Benefits and Features of an Electric Toothbrush

Spending 2 minutes brushing your teeth twice daily may seem like a lot longer after a tiring day or when you’re late for work or school. But the time spent taking care of your teeth and oral hygiene may make the difference between protecting your pearly whites from plaque, cavities and oral diseases.

The Australian Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for  2 minutes twice daily to remove plaque buildup and bacteria. While manual brushing may get the job done, an electric toothbrush takes your oral hygiene to the next level, breaking the monotony of continuous brushing and giving your teeth the deep clean they need.

If you’re thinking of switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush and want to learn more about electric toothbrushes, we can help. In this article, we talk about the features of electric toothbrushes, along with essential usage tips and precautions. 

Read on to learn more.

Features of Electric Toothbrushes

There are two types of electric toothbrushes, oscillating and sonic. Oscillating or rotating toothbrushes move in a circular motion, whereas sonic electric toothbrushes have a side-by-side motion, using vibrations to clean the teeth.

Both types of electric toothbrushes come in many different variations and features, allowing you to choose the best one according to your oral condition, convenience and budget. They include:

Comfortable Handle with Conveniently Located on/off Switch

Electric toothbrushes come with wider handles, making them easy to grip. The on/off button is conveniently placed for easy access.

Proper Brush Size and Bristle Design to Accommodate Your Mouth

Electric brushes come with rounded bristles to minimise gum abrasions with various brush sizes to fit perfectly in the mouth. They generally have smaller heads, making it easier to clean all the way to the back of your mouth.

All electric toothbrush brands have a “sensitive” range for their electric toothbrush heads.  This is the only one we would recommend as only soft toothbrush bristles are suitable for tooth brushing.  Other styles of toothbrush head such as “whitening” or “floss action” heads have bristles that are far too hard.  This can lead to gum damage and gum recession over time.

Various Cleaning Modes

Some electric brushes allow you to choose between whitening, daily, deep cleaning, gum care, sensitive, or massage and cleaning modes. It is recommended to use the sensitive mode (if available) as the deep cleaning mode can lead to toothbrush abrasion. 

Internal or Removable Batteries – 5 days to 6 Months Battery Life

Electric toothbrushes come with either internal or removable batteries. You’ll need to replace removable batteries every six months or so.

For internal batteries, however, you’ll need to recharge them after 5 to 21 days.


The Benefits of Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes offer multiple advantages over manual toothbrushes, requiring much less effort to get a thorough clean, thus helping protect your teeth and gums for improved oral health.

Some of the advantages of electric toothbrushes include:

Ease of Use

Using a manual toothbrush means moving it along your teeth until the cleaning session is over. However, when using an electric toothbrush, you’ll only need to hold it into position, gently guiding  the brush as the bristles do the work for you.

Electric toothbrushes also make daily brushing more fun for the children, helping instil regular brushing habits and an interest in oral hygiene from a young age – making a parent’s job much easier.

Potentially More Effective at Removing Plaque

The brush’s consistency in power delivery, scientific head design, and technology has enabled these electric pieces much easier to get a thorough clean. Due to the rotating head, the electric toothbrush is much less technique sensitive when it comes to plaque removal. 

The research group Cochrane found that plaque was reduced by 21% and gingivitis was reduced by 11% after three months of using powered toothbrushes.

Built-in Timers

Electric toothbrushes have built-in timers to help clean your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes. The 30-second timer, also called the quad pacer, tracks time for you, ensuring you clean each section of your teeth thoroughly.

Pressure Sensor to Cater for Teeth and Gums

It’s easy to exert a lot of pressure unknowingly when brushing, which can injure your gums or scrape enamel out of your teeth. Most electric toothbrush brands have sensors that reduce the power automatically if you exert too much pressure.

Ideal for People with Limited Mobility

Unlike manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes do most of the cleaning automatically. As a result, it’s the best option for those with developmental disabilities, arthritis, or other movement or mobility issues.

Electric Toothbrushes – Usage, Tips and Disadvantages

Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, daily brushing and flossing are essential to maintain your teeth and gums. Keeping a healthy diet with a limited intake of sugary foods and drinks will also help protect your teeth and gums from cavities. Other useful tips include:


  • Leave the brush on each tooth for 5 seconds and move on to the next one
  • Do not scrub or brush too hard as it can remove the tooth structure and gum – toothbrush abrasion 
  • Move the electric toothbrush, pulling it along as it cleans
  • Placement should be in between 2/3 of the tooth and 1/3 of the gum — the joint between the tooth and the gum 
  • Plaque that grows on teeth is very soft and sticky – similar to the texture of a sticky wet bread and must be removed gently 
  • Be careful about applying too much pressure or brushing too hard even with the sensor feature as it can damage your teeth and gums
  • You change your brush head when it looks worn down. There is no scientific need to change the head every 2 to 3 weeks 
  • Do not use the deep cleaning mode as it is too aggressive
  • If your brush bristles look flat, it means you’re brushing too hard

Manual or electric toothbrushes both work, but it is a matter of how you use them. The incorrect usage of electric toothbrushes can damage your teeth and cause gum recession. Therefore it’s important to educate yourself on the correct technique and precautions when using electric toothbrushes.

Lastly, visit your dentist for regular checkups to stay on top of dental issues with timely treatment and oral care.

At Whitehorse Dental, we prioritise your oral health with a complete range of dental services, focusing on preventive and gentle dental care to keep your teeth healthy and you looking your best with a beautiful, confident smile.

Reach out to us for your dental needs today.