The biggest decision you used to make when buying a toothbrush was soft, medium, or hard bristles. Now there are dozens of types of brushes, from simple to pricier electric versions. You are wondering if an electronic toothbrush is worth the over $100 investment?
Simply put, power toothbrushes are better at cleaning your teeth than manual ones. One recent study showed people who used them had less plaque and gum disease. Some versions come with built-in sensors that signal when you’re brushing too hard, an excellent feature for those who are intense brushers. Others models have built-in timers that beep every 30 seconds for two minutes to let you know it’s time to move on to a different part of your mouth.
Manual vs. Electric
Regular toothbrushes get the job done when you use them the right way, says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. The problem we found is many of us don’t use them for the recommended two minutes. We also seem to have our favorite spots and miss the other areas. That’s when a little extra power may come in handy.
An electric toothbrush can cover a larger area faster and more efficiently, so you clean more surfaces in the same amount of time. When you brush by hand, you make about 300 strokes per minute. Compare that with the thousands — in some cases tens of thousands — of strokes per minute a power one makes. It is important to remember the electric toothbrush is doing the work for you. You simply hold it in the area. It’s just easier to do a better job.
There are a few categories of electric toothbrushes. The main difference is how the brush moves. A Rotary electric toothbrush’s head moves in a circular motion at 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute. A toothbrush where the head alternates directions is called rotation oscillation. Sonic electric toothbrush’s use a side-to-side motion at a speed at about 10 times that of a rotary brush, about 31,000 brush strokes per minute. The Ultrasonic uses a fast side-to-side motion that creates vibrations that dislodge plaque. The Ionic brush head doesn’t move and has a low electric current in the bristles.
We Recommend Electric, but Technique Wins
In general, our patients like the discipline of electric brushes. Do you really know if you are actually brushing for two minutes? With the electric toothbrush you are sure of it. Without a doubt the electric toothbrush is more efficient. It removes more plaque than a manual brush. With everything stated, using correct technique outweighs all. Use any toothbrush correctly and that is the best way to a healthy mouth and don’t’ forget the fluoride.
Learn more about how to keep your smile healthy and save time and money by spending less time in the dental chair. Click here to download Dr. Robin’s Free Guide on 5 Steps to a Super Healthy Mouth.