Hey Santa Fe and Los Alamos, NM – Electric Toothbrushes – Are they worth the extra expense?
Back in the day the toughest decision to make was when buy a toothbrush was which one to buy, hard bristles, medium bristles or soft bristles. Today there are so many options when it comes to electric tooth brushes and manual ones that it’s hard to decide which one’s the best one for the best result.
Electric toothbrushes are nominally expensive, like $6 to $10, and very expensive, with prices at $150 or higher. Here’s the scoop.
Manual vs. Electric
Regular toothbrushes work if used correctly. The problem is that many of us don’t use them for the recommended 2 minutes or get to every tooth.
That’s when a little extra power may come in handy.
An electric toothbrush can cover a larger area faster, so you clean more surfaces in the same amount of time. When you brush by hand, you make about 300 strokes per minute. Compare that to the thousands — in some cases tens of thousands — of strokes per minute a power one makes.
Power toothbrushes are better at cleaning your teeth than manual ones. One recent study showed people who used them had less plaque and gum disease. Electric toothbrushes are particularly handy if the user has trouble physically.
Other people they benefit include:
- Children: Kids may think that electric ones are more fun and easier to use.
- People with braces: They can clean in and around the metal parts.
- Lazy brushers: If your dentist finds you’re not removing enough plaque with a manual toothbrush, he may suggest an electronic one.
The main drawback is the cost. Regular toothbrushes usually cost a few dollars, while you can spend up to $100 or more on an electric one. Brush heads for power gadgets need to be replaced as often as old-school brushes, too. The extra expense can add up. The power ones are also bigger and bulkier, which makes them harder to stash in your purse or suitcase.
What Are the Different Types?
There are a few categories of electric toothbrushes. The main difference is how the brush moves:
• Rotary: The head moves in a circular motion at 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute. A toothbrush where the head alternates directions has what’s called rotation oscillation.
• Sonic: These use a side-to-side motion at a speed at about 10 times that of a rotary brush — about 31,000 brush strokes per minute.
• Ultrasonic: The fast side-to-side motion creates vibrations that dislodge plaque.
• Ionic: The brush head doesn’t move. A low electric current in the bristles attracts plaque.
So, which type is best? Right now, there isn’t enough research to say for sure.
How Much Should You Spend?
Disposable, battery-operated brushes cost about $6 to $15, while rechargeable electric versions range from $40 to more than $150.
Some versions come with travel cases and built-in sensors that signal when you’re brushing too hard. Others have built-in timers that beep every 30 seconds for 2 minutes to let you know it’s time to move on to a different part of your mouth. High-tech versions have Bluetooth technology that sends data on your brushing habits to your phone. No matter which kind you choose, look for the American Dental Association’s seal on the package. This means that the toothbrush has been reviewed to make sure that it’s safe and effective.