Dentists agree that brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, is the best thing you can do to keep your teeth healthy, and some studies suggest an electric toothbrush may help keep your teeth cleaner. Consumer Reports tested some electric toothbrushes and revealed which models performed the best.
Kelly Starzec is teaching her son that a twice-a-day brushing habit helps eliminate the bacteria that causes plaque—potentially saving you from tooth decay and gum disease.
“Every night I brush my teeth with my kids to make sure they’re brushing properly. I like the electric toothbrush because I, admittedly, am not always the best flosser, but my dentists think I am,” Starzec said.
Some studies show that using a powered brush, like Kelly’s, might reduce plaque and cases of gingivitis and lead to better gum health. Since they can cost well over a hundred dollars, how do you choose the right one? Consumer Reports just tested a batch of powered toothbrushes.
“Our volunteers were told to skip brushing or using other dental products for eight hours. We then had a dental hygienist check their plaque levels,” said Misha Kollontai, a testing engineer for Consumer Reports.
Each volunteer was then given an electric toothbrush and asked to brush for two minutes. The hygienist measured their plaque levels again.
“The before-and-after differences gave us our cleaning performance score. We also tested for battery performance, ease of use, and noise,” Kollonta said.
The electric toothbrush at the top of CR’s ratings was the 10000 Genius X model from ORAL-B, which got the top score for ease of use. A cheaper option that also did well was the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100.
Whether you’re using a top of the line powered brush or a simple manual one, experts say the way you brush is important— like angling your toothbrush at 45-degrees to reach the space between the teeth and gums.
Another tip? Focus on two teeth at a time and work your way around your mouth. And try not to brush too hard-- that could do more harm than good.