Electric Toothbrushes: 3 Main Types of Electric Toothbrushes

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Should you invest in an electric toothbrush? Let’s find out in article below!

What is an Electric Toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush, also known as a powered toothbrush, is a battery-powered device that uses vibrating or rotating bristles to clean your teeth.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes?

Electric toothbrushes are typically classified into three types, but the lines are blurring as newer models include multiple features. These are some of the categories:

  • Oscillating rotary toothbrushes: To clean each tooth, these toothbrushes have small circular heads that rotate back and forth. To help dislodge more plaque, some models combine this rotating feature with vibrating and pulsing.
  • Sonic toothbrushes: Sonic toothbrushes have vibrating brush heads that rapidly move bristles side to side. The vibration must be fast enough to produce an audible hum in order to be classified as a sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes on the market today have frequencies ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 movements per minute.
  • Ultrasonic toothbrushes: Ultrasonic toothbrushes, rather than relying on physical motion to clean your teeth, use a high frequency of vibration known as ultrasound to remove plaque and food debris. Ultrasound generates waves at a frequency beyond human hearing, and existing ultrasonic toothbrushes, according to BeDental, use working frequencies ranging from 20 kHz to 10 MHz. That equates to more than 1.2 billion movements per minute! Though ultrasonic brushes can break up plaque without moving, most models also include a sonic vibration to help remove any remaining plaque or food debris.
Electric Toothbrushes
Electric Toothbrushes

What Are the Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush?

Although an electric toothbrush is not required for clean and healthy teeth (a manual toothbrush is enough), some research suggests that it can aid in the maintenance of gum health and the reduction of tooth decay. According to an 11-year study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, using an electric toothbrush reduced pocket depth and gum recession by 22% and tooth decay progression by 18%. In addition, electric toothbrush users kept 19.5% more teeth in their mouth than manual brushers. Another study found that sonic toothbrushes significantly reduced plaque and gingivitis more effectively than manual toothbrushes over three months.

Electric Toothbrush Features

Powered toothbrushes can also provide advantages through a variety of features that aid in the improvement of your toothbrushing technique. Some examples are:

  • Timer: Many electric toothbrushes include a two-minute timer to encourage you to brush for the full two minutes. Some brushes buzz or beep every 30 seconds to allow you to brush each quadrant of your mouth equally.
  • Pressure sensor: If you have a habit of over brushing, some models include a sensor that activates when you apply too much pressure to your teeth and risk abrasion.

The 6 Best Electric Toothbrushes of 2023

  • Larger handle: Electric toothbrushes have wide, comfortable handles that are easier to grip and use than traditional brushes for people with arthritis and other medical conditions.
  • Cleaning modes: Some electric brushes have multiple modes, allowing you to customize how your toothbrush cleans specific teeth in your mouth based on your oral hygiene goals. Some, for example, have a sensitive teeth mode to provide a gentler cleaning.
  • Reminders: Your powered toothbrush may also remind you to replace the brush head every three months to improve hygiene and avoid brushing your teeth with worn toothbrush bristles.
  • Smartphone apps: High-end models may even include Bluetooth and built-in sensors that are linked to a smartphone app and track your brushing habits. These apps are also available for children, allowing you to begin instilling healthy oral hygiene habits at a young age.

What Electric Toothbrush Should I Use?

The best electric toothbrush for you is the one you are most at ease with. Both oscillating rotary toothbrushes and sonic toothbrushes have sufficient evidence to support their use, and your choice is based on personal preference. However, it is more important that you concentrate on developing proper brushing technique. Look for the following features when selecting the best electric toothbrush for you:

  • Ease of use: Your toothbrush should make brushing more comfortable, not more complicated.
  • Comfortable design: The handle should be easy to grip, and the brush head and bristle design should accommodate your mouth.
  • Soft bristles: Choose soft bristles to clean your teeth without damaging your gums or tooth enamel.

If you still have questions about which electric toothbrush is best for you, consult your dentist or dental hygienist. They can recommend the best model for your needs and demonstrate how to use the technology. An electric toothbrush, when used correctly, can provide many excellent benefits for a radiant, healthy smile.

Electric Toothbrush Buying Guide - Key Features - Wise Living


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