Do Dentists Recommend Electric Toothbrushes - Detailed Information (2024)

Good oral health plays a vital role in promoting overall wellness. And regular brushing is an essential part of maintaining it. Recently, powered toothbrushes have become quite popular due to their effectiveness in eliminating plaque. A 2020 study claims that the popularity of electric toothbrushes will only increase. A question may arise if you still use a traditional toothbrush: Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes? In this article, we will answer this question and discuss the pros and cons of an electric toothbrush to help you determine whether you should use it.

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Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush Efficacy

A 2021 Meta-Analysis has shown that electric toothbrushes are more efficient than manual ones at removing plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums, preventing cavities and gum disease. The primary goal of brushing your teeth is to eliminate debris and plaque. However, getting rid of plaque as soon as possible is crucial because it is a sticky layer that builds up on your teeth and produces acid. If it stays longer, it can break down your tooth enamel and cause cavities and tooth decay. In addition, the plaque can aggravate your gums and result in gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease (Periodontitis). It can also turn into tartar, which may require professional dental help. Electric toothbrushes – powered by a rechargeable battery – use electricity to move a small brush head quickly. The rapid movement allows the effective removal of plaque and debris from teeth and gums.

Two Main Types of Electric Toothbrush Technology

  • Oscillating-rotating technology: With this kind of technology, the brush head spins and rotates as it cleans. According to a 2020 Meta-Analysis, O-R brushes are more beneficial than sonic and manual brushes for plaque reduction.
  • Sonic technology: It uses ultrasonic and sonic waves to vibrate while brushing. A few models send your brushing habits information and technique to a Bluetooth smartphone app, improving your brushing gradually.

On the other hand, manual toothbrushes must be used at specific angles for proper teeth cleaning, making them less efficient in eliminating plaque and preventing gum disease compared to electric toothbrushes that rotate or vibrate automatically. However, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), manual and electric toothbrushes can effectively remove plaque and bacteria from teeth if you follow proper brushing technique. As per them, whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, how you brush is the key.

What is the Best Tooth Brushing Technique?

You can also reduce plaque using a manual toothbrush following the proper technique. Let us see the brushing techniques that can help better teeth cleaning:

  • Avoid holding your toothbrush at a 90-degree angle. You must use the bristles at a 45-degree angle and reach below the gum line to prevent bacterial growth in the space between teeth and gums.
  • Focus on two teeth simultaneously and then move to the next two.
  • Ensure your bristles reach every surface of your teeth, no matter what type of brush you use. Brush all your teeth thoroughly, including the edges and back teeth, and brush your tongue to reduce bacteria and prevent bad breath.
  • Avoid holding a toothbrush in your fist. Keep it using your fingertips; this will reduce extra pressure on gums, preventing tooth sensitivity, bleeding, and receding gums.
  • The moment you see the bristles are frayed or splaying open, replace them. You must bring a new toothbrush or a new brush head for an electric toothbrush every three months.

Best Electric Toothbrushes to Use in 2023

Choosing the best one for you will be difficult if you have never used an electric toothbrush. As per the research by Wirecutter, The New York Times, Oral-B Pro 1000 is the best electric brush for optimal cleaning. When you are buying a powered toothbrush, the following factors shall be considered:

  • Timers: To ensure you brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes.
  • Pressure sensors: Avoid brushing too hard, which could hurt your gums.
  • Brush head replacement indicators: To remind you to swap out the brush head timely.

The Pros & Cons of Using Electric Toothbrush

Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

The following are some of the benefits of using an electric toothbrush:

  • Electric toothbrush possesses more cleaning power.
  • The timer feature of an electric toothbrush ensures equal brushing in all areas of your mouth. It is a better option for people with conditions like arthritis.
  • Customized mode models cater to sensitive teeth, tongue cleaning, and whitening and polishing.
  • Electric toothbrushes are better than manual ones in removing food debris around braces and wires, making cleaning easier.
  • People with dexterity problems or disabilities or children can use a powered toothbrush more easily.

Disadvantages of an Electric Toothbrush

Following are some of the risks of using an electric toothbrush:

  • Electric toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes.
  • Powered toothbrushes require a battery and protective casing from liquids, which adds bulk and makes them difficult to store and transport.
  • These toothbrushes require charging, which is simple if an outlet is close to your sink at home, but it can be inconvenient while traveling.
  • There is also the possibility of brushing too hard with an electric toothbrush.

Should You Use an Electric Toothbrush?

If you previously used an electric toothbrush, your dentist may recommend it for improved oral hygiene and plaque removal. However, if you are more comfortable with a manual toothbrush, you can stick to it and clean your teeth effectively by following a proper technique. If you have difficulty removing plaque despite trying manual and electric toothbrushes, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for guidance.

