Are electric toothbrushes using technology to solve a problem we don’t have, or are they actually an improvement over the manual toothbrush?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of electric toothbrushes!
- Better for those with limited mobility
A big point in favour of electric toothbrushes is that they are great for people with disabilities or limited mobility! It is a great option for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other ailments and disorders.
- Better for people with braces
At least one study has found that electric toothbrushes are more effective for people with braces because it makes brushing easier.
- Less waste
You should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. When you have an electric toothbrush, you just need to change the brush head, ensuring that you create less waste.
- Built-in timers
Don’t know how long you should brush your teeth for? All modern electric toothbrushes come with built-in timers that make sure you don’t cut any corners, ensuring that you do your full two minutes of brushing.
- Less likely to brush too hard
People who use electric toothbrushes are less likely to brush too hard. Brushing too hard can damage your teeth and gums, making them more sensitive. It can be hard to know how hard is too hard, but electric toothbrushes naturally prevent you from brushing too hard. More advanced models can also have different settings, allowing you to choose a sensitivity setting that works for your teeth.
- Small brush head size
Less is more! Electric toothbrushes come with smaller sized brush heads, which makes it much easier to do thorough brushing around your wisdom teeth and other hard to reach placed!
Cost is clearly the biggest con for electric toothbrushes. I’m sure we’d all have one if they cost the same as a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can range in price from the $10 basics to the $200 top-of-the-line, making them much more expensive than their manual counterparts.
- More energy
While they produce less waste when you replace the brush, electric toothbrushes do require power. Either through a charger or through batteries. It is an added cost on top of a product that is already more expensive than the traditional alternative.
- Change brush heads
Speaking of waste, you will need to change the brush head every 3-4 months – Just like you would with a normal toothbrush. Your toothbrush might come with a set of back-ups in the box, but you do have to buy the next set separately. This can cost anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on the brand and number of brushes you buy, and is another hidden cost for new electric toothbrush users.
You might have noticed that we didn’t really say whether or not they were more effective at removing plaque, and there’s a simple reason for that. Despite there having been research into the question, different scientists have come to different conclusions (https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/electric-toothbrush-vs-manual#electric-cons). Some find that electric toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes, while others find no difference between the two.
What we can say is that electric toothbrushes won’t be worse at removing plaque than your manual toothbrush.
Some companies now make children’s electric toothbrushes that will play songs while they brush their teeth. That is cute and all, but the best toothbrush for your child is still simply a toothbrush they will use!
In the end, do electric toothbrushes work better? Maybe, it depends on who you are. There are definitely people that would benefit from having an electric toothbrush. If you aren’t in one of those aforementioned groups, it comes down to whether you want to spend a little extra money in order to swing your hands a little less.
Neat? Yes. Necessary? No.
Always consult a dentist before starting a new dental hygiene routine. Contact us to book an appointment today!