Topeka Dentistry
Carrie Peterson, DDS & Ben Rutherford, DDS

Is an Electric Toothbrush Worth It?

February 3, 2022
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Posted By: Topeka Dentistry

Your toothbrush is an essential tool in your dental care kit. Today, countless toothbrush options are available, including electric toothbrushes. But is there really a difference between an electric and manual toothbrush? We're here to set the record straight, but first, let's take a look at why it's crucial to your health to properly brush your teeth every day. 

Why Are Brushing and Flossing Important?

Most of your oral care starts at home. Without practicing good oral hygiene, your smile can lack radiance and develop adverse dental health conditions, such as decay and gum disease. 

Brushing your teeth twice daily is essential to removing plaque, the transparent layer of bacteria that collects on teeth. Brushing and flossing every day is the best way to keep plaque at bay, though you still need professional cleanings to eliminate the plaque from your smile thoroughly. Also, brushing stimulates the gums and helps keep them healthy by preventing gum disease. 

Now that we've reviewed the importance of brushing and flossing at home let's talk about what you came here for: Is an electric toothbrush worth it?

Manual Toothbrushes vs. Electric Toothbrushes

There is no one correct answer to whether or not a manual or electric toothbrush is better for you. All in all, it's not the brush; it's the brusher! It depends on the person and their brushing habits. For example, sometimes people who use electric toothbrushes aren't as thorough with their brushing because they think they hit all surface areas or speed over cleaning their teeth instead of taking their time. Likewise, a manual brusher may not brush as thoroughly as they would with an electric toothbrush.  

Electric and manual toothbrushes are designed to accomplish the same goals:

  • Eliminating plaque and bacteria 
  • Freshening your breath
  • Keeping your mouth clean and debris-free
  • Reducing your risk for decay and gum disease 

As long as you brush your teeth properly and stay on top of your oral hygiene with regular dental visits, your smile has a better chance of staying healthy and problem-free. 

Manual Toothbrushes

A manual toothbrush can get the job done but may require more work on your part. To get the best results, make sure to actively and thoroughly brush your teeth for two full minutes. But remember, brushing harder isn't necessarily better. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush so you can gently brush the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing too vigorously, especially with a hard-bristled toothbrush, can damage your tooth enamel and gum tissue. 

Electric Toothbrushes 

An electric toothbrush gives you a little more "oomph" when it comes to ridding your teeth of food particles and plaque. If you struggle holding your toothbrush or actively brushing for the full two minutes, an electric toothbrush may benefit you and be easier on your wrists and hands. An electric toothbrush can help you clean a larger area faster than you can with a manual toothbrush. It does the hard work for you! These toothbrushes also usually have a built-in timer to ensure you brush the full two minutes each time. 

What Are the Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush?

For those interested in making the switch from manual to electric, here are some benefits of using an electric toothbrush:

  • They offer more strokes per minute than manual brushing. Most adults can average 300 strokes each minute, while an electric toothbrush can average thousands each minute.  
  • You are less likely to brush too hard. Brushing too hard can irritate gum tissue, wear down enamel, and lead to gum recession. 
  • An electric toothbrush may be easier to hold and use for those with arthritis or issues with their hands and wrists. 
  • You can remove plaque and bacteria quickly and easily without working as hard as you would with a manual toothbrush.
  • Using an electric toothbrush may motivate you or your family to brush your teeth more. Some electric toothbrushes has lights and fun designs for kids, and they some can even play music while you brush, which really helps pass the time. 

Is an Electric Toothbrush the Right Option for Me?

An electric toothbrush helps effectively remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Yes, you can still attain great results with a manual brush, but it requires a little more work, and you should be careful not to brush too hard. Even though it may feel like you are saving time or "life-hacking" by using an electric toothbrush, you still must brush twice daily, floss once daily, and get professional cleanings and exams every six months. The best way to determine if an electric toothbrush is right for you is to consult your dentist. 

Contact Your Dentist in Topeka Today

Are you interested in learning more about electric toothbrushes and the best oral hygiene tools for your smile? Please speak with us today at Topeka Dentistry! We are also happy to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning with our Topeka dentists, Drs. Carrie Peterson and Ben Rutherford. 

We're here to help your smile sparkle! 

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