Are electric toothbrushes better?

Are electric toothbrushes better?

What is an electric toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush, or a powered toothbrush, is a toothbrush that uses electrical power to make rapid automatic bristle motions to clean teeth. Motions at sonic speed or below are made by a motor. A modern electric toothbrush is usually powered by a rechargeable battery charged through inductive charging when the brush sits in the charging base.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

According to the speed of movements, electric toothbrushes are usually divided into three categories, which include:
Oscillating rotary toothbrushes. This type of electric toothbrush has a round brush head that rotates back and forth or oscillates around your teeth to clean them.
Sonic toothbrushes. A sonic brush uses high-speed vibrations which is fast enough to the audible range. Sonic toothbrushes on the market today are typically have frequencies that range from 200 to 400 Hz, that is 12,000–24,000 oscillations or 24,000–48,000 movements per minute.
Ultrasonic toothbrushes. This type of brush uses ultrasonic waves, at a minimum frequency of 20,000 Hz or 2.4 million movements, to remove plaque and food debris. Typically, ultrasonic toothbrushes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) use working frequency at 1.6 MHz, which is 193 million movements per minute!

What are the Benefits of An Electric Toothbrush?

A Cochrane review in 2014 showed that electric toothbrushes had greater effectiveness over manual ones. For example, after one to three months of using electric toothbrush, plaque and gingival inflammation were reduced by 11% and 6% respectively. It is also suggested that electric toothbrush can better help on maintaining gum health and reducing tooth decay.
Generally rich in technology and features, electric toothbrushes can improve not only toothbrushing technique but also brushing habits. Some of these features include:
  • Several cleaning modes. Different cleaning modes are provided for personal need, such as sensitive whitening and deep clean. You can choose your preferred way to clean your teeth.
  • Two-minute Timer. Dental professionals recommend brushing twice a day two minutes each time, but most people may underestimate the brushing time. Many electric toothbrushes include two-minute timers to ensure you spend enough time brushing. Some brushes buzz or beep every 30 seconds to allow each quadrant of your mouth to get a 30-second brushing.
  • Pressure sensor. If you apply too much force while brushing, the pressure sensor built in brushes will activate.
  • Reminders. Some electric toothbrushes can also remind you to change the brush head every three months or based on the condition of the brush head.
  • Smartphone apps. High-end models on the market today always come with Bluetooth and built-in sensors connected to a smartphone app and track your brushing habits. You can get feedback and suggestions regularly, helping improve overall dental health.

Which Type of Electric Toothbrush Should I Use?

The best electric toothbrush for you is the one you can use consistently and match your oral condition. Still, it’s more important to use proper brushing technique.
Have difficulty selecting your toothbrush? Turn to your dentist or dental hygienist for help. They can give recommendations based on your needs and show you how to use the technology.