So the question is are electric toothbrushes better?
The short answer is YES, and electric toothbrush IS better than a manual toothbrush when it comes to effectively cleaning your teeth.
However, I am sure you want to know a little more and understand why this is. Along with perhaps understanding why many still advise just stick with a regular manual toothbrush.
The toothbrush first existed in 3500BC so it has become a part of our daily lives. Recall your parents nagging you to brush your teeth? Are you that nagging parent?!
Advice from the NHS, British Dental Association and the American Dental Association all agrees that brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes is important. (NHS, British Dental Association, American Dental Association)
With such a global stance on this approach, the first advice and dental professional will give in regards to improving your oral health is this.
As such, brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush be that manual or electric is most important, not what type of brush.
Dentists would rather you brush twice a day with a manual brush than brush once a day with an electric one.
Despite thousands of years of history to the toothbrush (link to evolution post) it is within the last century that the electric toothbrush has been introduced, thanks to the invention of, you guessed it, electricity.
The main benefits to an electric toothbrush are:
- Consistent power delivery for a dentist like clean
- Can remove up to 100% more plaque than a manual brush
- Reduces tooth decay and improves gum health
- Can help eliminate bad breath
- Timers and pacers to encourage a 2 minute clean
- Various cleaning modes
- Different brush heads – Differing styles to achieve differing results
- Fading bristles – Reminding you when to change your brush head
- Value added features – Travel cases, apps & more
- Fun and engaging – Reduces the boredom to ensure a proper clean
- Internal or removable batteries – 5 days to 6 months battery life
- Relatively low lifetime cost
- Confidence – Cleaner, healthier teeth boost your self satisfaction
If you want to read more into each of these features, view our article on the benefits of an electric toothbrush.
Whilst electric toothbrushes offer consistent power delivery and a host of features that can improve how effective our toothbrushing regime is, nothing can actually beat regular cleaning, with the right technique.
Professor Damien Walmsley is the British Dental Associations Scientific Adviser and he says: ‘Independent research has found there is a 21 per cent reduction in plaque for those assessed three months after switching to a powered brush rather than if they had simply stuck with a manual brush.’ (This Money)
Naturally there are some negatives to owning or acquiring an electric toothbrush, notably:
- Initial cost – More expensive than a manual brush
- Short battery life and need to re-charge
- Cost of replacement heads – Equivalent to the cost of a manual brush
- Not always travel friendly – Varying support for voltages and protection to handles and heads when travelling
Whether the benefits outweigh the negatives is up to you to decide.
Electric vs Manual toothbrush argument concluded
Clinical studies, the Scientific Adviser to the British Dental Association amongst others agree that electric toothbrushes are better.
We have heard first hand how many who have switched have noticed improvements, with their own dentist asking have you switch, because they can see the improvements too!
Just £50 can get you a capable electric toothbrush, will you be switching?
Whilst simply cleaning your teeth regularly and properly with any brush is the most important thing, the benefits an electric toothbrush offers can really help your oral hygiene routine long term.