Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Regular Ones?

  • October 1, 2017

Everything’s high-tech nowadays, and toothbrushes are no exception. With all the bells and whistles available, deciding whether to ditch your manual bristle toothbrush for a newer model can be kind of complicated.

Proper brushing habits are essential to your oral health, and that’s why it’s important to choose a toothbrush that’s right for you. Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington, KY can help you make sense of the electric toothbrushes on the market and choose one that makes caring for your teeth both easy and enjoyable.

Read on to determine whether electric toothbrushes are right for you, and schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations to ensure your smile stays beautiful.

Who Benefits From An Electric Toothbrush?

First, some brushing basics: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a soft-bristled brush to rid your teeth and gums of harmful bacteria. It seems easy enough, right? But the truth is that most people fall short of that 2-minute threshold.

Some dentists say that it doesn’t make a difference whether it’s an electric or manual toothbrush — it all depends on the user. That’s partly true, but there are certain people who would benefit from an electric toothbrush.

That includes:

  • Children. Kids tend to find them more fun than regular toothbrushes.
  • People with arthritis or limited mobility. Electric toothbrushes allow you to easily clean hard-to-reach areas with minimal movement.
  • Lazy brushers. Those who have trouble brushing for the recommended period of time or tend to do a less-than-thorough job often benefit from electric toothbrushes.
  • People with braces. Sometimes it’s difficult to clean around brackets and wires with a manual toothbrush.

 

Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth The Cost?

A recent study on the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes revealed that in both the short term and the long term, they’re better at reducing plaque and gingivitis than their manual counterparts.

But when electric toothbrushes can cost anywhere from $20 to more than $100, it’s important to weigh their pros and cons. Other than the initial cost of the toothbrush, you’ll also have to purchase replacement heads every three to four months. In many cases, these cost slightly more than new manual toothbrushes.

The good news is that electric toothbrushes can cover more area. While you probably make about 300 strokes per minute with your manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush can do thousands or even hundreds of thousands of strokes per minute.

There are features built into some models to ensure proper brushing. Some electric toothbrushes come with timers to ensure you’re getting a full two minutes of brushing. Others use Bluetooth to transmit brushing data to your smartphone so you can learn more about your brushing habits.

But these high-tech features can also create a false sense of accomplishment — you can buy the most expensive electric toothbrush on the market, and it won’t make a difference if you’re not using it properly.

Our team of experts at Beaumont Family Dentistry can help you perfect your brushing habits and provide more in-depth cleanings every six months to keep your mouth in great shape. Schedule an appointment today at one of our three convenient locations in the Lexington, KY area.

Which Electric Toothbrush Should You Get?

There are four main types of electric toothbrush, classified by the direction in with the brush heads move. 

They are:

  • Rotary. The head rotates at about 3,000 to 7,000 strokes per minute. Some models have heads that alternate directions, which is called rotation oscillation.
  • Sonic. The head moves side-to-side. Sonic models are much faster than a rotary toothbrush, clocking in at about 31,000 strokes per minute.
  • Ultrasonic. It’s like the sonic but faster, creating vibrations that help dislodge plaque.
  • Ionic. Unlike the other types, the head does not move on an ionic toothbrush. Instead, a low electrical current attracts plaque away from your teeth and gums.

Studies on how effective each type is have largely been inconclusive, but whichever kind you choose, make sure to look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This ensures that if you’re shelling out money for an electric toothbrush, it’ll fight plaque and gingivitis when used as directed.

It’s also important to remember that healthy brushing habits are only one part of good dental hygiene. At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we offer preventative and specialized dental care for folks of all ages, including top-notch patient education and the latest in cavity detection technology.

Schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable team today to make sure your brushing habits are moving you toward smile success.

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