The gizmos and gadgets we accumulate in our homes tend to fall into two categories: ones that legitimately improve our lives and the ones we could definitely do without. (We're looking at you, electric quesadilla maker!) Your dental hygienist may have recommended an electronic toothbrush at your last cleaning and you wondered: is it really worth the investment?
The answer, without a doubt, is an enthusiastic yes.
Are Electronic Toothbrushes Really Better?
Yes, electronic toothbrushes really are better than their manual counterparts! It's not just hype, it's not something made up to sell more electronic toothbrushes. The benefits of electronic toothbrushes are backed by science. Here are 3 reasons to make the switch:
Superior Plaque Removal
Much of the research on electronic toothbrushes concerns plaque control. Studies in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, the Journal of the International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, and the Journal of Clinical Dentistry all come to the conclusion that patients using powered toothbrushes remove more plaque than patients using manual toothbrushes.
Of course, our patients who use electronic toothbrushes at home will affirm that no studies are needed--their teeth simply feel cleaner after making the switch from a manual brush. Electronic toothbrushes use rotation oscillation and/or vibration to loosen and then sweep away plaque. (We recommend brushes that use both oscillation and vibration for best results.)
Advanced Features Enable Better Brushing Habits
The oscillation and vibration are the big selling points when it comes to electronic toothbrushes, but that's not the only reason to make the switch. There are other features that electronic toothbrushes have that help cultivate better oral hygiene:
- Built-In Timers let you know when you've finished brushing for the recommended 2 minutes. You'd be surprised how many people think they're brushing for a full 2 minutes and it's actually much less. Some timers also tell you when it's time to move your brush to a different quadrant.
- Sensors tell you when you're brushing too hard. With the electronic brush's oscillation, there's no need to brush hard--and brushing too hard can cause gums to recede.
- Some brushes tell you when to change brush heads.
Target Specific Oral Health Needs
The simplest electronic toothbrushes turn on and off and may also have a timer. But spend a bit more, and you'll be amazed at all the different features and settings that allow you to get a customized brushing experience twice a day. Electronic toothbrushes have settings for:
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum health
- Tongue cleaning
- Deep cleaning
No matter the issue you want to target, there's (probably) a setting for it! There are even some newer brushes on the market that link up with apps on your phone via Bluetooth to give you more information about how you're brushing.
All those bells and whistles are fantastic, especially if you're a bit of a tech junkie, but remember: the primary benefit of electronic toothbrushes is the vibration and oscillation. If you're on a budget, you'll still benefit from even the most affordable electronic brushes.