You see them in magazines, in commercials on TV, and even hear about them during ads on your favorite podcasts--it seems like electronic toothbrushes are everywhere these days, from expensive models that come complete with apps for your phone to more affordable options that send replacement brush heads in the mail every few months. Many of our patients ask us if the benefits of an electronic toothbrush are worth the price tag and we're here to answer that question.
Spoiler alert: we love electronic toothbrushes. Read on to find out why.
Electronic Toothbrushes Mean Cleaner Teeth
That's not to say that manual toothbrushes don't work well too--if you brush using proper technique, twice a day for two minutes, manual brushes are just fine. But electronic toothbrushes have the added advantage of oscillation and vibration to loosen plaque and bits of food, something you can't really replicate with a manual brush.
Many of our patients who upgrade to electronic toothbrushes are amazed at how clean their teeth feel now compared to when they used a manual brush. It's not just anecdotal evidence that backs up the effectiveness of electronic toothbrushes either: 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 show that these brushes are more effective at removing plaque than regular brushes.
Electronic Brushes Have Features to Help You Brush Better
The biggest advantage electronic toothbrushes have over their manual counterparts is the oscillation and vibration. There are other benefits, too, that add even more value. Depending on your budget, you can find electronic brushes that:
- Have timers to tell you when you've reached your 2 minutes of brushing.
- Vibration to remind you to brush all 4 quadrants of your mouth.
- Sensors to let you know when you're brushing too hard.
- Reminders when to change your brush head.
Are all of these features absolutely necessary? Absolutely not! But they are nice to have and they do help you remember not to rush through brushing in the morning and take the time to do it right.
Electronic Toothbrushes Do It All
A single electronic toothbrush can have settings for a wide range of oral health issues and concerns. Again, these settings are not necessary to get the benefits of an electronic toothbrush, but they are helpful if you have any of these concerns. Some of our favorite settings include:
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum health
- Deep cleaning
- Tongue cleaning
The most advanced electronic toothbrushes on the market even connect with apps you install on your phone to track how long and how well you've brushed each day.
A Word About the Cost of Electronic Toothbrushes
Many of our patients are wary of the cost of electronic toothbrushes. If you don't have the budget for a top-of-the-line model that costs hundreds of dollars, rest assured: even the inexpensive battery-operated brushes you can pick up at your local grocery store or pharmacy are an upgrade from a manual brush. The most important benefit of electronic toothbrushes is the movement of the bristles to loosen and remove plaque, and this feature is universal in all electronic brushes.