Battle of the Toothbrushes: High-Tech versus Traditional

In the battle of the toothbrushes, where would you place your bet—on the benefits derived from brushing with a slick, high-tech rechargeable electric toothbrush or on the traditional, manual, low-tech option that’s been around since 1938? It seems like a simple question with an easy answer, but is it? The real answer: It depends.

First, in assessing the effectiveness of an electric toothbrush against the manual version, most studies seem to suggest that, depending on brushing skill and total brushing time, brushing with an electric toothbrush can be, in fact, more effective at removing plaque and promoting healthier gums. shutterstock_372807865 To be sure, the Cochrane Oral Health Group undertook a review of 56 different published research studies to specifically assess the effectiveness of the electric toothbrush in comparison to the traditional, manual version. Their team carefully examined all aspects of the studies–structure, participant composition, randomization, results validity, etc. And through their work, the authors discovered that participants who used an electric toothbrush between one and three months experienced an 11% decrease in plaque accumulation and a 6% reduction in gum disease.

Another research study, albeit a bit older, examined as part of a larger study, the effectiveness of the electric toothbrush in comparison to the manual version and yielded similar results. Documented in JADA, The Journal Of The American Dental Association, this particular study honed in on one particular electric toothbrush, the Braun Oral-B® Ultra Plaque Remover, and with the help of clinicians, assessed the effectiveness of this brush on oral health. Similarly, the findings indicated that the majority of dental patients, specifically 80.5%, experienced improvements in plaque removal and healthier gums. The study participants liked the electric toothbrush so much that nearly 90 percent of them said they planned on continuing to use an electric toothbrush. The dental professionals that participated in this study also considered the “power toothbrush to be the most effective way of brushing.”

Likewise, in our practice, we favor the electric toothbrush for brushing effectiveness. Our favorite brand, if you want to wade into the world of high-tech toothbrushes and hedge your bet, is a base model: Oral-B Vitality Dual Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush. The retail price is $29.99. However, if you prefer more features and functionality, we recommend the Oral-B Pro 5000 or the Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum. While a bit more pricey, these rechargeable toothbrushes include many more features, such as multiple cleaning modes, pressure sensors, and a timer to chart your total brushing time, as well as offer the assurance of better oral health. You can purchase any of these options conveniently through our office.

In the battle of the toothbrushes, is there really a clear winner? The answer: You get to decide. We have given you the facts and the findings, but choose the brush that is best for you–whether it’s a high-tech, rechargeable electric toothbrush or the traditional, manual kind. You’re a winner either way!

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