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Are electric toothbrushes really that much better than manual toothbrushes?
The simple answer is, yes.
These days, it's hard to turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for electric toothbrushes. But are electric toothbrushes really that much better than manual toothbrushes?
The simple answer is, yes. Most dentists highly recommend using an electric toothbrush to keep your teeth as clean and plaque-free as possible. Still, not all electronic toothbrushes are created equal, and it's important to explore your options before you buy one to make sure you get the best product. Here's a head-start on the research.
The first thing to know about electric toothbrushes is that they aren't the same as the battery-operated toothbrushes you can buy at the drug store for less than $10. A true electric toothbrush is rechargeable and plugs into the wall, and the average price is $50 to $75, though you can find them for as little as $25 and as much as $100. Electric toothbrushes come with brush heads that need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months, and they can come with a variety of features, such as special models for tooth whitening, gum massaging, or sensitive teeth. Despite the apparently high initial price of an electric toothbrush, though, they may cost less than manual toothbrushes in the long run as they don't need to be replaced as often.
A major benefit of electric toothbrushes is that they offer a more thorough clean than manual toothbrushes. Not only are electric toothbrushes faster, but they also offer advanced designs that make cleaning molars and the gum line easier. In an American Dental Association survey, more than 80 percent of electric users said they improved oral cleanliness after switching from manual toothbrushes.
Another benefit of electric toothbrushes is that they can keep people from brushing too hard, which can injure the gums and remove enamel, contributing to tooth sensitivity. With an electric toothbrush, there is no need to apply pressure to get your teeth clean. Some models even lose power if the user begins to brush too hard.
Electric toothbrushes are also great for smaller children, who may not have the dexterity to properly brush with a manual toothbrush. The larger handles make these toothbrushes easier to grip, and the design of electric toothbrushes makes it much easier to get at the molars and the areas behind the teeth that kids have trouble reaching.
For those of you who are concerned with being environmentally, electric toothbrushes are also the "green" option when it comes to brushing your teeth. The heads and handles of manual toothbrushes aren't recyclable. Some experts claim that the plastic between 14 and 42 electric toothbrush heads equals the amount of plastic in one manual toothbrush.
Using an electric toothbrush is a great way to keep your teeth their cleanest, but it's not the only step you need to take. Even if you use an electric toothbrush, you still need to brush your teeth at least twice a day.
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