Looking after our teeth is an essential part of overall health. In fact, brushing your teeth helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, as well as other health conditions that could arise from poor oral health.1
Most of us brush at least twice a day, which is usually all we need to do to maintain good oral hygiene. We often pay a lot of attention to the type of toothpaste we use too, with specific products promising everything from whitening to freshness.2
But what about the type of toothbrush you use? We have often heard how electric toothbrushes are better for oral hygiene. In fact, 67% of adults in the United Kingdom have switched to an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one.3
If you’re wondering about the benefits of electric toothbrushes, and whether you should switch too, we’ve got everything you need to know below.
Electric toothbrushes vs manual toothbrushes
It doesn’t matter too much whether you choose to brush with an electric toothbrush or a manual one. Both are considered effective at removing plaque and bacteria. It’s more important that you brush regularly in line with your dentist’s advice.4
Which you choose is really up to your personal preferences. Your dentist may have some suggestions too, so it could be worth asking their thoughts before making a decision.
The benefits of using an electric toothbrush
While manual toothbrushes can do the job just fine, there are some benefits to choosing an electric toothbrush for your oral hygiene routine.
These may include:
- Moderately better plaque and gingivitis reduction5
- Ease of use for people with limited mobility
- Encourages a two-minute clean
- Fun and engaging to use
- Different cleaning modes
- Extra features, like travel cases and Bluetooth connection6
The type of electric toothbrush you choose could have an impact on how well it works for you. Oscillating or rotating heads are usually the best choice, as these are thought to remove more plaque and bacteria.7
The downsides of using electric toothbrushes
While many of us do use electric toothbrushes, there are some downsides to swapping from a manual brush that you might want to bear in mind.
These may include:
- Cost (although they can be cost-effective in the long-term)
- Regular charging8
In general, though, electric toothbrushes are thought to be more environmentally friendly than a manual choice. While it might be trickier to pick up replacement heads at the supermarket, they are becoming more available. It’s also possible to purchase these in bulk if you want to.9
How best to brush your teeth
Whichever toothbrush you choose, it’s essential to stick to a regular oral hygiene routine. You should always brush your teeth twice a day for about two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
Use other dental health products, like mouthwash and floss, alongside your brushing routine to help eliminate any plaque and bacteria left behind after brushing too.
It’s a good idea to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups too. They might have advice on how best to brush your teeth and any other steps you need to take to keep your teeth, gums and mouth as healthy as possible.10
Last updated: 27 November 2020
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.