Do Dentists Recommend Electric Toothbrushes - Detailed Information (2024)

FAQs

Do Dentists Recommend Electric Toothbrushes - Detailed Information? ›

If you previously used an electric toothbrush, your dentist may recommend it for improved oral hygiene and plaque removal. However, if you are more comfortable with a manual toothbrush, you can stick to it and clean your teeth effectively by following a proper technique.

Do doctors recommend electric toothbrush? ›

Dentists agree that overall, electric toothbrushes are superior to manual ones. "Because electric brushes have a rotation, they essentially force the toothpaste in more difficult-to-reach areas, which is where cavities start," says Dr. Creaven.

What is the disadvantage of using an electric toothbrush? ›

The Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

Higher Cost- Battery-powered toothbrushes are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. They also require replacement heads, which can be quite pricey. Higher Risk of Damage- Because of their electronics, they are at a higher risk of damage if dropped or falling in the water.

Are electric toothbrushes scientifically better? ›

A 2021 meta-analysis of 28 studies provided further evidence that powered toothbrushes seem to have a slight edge over manual ones when it comes to plaque removal.

What does the ADA say about electric vs manual toothbrush? ›

The American Dental Association (ADA) confirms that manual and electric toothbrushes are effective. For general oral health, a manual toothbrush with soft bristles is recommended by the ADA. Examples include the Colgate 360 Toothbrush which has soft tapered bristles and soft rubber polishing cups.

Are electric toothbrushes better or worse for your teeth? ›

Now, they're more popular than ever. But do they really make a difference in cleaning your teeth? Actually, yes: Electric toothbrushes are generally considered more effective at removing plaque and keeping teeth clean than manual toothbrushes.

What is the downside of a sonic toothbrush? ›

However sonic brushes do have one major drawback; they tend to be quite expensive compared to both manual and electric versions making them cost-prohibitive for some users with tighter budgets who still want a quality brush for cleaning their teeth thoroughly each day!

Is it OK to use electric toothbrush everyday? ›

Absolutely! Using an electric toothbrush every day is generally recommended and can be beneficial for maintaining good oral hygiene. The consistent use of an electric toothbrush helps remove plaque effectively, reaches difficult-to-reach areas, and promotes better overall cleaning compared to manual brushing.

Is my electric toothbrush damaging my gums? ›

Scrubbing back and forth with an electric toothbrush can irritate and wear away at your gums over time, resulting in receding gums. Instead, simply guide your toothbrush along your teeth at a 45 degree angle to your gums – the ideal angle for sweeping away plaque from the gum line.

Which is better, oral B or sonicare? ›

Nearly equal. Oral B works by oscillating and rotating while Sonicare vibrates. Both are equally effective as long as vibrations/oscillations occur at 31,000+ vibrations/oscillations per minute.

Which is better ultrasonic or electric toothbrush? ›

While both the sonic and electric toothbrushes work well in comparison to the manual toothbrush, the sonic toothbrush is undeniably more efficient in cleaning your teeth. Electric toothbrushes typically have bristles that either scrub forward and backward or rotate in a mechanized motion.

Is an electric toothbrush better for receding gums? ›

Brushing with receding gums requires a gentle yet effective approach to maintain oral hygiene without exacerbating the condition. Electric toothbrushes offer valuable benefits for individuals with receding gums, providing precise cleaning action and customizable settings to accommodate varying oral health needs.

Are electric toothbrushes too harsh on teeth? ›

While enamel is extremely hard and durable, an electric toothbrush used with excessive force can cause the enamel to wear away. This leaves the tooth without protection and can cause issues such as sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities.

How much of a difference do electric toothbrushes make? ›

The Oral Health Foundation did a study that showed electric toothbrushes do make a difference. A decade-long study found a 22% reduction in gum recession and an 18% reduction in tooth decay with electric toothbrush users. Another study resulted in similar findings.

Is it better to use a manual or electric toothbrush? ›

Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

Removes more plaque –electric toothbrushes remove up to 70% more plaque than manual toothbrushes in hard-to-reach places*. Good for your gums – an 11-year study of electric vs. manual toothbrush use found that electric toothbrushes resulted in 22% less gum recession.

Do electric toothbrushes affect your teeth? ›

Using an electric toothbrush won't damage your teeth — but misusing one can lead to tooth damage, sensitivity, and gum recession. If you're considering investing in an electric toothbrush, keep reading as Taylor Dental explains how to prevent tooth damage when brushing your teeth.

Why is electric better than manual toothbrush? ›

Manual toothbrushes require a certain skill level to get it right — proper angles, appropriate pressure and diligent coverage of all areas. On the flip side, electric toothbrushes, with their rotating or vibrating heads, can reach tricky areas and remove plaque more efficiently.

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