Electric toothbrushes can be fun to use, but do they offer advantages for oral health? Here are three reasons to ditch your old manual toothbrush in favour of an electric model.
1. Superior Plaque Removal
According to a study published in 2014, electric toothbrushes remove up to 21 per cent more plaque than manual toothbrushes. Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-rich film that naturally builds up on human teeth. By brushing plaque away from your teeth every day, you can help to prevent it from hardening into tartar, a scaly substance that contributes to gum disease and is very hard to remove.
Note that simply brushing your teeth is not enough to completely rid your mouth of plaque, no matter what kind of toothbrush you use. In addition to your twice-daily brushing routine, you should also floss your teeth to remove plaque that is trapped in the tiny spaces between teeth, which no toothbrush can reach.
2. Better Brushing Habits
Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes every morning and evening to remove plaque and protect your teeth from decay. However, a study by the British Dental Health Foundation showed that the average person brushes for only 45 seconds. Most people are completely unaware that they do not brush for long enough.
Using an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer can help you ensure that you brush your teeth for the full recommended two minutes. Even the most basic models of electric toothbrushes usually come with a timer that vibrates the brush every 30 seconds to let you know that when you should move onto brushing the next quadrant of teeth. After two minutes, another vibration lets you know that you have achieved the recommended brushing time.
3. Specialised Cleaning
As you go through your life, you might need to make changes to your brushing habits to account for things like orthodontics, recent dental work, tooth sensitivity or stained teeth. Advanced models of electric toothbrushes accommodate all these needs by offering a variety of different brushing modes and heads.
For example, if your gums are sore after a recent dental procedure, you can use your electric toothbrush on sensitive mode to get an effective clean without putting yourself through pain. Some electric toothbrushes also offer whitening modes which use additional oscillations to dislodge stain-causing particles from your teeth. You can use this mode to keep your smile pearly white between professional whitening treatments.