Are electric toothbrushes better?
Electric toothbrushes are designed to make it easier to brush your teeth and help you keep your mouth clean, but are they really better at keeping plaque and tooth decay at bay? Here’s everything you need to know about swapping out your manual toothbrush for an electric model.
Electric toothbrush benefits
Studies show that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and suffer less from tooth loss than those who use a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes do a lot of the hard work for you and some models come with self-timers that make it easy to clean your teeth for the recommended two minutes, twice per day.
Electric toothbrushes have many benefits that make cleaning your teeth much easier.
1. Effective at removing plaque
Electric toothbrushes, especially ones with oscillating heads, are effective at removing plaque and food debris from teeth. The micro-movements of an electric toothbrush can clean teeth more thoroughly than a manual toothbrush. Studies show that using an electric toothbrush decreases plaque and gingivitis after just three months of use.
While you can still get a thorough clean from a manual brush more effort is required to clean each tooth thoroughly.
2. Perfect for all types of teeth
Electric toothbrushes have small heads which are perfect for getting into hard-to-reach places. If you have braces, gaps between teeth or a metal bar behind your teeth, an electric toothbrush can help to clean between the wires. Manual toothbrushes often have wider heads and are harder to maneuver into small hard-to-reach places.
3. Helpful for people with disabilities
Electric toothbrushes are suitable for people with mobility issues or disabilities that make brushing difficult. They are a great option for kids as they can also make cleaning your teeth more fun.
An electric toothbrush can prevent people with hand or wrist limitations from needing to make small, repetitive moments with their wrist or arm.
Some models of electric toothbrush come with built-in timers and can ensure you are brushing for a full two minutes.
Electric toothbrush cons
While electric toothbrushes have many benefits, there are a few downsides.
1. Electric toothbrushes are more expensive
When it comes to ditching your manual toothbrush for an electric model the main barrier many people face is the cost. While the average manual toothbrush will only set you back a couple of bucks, electric toothbrushes start at around $50. You’ll also need to pay for replacement heads and swap them out every few months.
While an electric model is more expensive, if you have trouble keeping your teeth clean it could save you money on dental bills down the line. With less plaque and less risk of developing gingivitis, opting for electric is a better choice when it comes to your oral health.
2. Manual toothbrushes can be more environmentally friendly
In recent years, bamboo toothbrushes have been marketed as an environmentally friendly way to brush your teeth. While bamboo or other recyclable toothbrushes can be better for the earth, they’re not always the best option for your teeth and gums.
Some manual toothbrushes (bamboo included) can include hard bristles which are abrasive on gums or are less effective at removing plaque. Furthermore, some bamboo brushes overstate their environmentally friendly claims. An investigation carried out by Consumer.org.nz found that some eco toothbrushes don’t live up to their claims of being 100% sustainable or biodegradable and included nylon and polyester in their brush bristles.
Which toothbrush is right for me?
At the end of the day choosing the right toothbrush comes down to personal choice. While you can still thoroughly clean your teeth with a manual toothbrush there are many benefits to investing in an electric model. Electric toothbrushes are great for people with mobility issues or braces or anyone who wants a thorough mouth clean.
Not sure if you would benefit from using an electric toothbrush? Book an appointment with our dental hygienist. After a thorough clean, we can discuss the best brush option for you.