Electric toothbrush | Are they actually better for your teeth?

Electric toothbrush

Are you on the hunt for the perfect gift for a family member? Usually, giving high-tech gifts is a safe route that is sure to make the recipient smile. Have you considered buying an electric toothbrush?

In the 1980s, a popular high-tech gift was a Walkman or a pager. In the 1990s, it was a “brick” cellular phone or an original Nintendo 64 game system. Now in the health-conscious 21st century, an increasing number of people are turning to a new high-tech gadget: the electric toothbrush.

The Rise of the Electric Toothbrush

Just how popular are they? Oral-B says that the sale of their toothbrushes has doubled since 1998, and dental hygiene product companies have put millions of dollars into campaigns starring celebrities to promote these high-tech tooth cleaners.

There’s no denying that a slightly faded, traditional toothbrush looks a little sad when compared to these popular, powerful, and often expensive brushes, but it all comes down to one question: Are electric toothbrushes actually better for your teeth? 

Are electric toothbrushes actually better for your teeth?

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, electric toothbrushes are 25 percent more effective at removing plaque than conventional brushes, which is an important figure to consider since plaque not only causes tooth decay but also gum disease—the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.

Additionally, studies have shown that people are more likely to brush their teeth for longer amounts of time with an electric toothbrush simply because of the novelty factor. The more time you spend brushing your teeth, the cleaner and healthier your teeth will be. Even if you’re not inclined to brush longer just because you have a fancy toothbrush, many of them come equipped with a built-in timer to let you know when you’ve brushed for the full two minutes that dentists recommend.

Features of an electric toothbrush

Additionally, many top-of-the-line electric toothbrushes include a built-in pressure detection system to alert you when you’re brushing too hard or not hard enough. If you brush your teeth too lightly, your toothbrush won’t be able to scrub away the plaque and bacteria that stick to your teeth, especially at the gum line. If you brush too hard, however, you risk injuring the sensitive gum tissue and wearing away your tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and the need for a root canal.

Electric toothbrushes can be extremely helpful for people with limited dexterity and range of movement, due to arthritis, injury, or another condition that causes limited mobility. Because the toothbrush spins and moves independently as you move it over your teeth, you will have to work less to achieve the same level of cleanliness.

Choosing the Right Brush for You

If owning an electric toothbrush is out of reach at the moment, don’t worry. By brushing your teeth with a traditional toothbrush twice a day for at least two minutes, your teeth will remain healthy and clean.

If you do choose to purchase an electric toothbrush for yourself or as a holiday gift, there are several brands to choose from, depending on your needs and budget. Oral B, Sonicare, Spinbrush, and Waterpik offer moderate to advanced levels of toothbrushes for all price ranges.

For more dental hygiene tips, or to schedule a dental appointment, call Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. Dr. James Fondriest serves patients from across the Chicago area.