Asian man in blue brushing with an electric toothbrush and holding a cup of mouthwash.

Are you thinking of upgrading your habits? Perhaps you want to , floss more, or switch to an electric toothbrush. Every little bit helps when it comes to dental health. But before you add that fancy power toothbrush to your cart, you must understand: how it’s different from your old-fashioned manual variety.

How Does an Electric Toothbrush Work?

Electric toothbrushes work the same way as brushing your teeth manually. Instead of your wrist doing the work, a battery-powered motor does the scrubbing for you. The brush heads of these high-tech tools can either be oscillating (rotating back and forth), pulsating (vibrating quickly), sonic (releasing high-frequency vibrations), or a combination of these motions.

Some electric toothbrushes have additional features, such as timers, pressure sensors, multiple brushing modes that target various dental goals, and even Bluetooth connectivity to help you track your dental habits.

Should You Switch to an Electric Toothbrush?

A glance at your favorite digital marketplace shows that electric toothbrushes can set you back anywhere between P50 and a few thousand. They’re no longer as expensive as before and may even rival your trusty manual tooth cleaner in price. With the cost not bearing that much weight any longer, here are other factors you might want to consider.

1. PRO: It takes the guesswork out of brushing.

You may be confused about whether to brush in circular motions, up and down strokes, or side-by-side swings. Dentists don’t recommend the latter since it can cause dental abrasion, gum recession, and other damage. The automated mechanism makes you worry less about perfecting your technique.

At the minimum, most electric toothbrushes also come with timers, which may help you fulfill the two-minute sessions dentists recommend.

2. CON: You’re still responsible for reaching the nooks and crannies.

According to a study in , electric toothbrushes are superior to manual brushes in terms of and improving gingival health. So yes, they can tick off many things on your oral hygiene list. The battery-powered bristles ensure you target the spaces between your teeth and the set pressure takes care of your gums. However, even the most modern toothbrushes don’t have automated necks that can reach the deepest recesses of your mouth. You’re still responsible for positioning your toothbrush in the right spots.

3. PRO: Electric toothbrushes can help those with limited mobility.

As with most things in life, it's not the instrument but the musician. You can own a set of gold-plated electric toothbrushes, but if you don’t spend time scrubbing your molars or your tongue, then you still fail at oral hygiene.

A diligent brusher with a manual brush is better than a lazy person with a sonic brush. That said, electric toothbrushes have helped those with limited dexterity such as people with injury, arthritis, or Parkinson’s disease. Kids may also enjoy these motorized versions better.

4. CON: You have to replace the parts.

Did you switch to an electric toothbrush because you think it would be cheaper in the long run? While the prices between the two varieties have evened out over the years, electric toothbrushes are just as disposable as manual ones. You must switch brush heads every six months (or when you see wear and tear). Cheaper options might also break down faster. You also have to replace the batteries or charge your unit occasionally.

Are electric toothbrushes better? The answer still depends on you. Remember to choose soft bristles, brush up on your dental care techniques, and arm yourself with good toothpaste. Try closeup Gel Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc Red Hot. It has antibacterial zinc that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and gives you fresh breath. If you love the taste of mint, you can use closeup Gel Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc Menthol Fresh, which offers the same benefits plus a cooling sensation of up to -5C (measured by an infrared thermometer).

An electric toothbrush may seem great but don’t use it as a crutch to be lackadaisical about oral hygiene. Basic toothbrushing methods still apply, whether your brush is arm-powered or electrically charged.