Why You Need an Electric Toothbrush, According to a Dentist (2024)

Electric toothbrushes used to be a sort of anomaly back in the day, but now, it's strange to visit someone's house and find they're actually using a manual brush. Today electric toothbrushes are packed with features and capabilities that go beyond "vibrating" the bristles. You can find electric toothbrushes that are soft on gums, toothbrushes that have built-in LED whitening lights, and so much more.

But do you really need an electric toothbrush with all the bells and whistles in order to have the healthiest mouth possible? Shape spoke with Dr. Lisa Creaven, dentist and co-founder ofMade by Dentiststo find out.

Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes

The key to great oral health is prevention, says Dr. Creaven. The most expensive part of dental care is treatment for an acquired disease and sticking to a regular brushing and flossing schedule and getting regular checkups at the dentist will greatly reduce your chances of something serious happening.

"Sonic toothbrushes or electric toothbrushes are proven to be a smarter way to brush your teeth, while causing less recession and trauma to the gums," says Dr. Creaven. "The better your oral care routine is, the less treatment you'll end up needing."

Dentists agree thatoverall, electric toothbrushes are superiorto 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. "Using an electric toothbrush can be much smoother on gums, causing less erosion on your teeth. It also causes less trauma to your teeth or gums, by getting more action out of your toothpaste from between each tooth and round gum line."

Cost of Electric Toothbrushes

The cost of electric toothbrushes greatly varies, depending on what features you're looking for. You can get abasic, rechargeable brushfor around $30, while othersonic electric brushesuse more brush strokes per second and have multiple cleaning features for around $100.

"I personally think when buying an electric toothbrush, it's an investment and you have to spend a certain amount," says Dr. Creaven. "It's something that should last you years. The toothbrushes that are $30 and electric, aren't comparable to a sonic toothbrush as far as quality," she says. In comparison, you can grab a manual brush for around$3 to $7.

Choosing the Right Electric Toothbrush

Of course, it's important to consult your own personal dentist who's well acquainted with your health concerns before you choose an electric toothbrush. Your dentist can help provide more insight on which type of toothbrush to get, depending on your health needs.

One of the latest electric toothbrush innovations is the sonic toothbrush, which delivers powerful vibrations and brush strokes, with some models even reaching up to 48,000 brush stroke vibrations per minute. This is the type of toothbrush Dr. Creaven recommends most to her clients. "The great thing about electric toothbrushes is that it actually removes the human error aspect of brushing your teeth," she explains. "Because a lot of these toothbrushes have pressure sensors and timers, it removes the element of making a mistake. I rarely see someone make mistakes with a sonic toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush." A mistake might qualify as brushing too roughly or not brushing for long enough.

The main difference between a rotary electric toothbrush and a sonic electric brush is the number of vibrations per second. "If you're worried about the sensitivity of your gums, we would generally recommend a sonic toothbrush," says Dr. Creaven. "I always suggest looking at the level of vibrations and size of the head when purchasing an electric toothbrush. A smaller head will work much harder on your teeth, if it's larger it's very, very difficult to get to your back teeth, which is the most important area to get to," she adds.

The 8 Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists and Dental Hygienists

The Verdict

While electric toothbrushes may be more costly than manual brushes, you will save money over time by investing in a brush that you will only need to buy replacement heads for. Plus, you'll cut down on plastic waste by eliminating the use of a new hard plastic toothbrush every three months.

But perhaps the best reason to invest in an electric toothbrush is the health benefits. As Dr. Creaven pointed out, electric toothbrushes take out the human error that you might exhibit while brushing with a manual brush. You have a better chance of covering all corners of your mouth and gums with an electric toothbrush, which will greatly reduce the need for further (expensive!) dental attention later on.

No matter what type of toothbrush you choose,brushing and flossing twice per daywill greatly reduce your risk for oral diseases and complicated dental issues such as root canals. Staying on top of brushing and flossing, regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, is the most important thing you can do for your oral health.

Why You Need an Electric Toothbrush, According to a Dentist (2024)


Why You Need an Electric Toothbrush, According to a Dentist? ›

"The better your oral care routine is, the less treatment you'll end up needing." 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.

Why do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes? ›

Studies show that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes do, which can help prevent cavities and gum disease.

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.

Do electric toothbrushes actually work better? ›

A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes do decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. After three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. Oscillating (rotating) toothbrushes seem to work better than just vibrating toothbrushes.

Why should we use electric toothbrush? ›

The Pros of Electric Toothbrushes

Thorough yet gentle cleaning- Electric toothbrushes are less abrasive yet more thorough than a traditional toothbrushes. As a result, you can remove a more significant amount of plaque. Added accuracy and convenience- A built-in timer helps you keep accurate track of brushing time.

What is the disadvantage of using an electric toothbrush? ›

The Downside of the Electric Toothbrush

The cost of an electric toothbrush can be high, and replacement heads can cost just as much, if not more, than purchasing a brand new manual toothbrush. Though they don't need to be replaced as often, expenses can certainly start to rise when making the switch to electric.

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!

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.

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.

What are the pros and cons of an electric toothbrush? ›

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrush
AspectsManual ToothbrushElectric Toothbrush
CostLowHigh initial outlay, then low
Cleaning efficiencyAdequateSuperior, proven to clean teeth better.
Ease of useEasy, but requires good techniqueEasy, less technique dependent
PortabilityVery portableSlightly bulkier but still portable
3 more rows
Jan 8, 2024

Is oral B or Sonicare better? ›

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.

Do more expensive electric toothbrushes make a difference? ›

Generally, expensive electric toothbrushes are designed with better build quality and more durable materials, which can contribute to a longer lifespan compared to cheaper models. They may also come with better warranties and customer support.

Are more expensive electric toothbrush worth it? ›

Dental experts often recommend expensive electric toothbrushes for those seeking advanced oral care solutions. However, experts underscore that while the price of the toothbrush plays a role, it's not the sole determinant of its effectiveness.

How long should I brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush? ›

You should spend 30 seconds on each section and 2 minutes brushing in total. If your electric brush has a timer, that's even better, since you'll get a full and even clean every time. Hold your brush perpendicular to the tooth, engaging the gumline.

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.

Which is better, an electric or battery operated toothbrush? ›

Battery vs.

Battery-powered toothbrushes require you to provide all or most of the brushing action, moving the brush back and forth along all sides of your teeth and gums. In contrast, rechargeable electric toothbrushes provide the cleaning action while you need only guide it along all surfaces.

Does an electric toothbrush make teeth whiter? ›

Electric toothbrushes remove surface stains from teeth more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Oscillating electric toothbrushes are generally the best for teeth whitening compared to sonic-powered toothbrushes.

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