Electric Toothbrush

What is an electric toothbrush ?

  • Uses electric power to move the brush head
  • Makes use of oscillating/rotating, vibrating, or ultrasonic technology
  • Comprises of high-tech rechargeable models as well as low cost battery-powered toothbrushes

Choosing the right Electric Toothbrush

  • Since electric toothbrushes' handles come in a variety of shapes and materials always choose one that gives you a better grip on it such as a round and small brush head.
  • Bristles must have rounded ends
  • Choose ones that have pressure sensors as they help to regulate the speed of the brush and avoid damaging the teeth and gums
  • Choose ones with a built-in timer to help you control the duration of brushing and ensure that you brush for the correct duration
  • As specified by your dentist specific to your needs, mouth shape and dental problems.

Using the electric toothbrush

  • Apply minimal pressure as all electric toothbrushes perform most of the necessary movements on their own.
  • Place the head of the electric toothbrush at a 30 to 40 degree angle on the gum line for about 2 seconds and move the brush from tooth to tooth gently
  • Repeat the procedure for the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces as well
  • Rinse and clean your brush head after brushing
  • Replace your brush head every 3 months or once the head has worn out.
  • Always read the operating instructions before first use, as these may differ from model to model.

Electric toothbrush vs. Manual toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush

Manual Toothbrush

Only minimal skill level is needed to brush properly

Requires manual dexterity and diligence

Will probably clean better where someone lacks the skills needed for manual brushing, has problems making the necessary movements of brushing - people with arthritis and elder people

Not helpful in such a scenario

Tend to brush longer with a power toothbrush, as minimum effort is needed; it can lead to better removal of dental plaque

Efforts needed can cause the person to limit the amount of time spent on brushing

Smaller brush head that is easier to reach all areas of their mouth, even to the back teeth without causing discomfort as some larger brush heads, hence more preferred

Not always true

Less brushing force is required

More force required

Less likely to cause damage to tooth enamel and gums

Incorrect techniques can often cause damage

Allow you to regulate the brushing time and pressure applied using a built in timer and pressure sensors. E.g. Braun Oral-B or Sonicare range

Manual regulation required

Recommended for those who wear braces as it may reach crevices between braces and teeth that are not easily cleaned

Comparatively, cleaning can be a cumbersome task for those who have braces

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

They are categorised based on the type of the brush head’s shape and movement:

  • Rotary toothbrushes - a circular head that rotates in one direction
  • Counter-rotational toothbrushes - different tufts of bristles rotating in opposite directions
  • Rotating-oscillating toothbrushes - a circular head that spins back and forth in quick bursts
  • Oscillating-pulsating toothbrushes – an additional pulsating motion to enhance the cleaning action
  • The Sonic toothbrush - a conventionally shaped head, which vibrates in very high speed to create turbulent fluid dynamics, disrupting and removing dental plaque even beyond the point where the tips of the toothbrush's bristles actually touch.

Guide to Electric Toothbrushes