Electric toothbrushes are becoming an increasingly common tool of choice for oral hygiene. The question is: do they clean your teeth any better than a regular toothbrush? As with many questions, the answer is a little foggy and is a “maybe”. There are various reasons why an electric toothbrush may be a better choice for you. In this article we will explore what some of these reasons are, and try to turn that “maybe” into an answer that fits you.
In short, if you are brushing your teeth well, and for the recommended number of times a day, you don’t necessarily need to step up to an electric toothbrush. A hand-powered one will work for you. However, when you consider that electric-powered toothbrushes can produce around 6,000 to 30,000 strokes per minute, it seems intuitive that they either get the job done faster or better. Yet many dentists still stand by the claim that you can still brush your teeth well with a manual toothbrush.
Oral-B Study Finds a Positive Effect
There is a study that was conducted by Braun Oral-B that examined 16,000 patients who were asked by their dentist or oral hygienist to use one of the company’s electric-powered toothbrushes. Dental professionals included in the study reported that over 80% of the patients received a positive effect from using the device. While this study may be true and relevant, one must also consider that it was performed by a company that manufactures electric toothbrushes, which undoubtedly are in a more profitable market than conventional toothbrushes. This makes for a conflict of interest, much like a tobacco company producing a study that claims smoking does not cause cancer.
Electric Toothbrushes Make Brushing Easier for Some People
For some people, though, the physical action of brushing their teeth can be difficult or downright painful. People with arthritis or diabetic neuropathy often experience pain when using their hands in a vigorous motion, like the action used to brush teeth. On top of this, dry mouth can accompany diabetes, or it can be a side effect of drugs that treat arthritis, or that are commonly taken by the age group that has arthritis. For these people, the purchase of an electric toothbrush is a good idea. It will allow for far more comfort when they brush, which means they will probably do a more thorough job. Also, because it is less painful, they will adhere to the recommended twice (or more) a day brushing schedule.
The Key to Healthy Teeth is Brushing
Dental professionals do agree on one thing (probably more than that): if you want to have healthy teeth, you need to brush two or more times a day, and you need to floss at least once (preferably at night). It doesn’t matter so much whether or not your toothbrush can spin at supersonic speeds. The key is to actually do regular maintenance of your mouth and teeth.