This article sets out to give guidance on a common question from patients – “What is the best electric toothbrush these days?” Of course, there are so many options to choose from, more than we could cover in this guide. So we will look at the features of the best electric toothbrushes.
Why Get An Electric Toothbrush? First off, it’s important to note that an electric toothbrush is not a necessity for most people. Proper use of a manual brush, with fluoride toothpaste, is enough for most people to ensure good oral hygiene. So if you can’t afford to go electric or don’t want to spend the extra money, a manual brush is just fine for the majority. Just make sure you are using it properly! Employing a proper technique and spending enough time cleaning is more important than the type of brush.
That being said, there are several benefits to using an electric toothbrush over a non-powered one. Some of the best features of powered toothbrushes are now discussed. Many have in-built timers to make sure you brush for long enough, and to remind you when to change where you are brushing. In other words, many tell you when to change ‘quadrant’ so everywhere in the mouth gets the same attention. Pressure sensors, to ensure that you aren’t putting too much elbow grease in when cleaning, are included in the better models. Over-brushing can be very damaging. If you have a tendency to put too much force on the teeth, then you may well benefit from an electric brush. Higher-end brushes may remind you when you need to change the head, which is very important. By taking some of the effort out of cleaning, these products may be of great benefit to those with dexterity problems. Some models feature differing modes, such as those for whitening, ‘gum massage’ and soft modes for those with tooth-wear or sensitivity. I’m not convinced of any huge benefits with these. It would be interesting to see some research to show any advantages.
The gadgets (like timers) are useful additions, but the most important feature is how the brushes actually clean the teeth. In this regard, the two main types on the market are the ‘Rotation-oscillation‘ type and the’Sonic‘ brushes. The former clean in a circular motion, rotating slightly one way and then the other. Oral-B produces the market leaders in this field. ‘Sonic‘ brushes use ultrasonic waves to move the bristles at very high frequency. Phillip’s ‘Sonicare’ range leads the way with these types of brushes. But which is best? There have been several studies to determine the top option, but the results are split. As there is not a lot to choose between them, it may just come down to personal choice. Studies show that both types are safe and effective in plaque removal.
Here are some points to keep in mind when considering a new toothbrush. As I said earlier, an electric toothbrush is not a ‘necessity’ for most people. Used properly, a manual brush should be fine for most. Studies do not show any major differences between manual and powered. Although a powered type may make things easier, you still need to spend the same time cleaning every day! There is learning curve with a new brush if moving from manual, as there are slightly different techniques to using each. Spending a lot on the higher end toothbrush models may not give any huge benefit over cheaper versions. Although the very cheapest are probably a waste of your money. You need to change the head every 3-6 months to ensure a good clean, so factor this into the costs. Cleaning between your teeth, with floss for example, is still a necessity, even with the very best toothbrushes.
Best Electric Toothbrush Summary
There is so much choice that it can be hard to know what to buy. Overall, an electric toothbrush can be of benefit in helping plaque removal. You shouldn’t need to spend much to get a decent brush that will do the job. As mentioned above, the most important factor in terms of your oral hygiene is not the toothbrush that you choose. Rather it is how well you use it and how often that is most important.