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Electric Toothbrushes: Are They for You?

woman with electric toothbrush

Power and sonic toothbrushes have come a long way. The toothbrush as we know it hasn’t changed much since the 1930s — with one exception. In the 1960s, the first electric models hit the market at a higher price. And for 50 years, people have been wondering if they’re worth the extra bucks.

The short answer: Probably so, since research shows 90% of us don’t use proper brushing technique.

Benefits of Power Toothbrushes

  • We don’t always hit every tooth or brush long enough. That’s where the power assist comes into play. When you brush by hand, you make about 300 strokes per minute. Electric brushes rotate 3,000 to 7,500 times a minute. Sonic brushes make 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute

  • While manual and power brushes offer about the same level of effectiveness, sonic models result in less plaque and fewer bouts of gingivitis

  • “Power brushes can be very helpful for children, the elderly, or anyone with trouble using their hands,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS. She’s a Minnesota-based dentist who’s also a consumer advisor to the American Dental Association. “They may also be a good option if you are helping someone brush their teeth.”

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