An electric toothbrush will usually be more expensive than a basic manual brush. So is it really worth spending the extra money or is it all just a big con? It’s an interesting question because not even all dentists agree. How are we supposed to know what’s best if the professionals don’t agree? Well, we’ve gone away and looked at the scientific evidence so that you don’t have to. Read on as we explore whether an electric toothbrush really is better than a manual toothbrush.
The best evidence we could find was created by the lovely people at Cochrane. Cochrane is a group of very clever, science people who bring together all of the evidence and review it. They are great at cutting through all of the rubbish made up by companies who want to sell you stuff.
Cochrane compared the evidence on manual versus electric brushes in June 2014. They were looking for evidence on how much plaque was removed by different toothbrushes. Plaque is a soft build up of bacteria on your teeth. Bacteria are the critters that are responsible for both tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why we measure the quality of a toothbrush on how much plaque it removes.
The evidence showed that an electric toothbrush does have benefits over a manual brush. People using electric brushes had less plaque than when they used a manual brush. Cochrane also found that people using an electric brush had less gingivitis (bleeding gums).
They didn’t look at different brands or different ranges of brushes. The important thing to understand is this. The most expensive toothbrush in the range is not necessarily the best. Often the toothbrush at the top of the range and in the middle of the range are exactly the same. The difference may be that they have added some extra useless gadgets or apps for your phone.
A great example of this is the Oral-B electric toothbrush range. Oral-B make a range of electric toothbrushes that are excellent. They work by the head of the toothbrush rotating and oscillating in a 3D movement that is brilliant for removing plaque (a soft build up of bacteria). They are brilliant toothbrushes but there is very little difference between the most expensive toothbrush (the Oral-B Genius 9000) and their middle of the range brush (the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N)
The Oral-B Genius 9000 is an electric toothbrush with bluetooth built in so that you can connect it to your phone and watch yourself brush your teeth on the Oral-B phone application. Having tried this out, I have two problems with this toothbrush. Firstly, the app is completely unnecessary; you spend more time concentrating on your phone than you do on cleaning your teeth. The second problem is that the app doesn’t really work. The toothbrush uses sensors to work out where you are cleaning in your mouth but it does this very poorly. This toothbrush is around £140 on Amazon and, for me, it’s a complete waste of money.
In contrast, the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N electric toothbrush has non of these silly gadgets but the actual brush is almost exactly the same as the Oral-B Genius 9000. It has a pressure sensor to prevent you damaging your gums by brushing too hard. It has a built in timer to tell you when two minutes is up. It has the same rotating and oscillating 3D motion that makes the Oral-B electric toothbrush range so effective. This is an amazing brush at a fraction of the price of the toothbrushes with the silly gadgets.
Our winner of the best electric toothbrush on the market in 2018 was the Oral-B Pro 2 2500N. We’ve put a comparison table below for you to have a look at. Amazon sell it at a brilliant price.