Should I Make the Switch to an Electric Toothbrush?
Should I Make the Switch to an Electric Toothbrush?
Why You Should Be Using an Electric Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth is the foundation to healthy dental and oral hygiene. It is the most effective way to remove plaque and debris that can lead to bacterial build-up, cavities, gingivitis, and more serious oral and gum diseases. This shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise, since we’ve all been taught by our parents to brush our teeth twice a day every day. However, now that oral health has evolved, we have more options than your regular tooth brush to do the job.
Manual toothbrushes are the standard, as kids are taught how to brush using them. From spaceship-shaped to princesses-themed, manual toothbrushes are easily targeted towards kids as they learn the importance of oral health at a young age. However, now that we’ve all (hopefully) outgrown our princess stages, we can choose from a variety of toothbrush options. Electric toothbrushes are all the rage right now, as they’ve been proven to be cost-efficient, eco-friendly, and provide dentist-approved results.
The Pros of Electric Toothbrushes
With technology evolving constantly, electric toothbrushes can offer a clean like no manual can. Let’s dive into what makes them so great:
- They’re user-friendly. An electric tooth brush isn’t complicated at all to use. If anything, they require less effort on your part. Just make sure you’re angling your brush head correctly.
- They leave less plaque behind than manual toothbrushes. Electronic toothbrushes actually remove over 20% more plaque than manual brushes. No wonder why they’re advertised as providing a “deeper clean!”
- They are easier to use with braces. Plaque can build up in tough-to-reach spots, such as in your braces. If you’re having a hard time keeping your teeth clean with your braces on, it might be time to switch to a vibrating electronic toothbrush.
- They have built-in timers. Lots of newer electronic toothbrushes have built-in timers that measure the exact time you should be brushing your teeth for. Each time you brush your teeth, you should be spending a full two minutes doing so.
- They’re eco-friendly. Rather than buying a whole new toothbrush every few months, you just need to replace the brush head. When you factor in how much plastic goes into toothbrush packaging as well, this cuts down on overall plastic production and makes a big difference over time.
The Cons of Electric Toothbrushes
Some people are hesitant to change, especially with something so important as their oral health. Here are a few cons of using an electric toothbrush:
- They cost more than manual toothbrushes. An electric toothbrush can range from $20-$200, and you need to purchase new brush heads every three months. With such a high initial cost, it can seem too pricey to make the switch.
- They are breakable. Like any piece of technology, there’s always a chance that your device will break. You might choose to upgrade after a few years, too.
- They require extra gadgets. Electronic toothbrushes take up more space, and require a few different accessories. If you’re travelling, you’ll most likely have to pack your toothbrush, charger, stand, extra batteries, and a fresh brush head.
The Pros of Manual Toothbrushes
There are reasons why manual toothbrushes have been around for so long. Let’s see why:
- They’re affordable and accessible. Plastic manual toothbrushes only cost a few dollars, are sold at all grocery stores and drugstores, and you can often get free ones at the dentist for your bi-yearly checkup.
- They’re easy. Not only are they easy to use, but they’re easy to transport and store. They take up little space on your counter or in your cabinet, and require no extra parts.
- They’re timeless. Manual toothbrushes as we know them today have been around since the early 1930s. Even before then, different versions of the toothbrush followed a similar format, a stick with bristles at the end. People have been using them for decades, and that’s because they work!
The Cons of Manual Toothbrushes
The fact that they work can’t be the only reason why people have opted for manual toothbrushes over other unconventional methods of cleaning teeth. Here are some others:
- They require a bit of work. Unlike electronic brushes, you need to put some work in to generate the circular and back-and-forth motions that clean your teeth and gums properly.
- They can potentially do damage if not used correctly. If you use a manual toothbrush and find yourself flattening the bristles, you’re brushing too hard. This can lead to gum and tooth damage. Some electronic toothbrushes come with a sensitivity sensor to prevent this.
- There are too many options. Since they’ve been around forever, any brand that can make a manual toothbrush has done so already. You can find yourself staring at the toothbrush aisle in the grocery store for far too long. It can take some trial and error to find the right brush for you.
