Electric toothbrushes have taken the world by storm. Whenever I’m looking for something about dental care online, I find myself looking for the answer on commercial websites that are promoting dental care products. And it seems that I can’t run away from ads trying to convince me that I need the latest electric toothbrush on the market or my teeth will start falling out one by one.
But is electric toothbrush really beneficial to oral health and is it really a must-have for everyone who wants to improve the health of the teeth,
or is it just a marketing trick designed to pursue you into thinking that good old traditional toothbrush is an ancient technology that should be abandoned?
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t trust the advertisers and stick with your good old traditional toothbrush.
Electric toothbrush is expensive. Way more expensive than a traditional toothbrush
An electric toothbrush costs anywhere from $30 to $200 which is way more than an average consumer spends on a traditional toothbrush that costs a few bucks. But the cost of owning an electric toothbrush doesn’t just end there. You need to replace the brush head every 2 to 3 months which will set you back anywhere from $10 to $30 which is again way more than replacing a traditional toothbrush.
Another thing that adds up to the long-term cost of owning an electric toothbrush is the fact that they are powered by rechargeable batteries which have a limited lifespan. When a traditional toothbrush gets worn out, you simply toss it into the trash can and spend a few bucks on buying a new one. But when electric toothbrush starts malfunctioning or the battery gets worn out, there’s a good chance that replacing it will set you back $100 or even more.
There’s no magic technology behind an electric toothbrush
Some studies suggest that an electric toothbrush removes more plaque from the surface of the teeth than a manual toothbrush alone. Most consumers are persuaded into thinking that there’s some kind of military-grade top-secret technology behind electric toothbrushes. So it magically sweeps away the plaque and eliminates gum diseases like no traditional toothbrush can, but that’s not the case.
There’s no secret technology behind electric toothbrushes. They either vibrate or rotate. The only thing that makes the electric toothbrush more efficient is that most of them have in-built timers that help users reaching the 2 minutes of brushing time which is recommended by dentists and because it’s easier to achieve the perfect brushing technique by using an electric toothbrush.
Most dentists aren’t buying into the electric toothbrush hype. And they agree that a traditional toothbrush is at least as effective as the electric one. As long as the user is using the right brushing technique and thoroughly cleans teeth twice per day.
How hard is it to learn the proper ways of brushing your teeth with a traditional toothbrush?
It isn’t exactly rocket science. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums, gently move the bristles back and forth, brush the outer and inner surfaces of the teeth and rinse your mouth after two minutes of brushing time have passed. It’s not a complicated process and if you are willing to give it a try, you will most likely succeed without spending $100 on an electric toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes have a lot of useless and expensive technology that isn’t really beneficial to health
The latest high-end electric toothbrushes on the market feature smart technology which allows them to connect to the smartphone through an app and Bluetooth, monitor the user’s brushing habits and encourage them to reach the 2 minutes of dentist’s recommended brushing time while sometimes showing random dental care tips through the app.
This is a totally useless feature unless you actually don’t brush your teeth the right way and you need guidance to let you know when the 2 minutes of brushing time has passed. This technology is not just unnecessary, it also drastically increases the price of an electric toothbrush. The top-end toothbrushes with smart technology cost up to about $280 which is over 50% of what the first iPhone costed back in 2007. And we all know that the first iPhone was something out of this world when it was first introduced to the market.
Some dentists claim that an electric toothbrush can cause gum recession
Gum recession is the exposure of the roots of the teeth caused by a loss or retraction of gum tissue. When roots get exposed, teeth become sensitive forever, and the only cure is surgery. Having your gums fixed surgically is never cheap, so it’s always better to prevent it from occurring than to cure it. Despite the fact that electric toothbrushes are less sensitive to the brushing technique, they can easily become too harsh on gums if you are using them the wrong way.
Electric toothbrush market is full of marketing tricks
It’s the no-brainer that most companies today would do a lot of shady things to attract as many customers as possible. And make them spend as much money as possible on their products.
One of the things I absolutely hate about electric toothbrushes is that manufacturers like to exaggerate. You will often see big claims being made. Such as »this electric toothbrush removes 7x more plaque than a traditional toothbrush alone«. Or »this toothbrush can whiten up your teeth like professional teeth whitening studio«. There’s no doubt that such claims require very biased clinical study to be validated.
Most electric toothbrush manufacturers also hype up clinical studies confirming that the technology behind their electric toothbrushes is superior to everything else. Let’s take a look at the battle between Sonicare and Oral B for example. Dozens of studies have tried to find out the answer which brand makes more efficient electric toothbrushes, and the results are different in each study. There’s no doubt that most of these studies are paid for by one of these two brands. So it’s naive not to expect that they were conducted with huge levels of bias.
Does using an electric toothbrush have any advantage at all?
Of course, it does. There are occasions where an electric toothbrush shines. The first electric toothbrush was invented back in 1959 by a doctor in Switzerland, and it was designed exclusively for people with limited motor skills who aren’t able to move their hands around enough to efficiently clean teeth with a traditional toothbrush.
This is probably still the biggest advantage of having an electric toothbrush today. And if you suffer from arthritis or any other condition that prevents you to brush your teeth effectively, an electric toothbrush is a solution.