It seems like everything is going electric in this day and age—cars, fireplaces, scooters— even your toothbrush! And just like an electric scooter takes the labor out of scooting, or an electric vehicle increases efficiency on the road, electric toothbrushes help make our oral health routine a little easier. There are so many reasons why we love electric toothbrushes. So, let’s dive into their benefits and how to master your electric brushing technique.
Why Go Electric?
They’re Easy to Use
We love electric toothbrushes because they remove most of the physical work of brushing your teeth. Electronic toothbrushes essentially do all the work for you using bristle vibration and rotation technology! What’s not to love about that? Having the option to set your toothbrush on “auto-drive” also helps provide greater access to oral health. For example, it can be helpful for those with mobility disabilities like carpal tunnel or arthritis who sometimes struggle with manual brushing movements.
They Provide a Deeper Clean
Evidence from a review of studies conducted by Cochrane Oral Health Group revealed the benefits of using an electric toothbrush were more effective than a manual toothbrush. After three months of brushing with an electric toothbrush, participants reduced plaque by 21% and gingivitis by 11%. In addition, many electric toothbrushes have built-in timers that help individuals brush for the dentist-recommended time of 2 minutes.
They Can Be Fun for Kids
Brushing with an electric toothbrush can help kids learn a consistent oral health routine. They might have fun picking various brushing modes, waiting for the timer to reach zero, or in advanced models, even connecting with different apps for games. Regardless of the reason, electric toothbrushes can help make kids more enthusiastic about their daily brushing routine—which is a win all around!
How to Brush with an Electric Toothbrush
One of the most important things to remember when using an electric toothbrush is that it’s doing the work for you, so there’s no need to push down or scrub back and forth. Whether it’s your first time or you need a refresher, next time you brush with an electric toothbrush, we recommend following these five steps:
- Properly floss your teeth.
- Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
- Place the brush over each tooth for 3 to 5 seconds, starting in the front and slowly moving to the back.
- Gently run the brush over your gums. If your brush has a ‘gentle’ or ‘gum’ setting, please switch to it.
- Replace the brush head every three to four months.
If you notice tooth sensitivity, swelling, and bleeding, ask your dentist if you may be brushing too hard. These could also be underlying symptoms of gum disease.
Does This Mean Manual Toothbrushes are Bad?
Electric toothbrushes have many benefits, but does this mean you should throw away your manual toothbrush? Absolutely not! If you can achieve successful oral health with your manual toothbrush, keep doing what you’re doing! You win either way. All brushes, including manual, can be effective at removing plaque if used correctly and for the appropriate length of time—usually about two minutes at each brushing. As ADA dentist Dr. Richard Price says, “It’s not the brush, it’s the brusher.”