Numerous products have been “electrified” in the last several decades. From electric mixers and electric guitars to electric wheelchairs and bikes, our world is increasingly using electricity to boost a product’s power and reduce the user’s stress. Sometimes they’re worth the higher price tag, but that’s not necessarily a given. For example, though electric toothbrushes are now available, many people prefer to stick with their tried-and-true manual toothbrushes. If you’re thinking about making the switch, scroll down to explore the pros and cons of electric toothbrushes.
The Pros and Cons of Electric Toothbrushes
Although electric toothbrushes have been around since the 1960s, most people still use manual toothbrushes. According to a 2022 report by Mintel, 41 percent of adults have used an electric toothbrush in the last six months while 58 percent have used a manual toothbrush.
Ultimately, your choice of toothbrush is a personal choice. So long as you’re brushing twice a day, brushing for two minutes each time, and replacing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head) when the bristles begin to fray, you can feel free to pick whichever toothbrush you prefer.
But if you’re thinking about finally switching out your old-school manual for an electric, let’s discuss the pros and cons of electric toothbrushes:
PRO: They have a slight edge when it comes to cleaning.
According to a 2014 review, which was a relatively comprehensive analysis, electric toothbrushes are associated with a slightly higher reduction in plaque when compared to manual toothbrushes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the advantage is “slight.” You can brush thoroughly and effectively with both types of toothbrushes.
CON: They can be too powerful.
The power provided by an electric toothbrush is typically a good thing, hence the slight edge when it comes to cleaning. However, one study found that electric toothbrushes are also more likely to abrade dentin (the tissue below the enamel). That said, another study found that manual and electric toothbrushes have similar effects on enamel, but manual toothbrushes are more likely to abrade dentin. Whichever tool you prefer, just keep in mind that dentists always recommend that you brush your teeth gently. This is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to electric toothbrushes because they’re designed to do the work for you. You don’t need to use a lot of force.
PRO: They often include timers.
It’s important that you brush your teeth for two minutes every time. However, most of us don’t set a stopwatch to check that we’re brushing for a full two minutes. Electric toothbrushes make it easy by including a built-in timer that lets you know when you’ve brushed for two minutes. Many also separate those two minutes into 30-second intervals so that you spend an equal amount of time on each segment of your mouth. Easy-peasy!
CON: They’re more expensive.
Obviously, an electric toothbrush is going to cost more than a manual toothbrush because it’s a more complex tool. Fortunately, you don’t need to buy a whole new brush each time your bristles start to fray. The head of the toothbrush is replaceable, so you only need to repurchase that small portion of the brush.
PRO: They make brushing your teeth easier.
Because the toothbrush head oscillates or vibrates to clean your teeth, you won’t have to move your toothbrush quickly back and forth yourself. You do, however, still need to move the brush around your mouth, ensuring that it makes contact with all of the surfaces of your teeth. Because electric toothbrushes often have smaller brush heads, you might find that it’s easier to clean those hard-to-reach spots in the back of your mouth. In addition, people with arthritis or other health issues may find that it’s easier to brush their teeth because the toothbrush does most of the work.
What do you think? Will you be investing in an electric toothbrush or sticking with a standard manual toothbrush? Either way, you can maintain a beautiful healthy smile if you use good tooth-brushing techniques.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!