In this day and age, anything and everything is going electric—cars, fireplaces, scooters, and even your toothbrush! And just like an electric scooter takes the labor out of scooting, or an electric vehicle increases efficiency on the road, electric toothbrushes help make our oral health routines a little easier. There are so many reasons to love the electric toothbrush, but here are a few of the benefits of brushing with an electric toothbrush.
We love electric toothbrushes because they remove most of the physical work that comes with manually brushing your teeth. By using bristle vibration and rotation technology, electronic toothbrushes can essentially do all the heavy lifting for you! What’s not to love about that? Having the option to set your toothbrush on auto-drive also helps provide greater access to oral health. For example, it can be helpful for those with mobility disabilities like carpal tunnel or arthritis that can sometimes struggle with manual brushing movements.
Evidence from a review of studies conducted by Cochrane Oral Health Group revealed the benefits of brushing with an electric toothbrush were more effective when compared with using a manual toothbrush. After three months of brushing with an electric toothbrush, participants reduced plaque by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. In addition, many electric toothbrushes are equipped with built-in timers that can help individuals brush for the dentist-recommended time of two minutes.
Brushing with an electric toothbrush can help kids learn a consistent oral health routine. They might have fun picking various brushing modes, waiting for the timer to reach zero, or, in advanced models, even connecting with different apps for games. Regardless of the reason, electric toothbrushes can help make kids more enthusiastic about their daily brushing routine—which is a win all around!
One of the most important things to remember when brushing with an electric toothbrush is that it’s doing the work for you, so there’s no need to push down with force or scrub back and forth. Whether it’s your first time or you need a refresher, we recommend following these five steps when brushing with an electric toothbrush:
- Properly floss your teeth first.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
- Place the brush over each tooth for 3 to 5 seconds, starting in the front and slowly moving to the back.
- Gently run the brush over your gums. If your brush has a gentle or gum setting, be sure to switch to it first.
- Replace the brush head every three to four months just like your old toothbrush.
If you notice tooth sensitivity, swelling, or bleeding, ask your dentist if you may be brushing too hard. These could also be underlying symptoms of gum disease.
Electric toothbrushes have many benefits, but does this mean you should throw away your manual toothbrush? Absolutely not! If you’re able to achieve good oral hygiene with your manual toothbrush, then keep doing what you’re doing. You win either way! All brushes, including manual ones, can be effective at removing plaque if used correctly and for the appropriate length of time. As ADA dentist Dr. Richard Price says, “it’s not the brush. It’s the brusher.”