll use versus what you won’t. For example, if you know you’re not going to use the software that comes with a brush, you could choose a cheaper option with other features, such as personalized brush settings or extra brush heads, that you value more.
Do You Use an Electric Toothbrush?
What kind of toothbrush do you use? Do you have questions about your oral health, or about whether an electric toothbrush is right for you? Contact Saunders DDS today to make an appointment with us!