Sure, your biannual visit to the dentist will award you a free toothbrush. But when is it time to upgrade to the next level of gear?
Walk around the oral care aisle in drugstores and big box stores, and you’ll find quite the array of dental care options out there, from cheap multipacks to the more high-tech electric options that can be quite a bit more costly.
But your oral health is no place to pinch pennies. Gum disease—which can be prevented in part through proper brushing—has been linked to a whole host of serious health issues, including heart disease and erectile dysfunction.
So if some upgraded gear is going to help you brush, we consider that money well spent. Not all electric toothbrushes are created equal, though. Harold Katz, D.D.S., founder of the California Breath Clinics and author of The Bad Breath Bible recommends a soft nylon brush instead of a medium or hard-bristled one.
Here, 6 reasons you should consider ditching your cheap plastic brush and buying an electric toothbrush.
Electric Toothbrush Benfit: It Keeps Your Teeth White
The motion of an electric toothbrush helps scrub every inch of your teeth, says Beverly Hills periodontist Sanda Moldovan, D.D.S. This prevents coffee and wine stains, keeping your smile glowing.
Electric Toothbrush Benefit: It Cuts Down On Plaque
Shelling out a few more bucks to buy an electric toothbrush might save you some more serious cash down the line—at least in terms of saving on dental visits, that is. A Cochrane meta-analysis concluded that brushing with a powered toothbrush can lead to a 21 percent reduction in plaque, a sticky buildup on your teeth that can lead to decay and cavities.
Electric Toothbrush Benefit: It’s Good For Your Gums
Electric toothbrushes not only prevent tooth stains and plaque but also minimize gum bleeding and tighten your gum tissue, says Dr. Moldovan. According to the same Cochrane meta-analysis, electric toothbrushes were also 11 percent more effective at reducing gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that can lead to periodontitis, a serious condition that can cause tooth loss.
Electric Toothbrush Benefit: It Feels Better
The motion of electric toothbrushes is also gentler than manual movement, which can make brushing more comfortable, Dr. Moldovan adds. This can also stop you from brushing too hard, which can cause your gums to bleed. Plus, it requires less effort on your part.
Electric Toothbrush Benefit: It Helps You Brush For Longer
You should spend two minutes brushing, according to the American Dental Association. And if you’re like many guys, you probably fall short of that benchmark.
But people tend to spend more time brushing when they use electric toothbrushes, says Dr. Katz.That’s partly because it’s more enjoyable and partly because some actually have timers on them. As a result, you’re spending more time scrubbing off the plaque, which can leave your teeth cleaner.
Electric Toothbrush Benefit: It Improves Your Breath
Bad breath is caused by food particles stuck in your teeth, says Richard Wolfert, D.M.D., founder of Toothboss. Bacteria can multiply on them, causing the stink. Electric toothbrushes can reach parts of your teeth other brushes might miss to get these particles out.
By Suzannah Weiss