Just a few decades ago, toothbrushes were all manual, but now it's possible to find a whole range of electric toothbrushes, including high-end models that come with some fantastic features. Though picking up an expensive toothbrush isn't necessary to maintain your oral health, there are some particularly beneficial features you should look out for if you do have a bit more money to spend.
Here are just four that you should consider watching out for.
1. Pressure Indicator
Surprisingly few people know that brushing their teeth too hard can actually lead to damage. Many will brush too vigorously with their manual toothbrush or hold down their electric toothbrush too hard, which are both practices that can damage tooth enamel. To prevent this from occurring, some electric models have inbuilt pressure indicators; if you're pushing down too hard, a light will activate or a chime will sound to alert you.
2. Inbuilt Timer
Most dentists will tell you to brush your teeth for around 2 minutes, spending 30 seconds on each quadrant (upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right). However, it can be tricky to measure time effectively while you brush. That's why lots of electric toothbrushes will give a distinct vibration when 2 minutes are up, while others will give shorter vibrations at 30 second intervals.
3. Multiple Clean Modes
Most electric toothbrushes will only use a single mode, but more advanced models can cycle between different settings in order to provide a more personalised clean. This can be particularly beneficial for people with sensitive teeth; such brushes often have special sensitive modes that will use a lower speed for more gentle cleaning. However, you should also be able to find electric toothbrushes that provide separate modes for whitening, polishing and other cleaning methods.
4. Bluetooth Apps
If you really want to be brushing your teeth at the cutting-edge, you can look for Bluetooth enabled electric brushes that can be synced up with your smartphone. The idea of connecting your toothbrush to your phone probably sounds a little ridiculous at first, but it actually comes with some surprising benefits. For example, some models will be able to provide real-time feedback while you're brushing. An app on your smartphone will respond to the position you're using while brushing each tooth and offer guidance on how you might better orient the toothbrush for a more complete clean. They'll also be able to offer you feedback to show which areas you're commonly missing.
Talk with a dentist for specific information on how you can improve your brushing habits.