Is an electric toothbrush better? Your dental hygienist enthusiastically recommends one, and your friend swears by it for her white, bright smile.
But are there actual benefits of the electric toothbrush or is it more hype than science?
Check out the pros and cons of the electric toothbrush and decide if it’s right for you, or if you’ll stick with your manual toothbrush, thank you very much.
Pros of Electric Toothbrushes
1. Holds You Accountable on Time
How many of us are really brushing for the full 2 minutes that dentists recommend?
Turns out, not very many! The average person only brushes for 45 seconds. And research has found that most people think they’re brushing for a longer time than they actually are.
This is a huge benefit of an electric vs. a manual toothbrush. Their built-in timers take the guesswork out of brushing and hold you accountable to brush for the full 2 minutes, giving you a healthier, cleaner mouth.
2. Equal Pressure = Cleaner Teeth
Electric toothbrushes are better if you’re not giving equal attention to both sides of your mouth. Unbeknownst to many people who use a manual toothbrush, they’re getting one side of their mouths much cleaner than the other. Right-handers usually do a great job on the left side, and vice-versa for lefties.
3. Electric Toothbrushes Are Better for Braces
When you have braces, all those bands, brackets and wires can make it much harder to do a good job with your tooth brushing! This can lead to gingivitis, white spots on the enamel, and of course, cavities.
In a clinical study on electric vs. manual toothbrushes, one group with braces was given an electric brush (Sonicare brand) to brush with for 4 weeks (2 min. brush sessions). The other group was given a manual toothbrush to use for 4 weeks (also 2 min. brush sessions).
The electric toothbrush proved far superior in:
- Ability to reduce supragingival plaque (57% vs. 10%)
- Pocket depth reduction (28% vs. 6%)
- Gingival Index Score (fell by 29% for electric brush users, only 3% for manual brush users)
4. Removes Surface Stains from the Teeth
Love your coffee and red wine but not the stains they leave on your teeth? An electric toothbrush can help to remove surface stains, and they’re great for preventing future stains from developing after a professional cleaning.
5. Keep Your Enamel & Gums Happy
Many people brush with brute force, thinking all that scrubbing action will make for a whiter, brighter smile. In reality, this kind of harsh brushing, especially with anything other than a soft or ultra-soft bristled manual toothbrush, can hurt your gums and wear away the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and dullness in tooth color. An electric toothbrush gives you less abrasive brushing and better control.
6. Great for Kids Who Are Slacking on Their Brushing
Ever feel like your kids are just swiping their toothbrush into their mouths for a few seconds and calling it good?
For many parents, switching their kids over to an electric toothbrush is the best thing ever.
It can make kids excited to brush and get them to brush longer and more thoroughly. In fact, clinical testing showed that adults and kids alike brushed 35-38% longer when using an electric toothbrush vs. a manual toothbrush.
7. Easy Brushing for People with Arthritis
The electric toothbrush’s ability to rotate on its own is a huge perk for people with arthritis, limited mobility, or other disabilities (convenient for their caregivers, too). Using an electric toothbrush requires much less dexterity versus a manual toothbrush.
Cons of Electric Toothbrushes
Higher Cost. There’s the obvious upfront cost of an electric toothbrush, but don’t forget about the replacement heads. Just like with manual toothbrushes, you should replace the head of your electric toothbrush every 3 months or whenever the bristles start to fray. Otherwise, it loses its cleaning ability.
Charge It. Some people may find it a pain to charge their electric toothbrush or replace the batteries.
Not as convenient for travel. An electric toothbrush and charger can take up valuable real estate in your travel bag.
Breaks Easier. No biggie if you drop your manual toothbrush on the floor or in the sink. But a spill could quickly send your electric brush into the toothbrush graveyard.
Best Toothpaste for Electric Toothbrush Users
Electric toothbrush users LOVE Oxyfresh Maximum Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Toothpaste. It’s free of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which means no foamy mess!
Unlike store brands that hit you with an artificial mint taste, Oxyfresh Lemon-Mint Power Paste is naturally flavored with a zesty blend of essential oils: lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, lime and peppermint.
Plus, it’s powered by Oxygene®, our secret ingredient for 6 hours of fresh breath, guaranteed. Low abrasion and dye-free! Try it and see why it’s our most popular toothpaste!
The Bottom Line on Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes
If you don’t have any unique circumstances surrounding your dental needs (braces, joint problems, etc.), you can still have a healthy, happy smile using a manual toothbrush. BUT … you have to brush consciously and put in the work. No more brushing on auto-pilot!
Brush those teeth for 2 full minutes, break out of the habit of using brute scrubbing action, and use a low-abrasion toothpaste from Oxyfresh. Your smile will thank you!