An electric toothbrush utilizes a tooth brush head that undergoes a rapid mechanical motion.  This allows a more rapid and thorough removal of more plaque, tartar, bacteria, and food debris from your teeth and gum line than a manual toothbrush.  There are two types of electric toothbrushes: one that oscillates, rotates, and pulses, and one that vibrates rapidly ultrasonically and creating secondary fluid dynamics that help remove bacteria a few millimeter beyond the brushing site .  Both types help cleanse off more plaque and help reduce gingivitis significantly more than a manual brush.

electric toothbrush

There are many studies that examine and compare how effective the electric toothbrush is.  One such publication is this short term study.  Studies have shown the electric brush removes 75-200% more plaque than a manual brush.  Independent studies however have not shown which type of electric brush is more effective.

Philips Sonicare and Oral-B Powerbrushes are two popular electric toothbrushes.  Arm & Hammer has also introduced a relatively affordable product called the Spinbrush many kids and adults have used to help with their brushing.

Some features of the electric toothbrush worth buying include a timer that promotes a full 2 minute brushing session, rechargeable batteries to avoid hassle, and a compact brush head to help cleanse second molars and difficult to reach areas along the cheek.  Some features that you may not need and not worth paying more for include “additional” cleaning modes, UV light and sanitizer, extra long heads, sleeker exterior design, longer lasting battery, travel case, or extra pressure/cleaning sensors.

Should I buy an electric toothbrush?

If you currently use a manual toothbrush and find it difficult to brush a full two minutes, find that brushing takes too much work and energy, and/or brush unevenly and not equally on every tooth, upgrading to an electric brush makes sense.  If however you are able to maintain excellent oral hygiene with a manual brush, or dislike brushing at all costs, upgrading to an electric toothbrush may not be worth it.

One factor to consider is cost, as an electric toothbrush may cost up to ten to twenty times as much as a manual.  Plus one should replace the brush heads every 3 months, much like a manual brush.

If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes contact us at (425) 614-1600.

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