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Do I Need an Expensive Electric Toothbrush?

From feathers and quills to tree twigs and chew sticks, archeological evidence reveals that as long a man has existed, he’s used some kind of tool to clean his teeth.

An increasing awareness of the importance of oral health in the 20th century has opened up a large variation in the dental aisle. Walk into the toothbrush aisle of any drugstore today and it’s easy to see how 75 years of advancement has led to a dizzying array of toothbrush options. From the cheapest manual brush to an electronic version costing upwards of $150, there is definitely something for everyone, but figuring out which one is best for your particular needs can be tricky.

Do I Really Need an Expensive Toothbrush?

It’s no question that manual toothbrushes have long been the preferred, if not the only, option for most people in the modern era. For a majority of people, regular use of a manual toothbrush, along with daily flossing and twice yearly dental cleanings are a sound oral hygiene regimen. If you and your dentist agree that a manual toothbrush works well for you, then it’s probably not necessary to switch to an electronic toothbrush. However, electronic toothbrushes do offer a number of advantages over manual toothbrushes that make them a great option for many people.


Let’s face it, we typically don’t do a very good job of brushing our teeth. From inadequate brushing time to improper techniques, most of us are less than thorough. The benefit of electronic toothbrushes is that they do the work for us. For instance, Oral B produces a toothbrush with a wireless display that allows people to view a countdown timer to ensure they brush for a full two minutes. Manual toothbrush users tend to overestimate the length of time they brush their teeth and typically fall far short of the two minute goal recommended by dentists. A clinical study discovered that people were 5 times more likely to brush twice a day for two minutes at a time when using a toothbrush with a wireless timer versus a manual toothbrush.

Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes

Electronic toothbrushes also take away the guesswork associated with proper brushing technique. Teeth can be difficult to clean and plaque tends to build up in spots that are hard to reach. Electronic toothbrushes with an oscillating-rotating head do the work of removing bacteria and debris significantly better than manual toothbrush. They also prevent damage to the tooth and gum surfaces for those who tend to brush with too much force.


For these reasons and many more, electronic toothbrushes are a sensible choice for most people. Although they carry a higher price tag, compared to a manual toothbrush, their benefits far outweigh the cost difference, especially when you consider the increased dental costs associated with poor brushing techniques. If you’re curious about whether or not an electronic toothbrush might be the best option for you, speak to your dentist about it at your next cleaning.