You see them in the toothbrush aisle all the time—those boxes of gleaming white electric toothbrushes—and you wonder, should I buy one? At our busy Kelowna dental clinic, we get asked all the time about the benefits of electric and manual toothbrushes.
So, which is better? Well, that depends.
An independent study that compared how manual and powered toothbrushing impacted oral health said the short term results are clear: powered toothbrushes are better1.
But these trials found that only powered brushes with rotation oscillation—brush heads turning in one direction and then another—were better at removing plaque in the short term and reducing gum inflammation in the long term1.
Before you can decide if going electric is right for you (and remember it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist for advice), here are some things to consider:
Not all powered toothbrushes are built the same. Battery-powered brushes and rechargeable electric toothbrushes offer different price points, features, and benefits.
In addition to that very effective oscillating technology, rechargeable brushes offer multiple brush heads so you can pick the bristle, digital reminders to replace the brush head, pressure sensors so you know if you’re brushing too hard, and a range of brushing modes for sensitive teeth, gum massage or whitening.
At Okantan Smiles we recommend and sell mostly Sonicare toothbrushes. Like most good things, they take a couple days to get used to, and then you can’t go without!
It’s all in the technique. The way you brush can have a big impact on your oral care. If you’re using a manual or power model, make sure you start at the gum line and brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. This massages the gums and allows the bristles to clean 1-2mm under your gums and between your teeth better. You don’t want to use a sawing motion which doesn’t allow bristles to stay between your teeth and break up plaque like an electric toothbrush motion does, and it ends up wearing away at your teeth and gums causing recession.
A rechargeable electric toothbrush will do a bit more of the work for you, cleaning your teeth as you guide it along. Plus, these brushes have small heads that can really polish those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth.
Value for your money. You can still get an excellent manual brush for free at our dental office, and many come with new features that are great for your oral health: angled brush heads, gum stimulators, multi-level bristles, gripped handles and more. Battery-powered brushes range from $8-$20, and electric rechargeable brushes now cost between $65 and $150.
At Okanagan Smiles, we sell the new Diamond Clean sonicare toothbrush complete with a convenient travel case as well as other varying models.
Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!
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