Should I invest in an electric toothbrush?

If you have invested in your smile or simply care about your teeth and oral hygiene in general, you may well have found yourself wondering whether it is also worth investing in an electric toothbrush. No doubt you’ve seen the promises of brighter, whiter smiles in the many television adverts. But are they really what they are made out to be? Now, for the first time, scientists have been able to resolve the question conclusively. After a groundbreaking 11-year research project conducted for the Oral Health Foundation, the UK’s leading oral health charity and a globally recognised leader in the field, scientists have now published their official findings. We take a closer look at what they discovered.

The electric toothbrush – a brief background

The electric toothbrush was invented all the way back in 1926. The earliest model was first produced in the USA. Despite the invention dating back so far, it was only in the post-war economic boom of the 1950’s that the electric toothbrush really took off as a popular household item. There were, however, issues connected to practicality and safety. Unlike today’s designs, early electric toothbrushes needed to be plugged in during use and ran at mains voltage!

In 1961, the General Electric corporation introduced the rechargeable, battery-powered electric toothbrush that we are now familiar with to the market. It was in the 1980’s, as a result of the Gillette group acquiring the Oral-B brand to go along Braun that sales of electric toothbrushes really began to take off in the UK.

Electric vs manual toothbrushes – the numbers

The impartial research set out to settle the argument of electric vs manual toothbrushes conclusively. These were some of their key findings:

  • Less than half (49%) of British adults currently use an electric toothbrush
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of electric toothbrush users say that more effective cleaning is their reason behind the switch
  • More than a third (34%) of users have been persuaded to buy one because of the advice of a dentist 
  • Around one in nine (13%) people have received an electric toothbrush as a gift.

The benefits of an electric toothbrush

The research team found strong evidence that people who use an electric toothbrush generally benefit from healthier gums, less tooth decay and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush. 

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, sheds some light on why this is the case – 

“Health experts have been speaking about the benefits of electric toothbrushes for many years. This latest piece of evidence is one of the strongest and clearest yet. Electric toothbrushes are better for our oral health.

“Electric toothbrushes, especially those with heads that rotate in both directions, or ‘oscillating’ heads, are really effective at removing plaque. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.

“As the science behind the advantages of electric toothbrushes is mounting, the decision of whether to invest in one becomes much easier.”

Supporting these findings, researchers from the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that electric toothbrushes resulted in 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay over the 11-year period.

Why your oral hygiene regime matters

Despite the findings, Dr. Carter was keen to emphasise that there is no substitute for having a good oral hygiene routine. This is regardless of whether you prefer to use a manual or electric toothbrush.

“Whether you’re using a manual or electric toothbrush you should be brushing for two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Also, a good oral health routine would not be complete without using an interdental brush or floss once a day.

“If you follow a good oral health routine then whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, you’ll have a healthy mouth either way.”

Dialogue with your dentist

Ultimately, this completely unbiased research has shown that an electric toothbrush can offer genuine benefits as part of a broader oral health routine. This is especially in conjunction with regular dental visits in which you can discuss your oral health.

Dr. Sanjeev Ramrakha, Perfect Pearls Clinical Director says:

“ I always recommend having an electric tooth brush as part of your ‘dental armour’.

A Manual toothbrush, allows one to go back to basics and keep focused on technique, whilst the Electric Toothbrush ensures a two brushing minute regime and is proven to be more effective on plaque removal.

I also think a water-pik is an essential tool for heavily restored teeth and  implant cases for ongoing maintenance and care.”

To get in touch with the team at Perfect Pearls today, call now on Wolverhampton 01902 500 823.