Good oral health plays a vital role in promoting overall wellness. And regular brushing is an essential part of maintaining it. Recently, powered toothbrushes have become quite popular due to their effectiveness in eliminating plaque. A 2020 study claims that the popularity of electric toothbrushes will only increase. A question may arise if you still use a traditional toothbrush: Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes? In this article, we will answer this question and discuss the pros and cons of an electric toothbrush to help you determine whether you should use it.
Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush Efficacy
A 2021 Meta-Analysis has shown that electric toothbrushes are more efficient than manual ones at removing plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums, preventing cavities and gum disease. The primary goal of brushing your teeth is to eliminate debris and plaque. However, getting rid of plaque as soon as possible is crucial because it is a sticky layer that builds up on your teeth and produces acid. If it stays longer, it can break down your tooth enamel and cause cavities and tooth decay. In addition, the plaque can aggravate your gums and result in gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease (Periodontitis). It can also turn into tartar, which may require professional dental help. Electric toothbrushes – powered by a rechargeable battery – use electricity to move a small brush head quickly. The rapid movement allows the effective removal of plaque and debris from teeth and gums.
Two Main Types of Electric Toothbrush Technology
- Oscillating-rotating technology: With this kind of technology, the brush head spins and rotates as it cleans. According to a 2020 Meta-Analysis, O-R brushes are more beneficial than sonic and manual brushes for plaque reduction.
- Sonic technology: It uses ultrasonic and sonic waves to vibrate while brushing. A few models send your brushing habits information and technique to a Bluetooth smartphone app, improving your brushing gradually.
On the other hand, manual toothbrushes must be used at specific angles for proper teeth cleaning, making them less efficient in eliminating plaque and preventing gum disease compared to electric toothbrushes that rotate or vibrate automatically. However, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), manual and electric toothbrushes can effectively remove plaque and bacteria from teeth if you follow proper brushing technique. As per them, whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, how you brush is the key.
What is the Best Tooth Brushing Technique?
You can also reduce plaque using a manual toothbrush following the proper technique. Let us see the brushing techniques that can help better teeth cleaning:
- Avoid holding your toothbrush at a 90-degree angle. You must use the bristles at a 45-degree angle and reach below the gum line to prevent bacterial growth in the space between teeth and gums.
- Focus on two teeth simultaneously and then move to the next two.
- Ensure your bristles reach every surface of your teeth, no matter what type of brush you use. Brush all your teeth thoroughly, including the edges and back teeth, and brush your tongue to reduce bacteria and prevent bad breath.
- Avoid holding a toothbrush in your fist. Keep it using your fingertips; this will reduce extra pressure on gums, preventing tooth sensitivity, bleeding, and receding gums.
- The moment you see the bristles are frayed or splaying open, replace them. You must bring a new toothbrush or a new brush head for an electric toothbrush every three months.
Best Electric Toothbrushes to Use in 2023
Choosing the best one for you will be difficult if you have never used an electric toothbrush. As per the research by Wirecutter, The New York Times, Oral-B Pro 1000 is the best electric brush for optimal cleaning. When you are buying a powered toothbrush, the following factors shall be considered:
- Timers: To ensure you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes.
- Pressure sensors: Avoid brushing too hard, which could hurt your gums.
- Brush head replacement indicators: To remind you to swap out the brush head timely.
The Pros & Cons of Using Electric Toothbrush
Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush
The following are some of the benefits of using an electric toothbrush:
- Electric toothbrush possesses more cleaning power.
- The timer feature of an electric toothbrush ensures equal brushing in all areas of your mouth. It is a better option for people with conditions like arthritis.
- Customized mode models cater to sensitive teeth, tongue cleaning, and whitening and polishing.
- Electric toothbrushes are better than manual ones in removing food debris around braces and wires, making cleaning easier.
- People with dexterity problems or disabilities or children can use a powered toothbrush more easily.
Disadvantages of an Electric Toothbrush
Following are some of the risks of using an electric toothbrush:
- Electric toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes.
- Powered toothbrushes require a battery and protective casing from liquids, which adds bulk and makes them difficult to store and transport.
- These toothbrushes require charging, which is simple if an outlet is close to your sink at home, but it can be inconvenient while traveling.
- There is also the possibility of brushing too hard with an electric toothbrush.
Should You Use an Electric Toothbrush?
If you previously used an electric toothbrush, your dentist may recommend it for improved oral hygiene and plaque removal. However, if you are more comfortable with a manual toothbrush, you can stick to it and clean your teeth effectively by following a proper technique. If you have difficulty removing plaque despite trying manual and electric toothbrushes, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for guidance.