Brushing your teeth twice a day is crucial to maintaining good oral health. While manual toothbrushes have long been available for this task, electric toothbrushes are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative means to brushing teeth.
These toothbrushes are either battery powered or rechargeable, and are designed to provide you with the functionality of professional toothbrushes that are usually found only in a dentist office. The biggest advantage of such toothbrushes is that they allow you to reach difficult areas of your mouth, and can therefore prove to be more effective in removing plaque and preventing gingivitis.
Another advantage is that a number of brushing actions are used in cleaning, which generally involve oscillating, rotating and vibrating movements. These allow for a variety of brushing modes, with options for whitening, sensitive teeth and gum-massaging action. A range of specialized brush heads is available to further enhance these effects, and should be used in conjunction with the appropriate mode.
The more advanced toothbrushes often come with a pressure sensor, which warns you when you are brushing too hard. They also have a timer incorporated into them, which notifies you as soon as you have brushed for the recommended two minutes. This helps you brush your teeth thoroughly, and also prevents over-brushing, which can damage the tooth enamel and gums.
All these features enhance the brushing experience, and can be particularly useful for the elderly, people with arthritis, and patients who have special needs. They can further be used to assist children who may not be able to use a proper brushing technique, or help them brush for the full recommended two minutes.
The added functionality though comes at a price. While you can pick up a manual toothbrush for a dollar or more, an electric toothbrush with full functionality will set you back over $100. There is also greater care involved with its use, since you are expected to rinse and clean both the brush head and the handle following every use.
These brush heads are relatively expensive, and need to be changed every three months; with regular charging or replacement of batteries required for continued use. Other than this, some people may also find electric toothbrushes to be too noisy and high-tech.
In the end though, it is the brushing technique, along with proper care and timely replacement of a toothbrush or its parts, which counts the most. An electric toothbrush will not give you any advantage over a manual one if you do not follow its guidelines properly, or do not replace the brush head every 3 months.