Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth It?

Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth It?

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We all know that taking care of our teeth is important, but putting in additional time or money to do so can seem like a waste of resources. After all, isn’t using a manual toothbrush and a piece of floss enough to ensure good dental health? 

While it is enough to maintain decent oral hygiene, using an electric toothbrush elevates your brushing ritual.  Technology in the brushing realm delivers superb results that lead to healthier teeth, gums, and mouths. You might still be left wondering, “Are electric toothbrushes worth it?” Let’s explore a few reasons why using an electric toothbrush can make a true difference in your dental health.

Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

#1: They Tend to Break Up More Plaque

Whether you are sleepy in the morning or suffer from a motor-debilitating condition such as arthritis, using an electric toothbrush is a good way to ensure that your brushing breaks up as much plaque as possible.

Plaque buildup on the teeth leads to gum problems, cavities, and other oral health issues. The objective of brushing and flossing is to break up as much of this plaque as possible so that it can be removed from the teeth.

When you brush with a manual toothbrush, you may loosen between 25% and 50% of the plaque, depending on how hard you work at it. If you switch to an electric toothbrush, you’ll be more consistent in your brushing, no matter how you are feeling that day!

#2: They Teach Good Habits

One of the biggest problems that many people have when brushing their teeth is that they do not know the best way to brush their teeth. Many people don’t even realize that they’re actually making their oral problems worse by brushing too hard or too much in one area of their mouth!

Using an electric toothbrush makes it easy to learn good brushing habits and can even prevent you from making mistakes in how you take care of your teeth.

Here are just a few ways that many models can help:

  • Two-minute timer

Dental wisdom suggests that brushing for two minutes is ideal, but remembering how long two minutes is while you’re sleepily getting ready in the morning can be impossible. Fortunately, many electric toothbrushes feature a built-in timer that will keep track of that two minutes and let you know when times up. How easy is that?!

  • Quad-timers

Some electric toothbrushes are outfitted with another type of timer which divides the two-minute brushing cycle into 30 seconds. Every 30 seconds, the toothbrush will buzz or stop moving to let you know that it is time to move onto the next section.

By following this cycle, you’ll be able to brush for thirty seconds in each of these four quadrants:

  • Front of top teeth
  • Back of top teeth
  • Front of bottom teeth
  • Back of bottom teeth

Many people neglect to brush the back of their teeth enough, and plaque can build up here just as much as any other part of the mouth. Having this buzz timer can help you ensure that you are giving a nice, balanced brush to your entire mouth.

  • Pressure sensor

There are even electric toothbrushes that have a pressure sensor that will either buzz or light up whenever you are brushing too hard.

Yes, it is possible (and common) to brush your teeth too hard! If you press down too much while brushing, you can actually push plaque into the gums or even cause gum erosion. This does more harm than good, so having a sensor which helps you learn the right amount of pressure is great for your teeth in the long run.

#3 They Have Different Modes

Another benefit of using this type of brush is that it can come equipped with various brushing modes which can be used to address specific issues or areas of your mouth.

These modes will differ between every device, but some of the most common modes that can be helpful for taking care of your mouth include:

  • Tongue cleaning
  • Whitening
  • Deep cleaning
  • Daily care
  • Sensitive gums

By using these modes intermittently while brushing your teeth, you can do a better job of ensuring that every area of your mouth is taken care of.

Every electric toothbrush has different modes available, so you should consider the mode and the different indicators used by the brushes to select the mode in use when selecting your electric toothbrush.

#4 They Have Precise Bristles

The style and angle of bristles used on electric toothbrush heads are typically smaller and more closely placed than those of manual toothbrushes. What does this mean for your teeth?

The smaller bristles are more effective at pushing plaque apart and getting into small spaces that can easily become problem areas. When you use a brush with bristles that are angled in many directions, it is easier to break up problems and protect your teeth.

Additionally, you can buy various replacement heads for electric toothbrushes. By changing up the head to match your specific needs, you can ensure that you have a comfortable, clean feeling every single time that you brush your teeth.

#5 They Win (Science Says So!)

While it is possible to get an effective clean with both electric and manual toothbrushes, a scientific study has shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective since they:

  • Reduce dental plaque by 21% more than manual toothbrushes
  • Reduce gingivitis by more than 11% after three months of use

Even if you can get clean teeth using a manual brush, science says that using an electric toothbrush is both easier and more effective, so what are you waiting for?

It’s Time to Switch

Are electric toothbrushes worth it? Yes! And the time to switch is now!

Even if you cannot afford the most expensive, high-end electric toothbrush, there is one out there that can both fit your budget. You’ll quickly discover that using an electric toothbrush can make a world of difference in how you care for your teeth.

There’s nothing stopping you but your own worries that the expense isn’t worth it, but we (and science!) are telling you that this small upfront investment will pay off for your teeth and oral hygiene in the long run. It’s time to give electric toothbrushes a chance!

About the Author Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg's experience in dentistry spans over 25 years serving patients of all ages. He's an advisor to and a consultant to many professional dental projects.