Have you ever considered switching to an electric toothbrush? With electric toothbrushes becoming increasingly common nowadays, many people are considering this option. However, are electric toothbrushes just an unnecessary novelty, or are they really more effective than the conventional toothbrush? Let’s find out.
What is an electric toothbrush?
An electric toothbrush is a toothbrush that uses electric power supplied usually by a battery to move the brush head rapidly, either oscillating side to side, or rotation oscillation (where brush heads rotate in one direction and then the other).
The first successful electric toothbrush originated from Switzerland, and was initially created for patients with limited motor skills as well as orthodontic patients. Nowadays, anyone can use it.
Some popular brands for electric toothbrushes include Philips Sonicare and Braun Oral-B. The price can range anywhere from $12 to $180.
Types of Electric Toothbrushes
There are generally 2 types of electric toothbrushes, each with a different recommended cleaning technique:
- Vibration: brush as if you were using a manual toothbrush
- Rotating-oscillating: simply move the brush slowly from tooth to tooth
10 Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes
- Electric toothbrushes are shown to remove plaque 25% more effectively than normal toothbrushes. Combined rotary action with up and down movement clean teeth more thoroughly, and the toothbrush is designed to vibrate at high speeds, producing much more brush strokes per minute than manual toothbrushes. Seriously, who can brush up to 30000 strokes per minute?
- Electric toothbrushes can reach and clean rear teeth more effectively. Rear teeth need to be cleaned with special care, especially the occlusal (biting) surfaces of the molar teeth, where dental caries are prone to develop. Usually with a conventional toothbrush, there is not much space to move as you reach the rear teeth, especially if you are using a toothbrush with a large brush head. An electric toothbrush vibrates and rotates on its own, therefore cleaning the rear teeth more effectively than a manual toothbrush.
- Electric toothbrushes also claim to whiten teeth.
- Most electric toothbrushes have a 2 minute timer, customary with the minimum recommended tooth brushing time in order to effectively remove plaque and bacteria. This helps to eliminate the problem of under brushing, which is a very good reason to own an electric toothbrush. Some electric toothbrushes have varied timers to cater for the needs of children, as they may need some time to get used to it. Some also have quadrant timers — they buzz or beep at 30-second intervals for each of the 4 quadrants of your teeth.
- Some electric toothbrushes have built in pressure sensors to alert the user and help protect gums from excessive brushing force. Hard brushing can irritate and harm the gums.
- Another feature of a high end electric toothbrush is a UV Sanitizer. It produces UV light, which shines on your toothbrush heads, killing bacteria or germs that have settled on your brush head while sitting in your wet bathroom. Wet environments are the perfect place for bacteria to grow. Besides, flushing the toilet can spray tiny bacteria-filled water droplets in the air, which stays suspended in the air for at least 2 hours after each flush before going down on every bathroom surface including your toothbrush — well, you get the idea.
- Like any normal toothbrush, the color indicator on the electric toothbrush indicates that the brush head needs to be replaced. Dentists recommend that we replace our toothbrushes every 3 months.
- An electric toothbrush can be shared by the whole family, which is an extra bonus, as electric toothbrushes can be pricey. This can be done by buying multiple brush heads, labeling them with names and attaching the relevant brush head when it’s your turn to brush.
- Electric toothbrushes are especially useful for people with compromised mechanical function or dexterity caused by conditions such as arthritis, because it vibrates or oscillates on its own without the user having to do much except moving the brush from tooth to tooth.
- Electrical toothbrushes can also be used as a novelty to encourage children to brush regularly and effectively. Those specifically designed for children usually have a larger handle for better grip. Some even have fun sound effects and talking modes that tell kids to switch to another region, or give encouragement, cultivating good oral hygiene habits in the long run.
While electric toothbrushes can be relatively pricey, they prove to be well worth the cost. Purchasing an electric toothbrush online is a good idea, as websites such as Amazon.com offer very good deals. Not only that, they offer free shipping as well for several selected toothbrushes.