3 Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

Do you ever feel like your teeth never truly get clean—even right after you’re done brushing? Is it your toothpaste, or maybe that you didn’t brush long enough? Wait, how long did I brush this morning…

These are common questions everyone has and for good reason: Studies show that, on average, Americans brush their teeth for less than half as long as recommended. So if you’re not holding a stopwatch in one hand and brushing with the other, don’t worry—you’re not alone.

Is an Electric Toothbrush the Answer?

Your dentist may have recently told you that having an electric toothbrush will benefit your overall oral health. And you may have also rolled your eyes a few times because you feel like you’ve heard it all before—sure, the latest fad will fix everything.

But if an electric toothbrush seems like an expense that you don’t need—especially because your amazing dentist always gives you a what must be their highly-recommended toothbrush for free at each check-up—are you actually missing out on some important health benefits?

The Problem with the Manual Toothbrush

We’ve all heard the phrase “user error” at some point in our lives. But when using a manual toothbrush, you never hear the warning. You just see the effects at your next dentist visit—and wind up paying for them.

Not brushing long enough, often enough, or spending more time on the front teeth than the back—these are all common “user errors” we make. Maybe it’s because we’re preoccupied with work or picking up the kids—for whatever reason, one thing is clear:

Improper brushing technique, combined with a manual toothbrush, leaves behind plaque that can cause cavities, or results in neglecting those hard-to-reach parts of your mouth.

3 Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, can make brushing your teeth much easier and more effective. Consider the top 3 benefits of an electric toothbrush:

  • Stop Top-Heavy Brushers. Most electric toothbrushes have lights or special pulsating rhythms that alert you when it’s time to switch quadrants (top right, bottom right, top left, bottom left), ensuring that all sections of your mouth are equally clean. No more spending 45 seconds on the top and 15 on the bottom.
  • Shortcut for Short Brushers. A “brush session timer” will also make you aware if you’re cutting your brushing sessions short (tsk, tsk!), so instead of “guesstimating” when you’re done, the electric toothbrush will automatically turn itself off after the ADA-recommended time for brushing (2 minutes, twice a day).
  • Lighten the Burden of Heavy Brushers. Another common mistake we make while brushing is using too much pressure. (Yes, that’s actually a thing!) By brushing too hard, you can damage your gums and increase the erosion of your enamel (a type of tooth wear), especially if you use an abrasive toothpaste. (Also a thing!) But many electric toothbrushes have built-in sensors that will alert you so you can minimize the risk of damage.

More Stroke for Your Buck

So, now for what holds far too many people back on electric brushes: the pricetag. Some models can be a bit pricey, but with advancements in modern technology, electric toothbrush prices have significantly dropped since the last time most people checked.

And when you put it into perspective, most of the electric brushes out there are capable of about 30,000 brushstrokes per minute. It’s really doing some work inside your mouth! Your manual toothbrush? Most people can only crank out about 200 strokes per minute. So for cost per brush stroke, electric brushes actually cost less than manual brushes.

And with the money you can save on dental work by eliminating user error, an electric toothbrush essentially pays for itself—even if it helps you prevent just one cavity.

What Do The Experts Say?

In the end, no matter what kind of toothbrush you’re using, you won’t see any benefit without regularly and attentively brushing your teeth. Electric toothbrush just makes this easier to accomplish.

If you have additional questions on which brush may be your best choice, don’t hesitate to ask with your dentist for more information.