Power Up Your Brush
Many patients ask about electric toothbrushes and are they worth the investment. To start, using a soft bristled, manual toothbrush is very effective at cleaning your teeth from everyday plaque as long as it is used correctly (brushing in gentle circular motions for 2 minutes, twice a day). There have been an abundant number of studies done on the effectiveness of different brushes on the market and have found that electrical tooth brushes can be more effective than a manual or non-powered toothbrush. It is also nice to just hold the brush to your teeth and let it do the work for you. You turn on the brush, move slowly over your teeth and the brush will tell you when it’s done. I usually end up messing with my phone, watching TV, put away my clothes and other random activities while the brush is working and I very frequently end up brushing MORE than the recommended 2 minutes because I am distracted by other things. There are two major brands that I like to recommend that work in different ways, Sonicare and Oral B.
To be honest Oral B is one of my favorite power toothbrushes for many reasons. First, they are affordable, you can get a great brush that will work for somewhere around $30 and the brush head refills are only $5-10 as well. They do make cheaper brushes that use batteries but I would stick with the rechargeable brushes such as the Oral B Pro 1000. If you want to pay a little more and get some of the bells and whistles such as Bluetooth go for it but basic works just as well. Second, according to the Cochrane review the Oral B method of action has been shown to more effectively remove plaque and decrease gingivitis when compared to the manual tooth brush. These brushes work by oscillating back and forth in a circular motion, which is the way we recommend how you use your manual tooth brush. Third, Oral B manufactures many different brush heads for their electric brushes which gives you the consumer options to figure out which you like the best. Some drawbacks about the Oral B brushes is that they are a little louder and vibrate a litte more than some of their counter parts.
The other brush brand I like to recommend is Sonicare. Sonicare tend to feel a little less aggressive when you use them and are a little quieter compared to the Oral B. These brushes also have been shown to be more effective than manual brushing at removing plaque and decreasing gingivitis. These brushes work by moving back in forth at Sonic speed in order to remove plaque and dissipate toothpaste in-between your teeth. These brushes also have models that include additional bells and whistles but the base model works just great. There are fewer options for brush heads for the Sonicare and the brush heads are a little bit more expensive which are a couple of the drawbacks on buying a Sonicare.
All in all, if you are looking into electric tooth brushes, I would recommend in buying an Oral B or Sonicare. Both work great, both have electric timers and both have had studies that show they are more effective than brushing with a regular old manual toothbrush. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush, don’t worry, your manual toothbrush can still get the job done when used correctly, just make sure you are brushing for the full 2 minutes!