Are Electric Toothbrushes Worth the Cost?


Dental care products are a multi-billion dollar industry. Now that electric toothbrushes are widely available, you may be wondering if they are actually superior to manual toothbrushes. What has scientific merit and what is all marketing? The marketing directors at electric toothbrush companies are happy to report electric toothbrushes performed better in clinical trials, but in what ways?

Manual Toothbrushes versus Electric Toothbrushes

In a head-to-head battle against electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes lost and they lost convincingly, much like the Chiefs in this year’s Super Bowl. The contest was not close, and there were no disputes.

The study was conducted over an 11-year period and tested individuals who used both electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes over that period. Without getting into the math and other factors involved in determining the long-term value of one method over another, those who used electric toothbrushes had lower incidences of periodontal disease, tooth pain, and other dental problems. The reduction in the progression of periodontal disease in those who used electric toothbrushes was “significant”.

Why are Electric Toothbrushes Better?

One of the main problems that people have with manual toothbrushes is a propensity to act as if they’re scrubbing the dishes. Unfortunately, this can actually damage tooth enamel, harm your gums, and cause other serious issues. Just how little force should you use when brushing your teeth? Chances are good that if the bristles are bending, you’re exerting too much force.

Alternatively, those who use electric toothbrushes don’t feel the need to exert as much force. This reduces damage to the tooth and the gums.

Do I Need an Expensive Toothbrush to Improve My Oral Health?

Not necessarily. Much of the improvement gained from using electric toothbrushes involves an instinctual propensity to not brush as hard. Rotating heads are more effective at removing plaque without the use of force. Theoretically, one could develop an approach using cheap manual toothbrushes that mimics the effects of electric toothbrushes, but that would require more concentration than most of us want to exert in the morning.

It’s Not Too Late to Purchase an Electric Toothbrush

You may feel as though you’ve been using a manual toothbrush your whole life. Why fix something that isn’t broken? Well, improving something that works moderately well produces beneficial results. As an example, those who switched from manual toothbrushes to electric ones showed a 21% reduction in plaque and an 11% reduction in gingivitis over a three-month period. Those are really solid results!

Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today

If you have any concerns about your teeth or gums, the Flagstaff dentists at Peak Family Dental Care are more than happy to answer any of your questions. Call today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can improve your overall health by improving your oral health.

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