- You could risk brushing for too little or too long. Many electric toothbrushes will have built-in timers that automatically turn the toothbrush off after two minutes. When you’re using a manual toothbrush, you might benefit from a timer or having a clock nearby.
What Do Professionals Say?
According to the American Dental Association, either toothbrush can be good if used correctly. However, due to the features offered in electronic toothbrushes, the ADA acknowledges that electric options are ultimately better at removing plaque, preventing bacteria build-up, and are easier for those with dexterity problems or disabilities to use.
Electronic toothbrushes offer bristles that vibrate, rotate, and oscillate to provide a dentist-approved clean. Scientists have found that people who use an electric toothbrush over a manual one have healthier gums, less tooth decay, and also keep their teeth for longer. Electric toothbrushes that oscillate are especially great at removing plaque.
What to Look for in an Electric Toothbrush?
What makes a good electric toothbrush depends completely on the person and what they prefer. The feel, size, and weight of an electronic toothbrush can vary depending on which model you buy. You can also choose different brush heads for different models. The great thing about electric toothbrushes is that many companies will make different heads for each model, making your toothbrush fully customizable.
When you’re shopping for an electric toothbrush, consider the three popular types of electronic toothbrushes: oscillating, sonic, and ultrasonic. Oscillating rotary heads are circular heads that both spin and move back and forth. Sonic brush heads vibrate back and forth extremely fast. Ultrasound brushes vibrate at a frequency beyond the limit of human sound, hence the name ultrasonic.
A few things people look for in electric toothbrushes include:
- A 2-minute timer that turns the brush off after exactly two minutes.
- A 30-second timer that helps to break up your mouth into four quadrants so you know your teeth are all getting an even clean.
- A pressure sensor to ensure you aren’t putting too much pressure and damaging your gums.
- A long battery life so you can go longer between charges.
- Whether or not it comes with a travel case.
- If the brush offers more than one cleaning mode. Some toothbrushes can offer multiple cleaning modes including “daily clean,” “gum care,” “sensitive,” “whitening,” “deep clean,” and “tongue cleaner.”
The Newest Technology: The ToothWave
Much like any piece of technology, electric toothbrushes are constantly evolving. Aside from the three main types of electric toothbrush (oscillating, sonic, and ultrasonic), a new type of electric toothbrush technology has been developed to provide an even deeper clean. Silk’n now offers the ToothWave with Dental RF Technology, clinically proven to reduce existing tarter.
Dental RF technology allows the ToothWave to remove any discolouration, stains, and tartar at a molecular level. DentalRF technology is the first of its kind that can break the strong molecular bonds that adhere to the tooth’s surface. It sends mild radiofrequency waves of charged molecules that drastically reduce discolouration, stains, and tartar.
The ToothWave offers settings found on many other electric toothbrushes. It has four different vibration modes, two weeks of battery life, a 30-second interval timer, and a 2-minute automatic shut-off timer. While these are a bonus, the real star of the show is the Dental RF technology.
DentalRF works through the innovative brush heads, which contains medium-soft bristles, 2 DentalRF electrodes and a silicone strip between the electrodes. The silicone strip enables the energy to flow across the teeth, while also ensuring the toothpaste and DentalRF energy interact effectively. It’s this unique design that allows the Silk’n ToothWave to clean at a molecular level, something that no other electric toothbrush offers.
Choosing A Toothbrush
As mentioned, choosing a toothbrush is completely up to the individual. With so many pros and cons for both manual and electric toothbrushes, both are considered a good option from the American Dental Association. However, if you’re looking for a deeper clean, you probably want to opt for an electric toothbrush. Looking at features, make sure you do your research and reflect on your oral hygiene routine. Do you need something with multiple heads to address different problems you have? Do you prefer oscillating or sonic technology? Do you want something to help with discolouration at a molecular level?
Electronic toothbrushes offer way more features than a manual and they are following the technological trends that are helping people get a better clean every time. Do some research on which electric toothbrush best suits your needs, and get to brushing!