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Maintaining Dental Health: Are Electronic Toothbrushes Really Better For Your Child?

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Did you know that 82.3% of children between the ages of 2 to 17 in America have visited their dentists at least once in the past year for dental checkups and other issues?  Instilling good dental hygiene from a young age is crucial in maintaining lifelong dental health. Teaching proper brushing and flossing techniques is one of the most important fundamentals. There are many claims that electronic toothbrushes are better for children. This article will look at the facts presented in recent dental studies.

Music, Lights And Action!

On the surface, there are many reasons to believe that electronic toothbrushes are more effective. Most electronic toothbrushes come with music or light features that signal to children how long they should brush for and keep them entertained. These toothbrushes make brushing teeth a lot more fun. In addition, electronic toothbrushes basically do all of the work or so it seems, since the head of the toothbrush will rotate and spin to get get rid of bacterial and plaque accumulation.

But is there more than what meets the eye?  Are the extra entertainment and spiffy electronic abilities really that much more effective?  

Effectiveness In Plaque And Bleeding Reduction

Plaque accumulation can easily creep up on your child, especially if he or she has not adopted proper dental brushing habits. Plaque is perhaps the mouth's greatest enemy. In fact, more than 80% of Americans suffer from periodontal diseases that are brought on by plaque. Finding a toothbrush that can effective reduces plaque buildup and bleeding should be on the top of your child's list of priorities.

Many advertisements claim that electronic toothbrushes are the answer. So, should you shell out the money for a more expensive electronic model? Dental studies show that these claims are false. Those who use electronic toothbrushes typically exhibited an 86% reduction of plaque index and 95% reduction in bleeding. In comparison, manual toothbrushes exhibited an 85% reduction of plaque index and 90% reduction in bleeding. In short, the difference is quite negligible.

Bacterial Accumulation On Toothbrush Surface

It is a fact that toothbrushes transmit microorganisms. However, do some toothbrushes transmit more microorganisms and encourage more bacterial growth and accumulation than others?

There are two different types of electronic toothbrushes: solid-head and hollow-head brushes. Studies have shown that hollow-head brushes are up to 3,000 times more likely to harbor bacterial accumulation than solid-head brushes. This significantly increases the risk of bacterial transmission and dental decay. In addition, many of the bacteria colonies that were detected have been linked as a cause of systemic diseases. If you decide to purchase an electronic toothbrush, make sure that you purchase one with a solid-head design, and choose bristles that are soft and made from nylon. Some electronic toothbrushes offer additional protection, such as an ultraviolet system.

Most packages do not specify whether a toothbrush possesses a solid-head design or a hollow-head design. Solid-head designs will literally be solid all the way from the area that connects to the body of the toothbrush to the bristles or the brush head.  Hollow-head brushes, on the other hand, feel significantly lighter. You will literally be able to feel that the inside of the part is hollow.


While there are some benefits to getting an electronic toothbrush for your child, it is important that you choose the right design; otherwise, you may be causing more harm than good. Dental studies have indicated that electronic toothbrushes are not really more effective in removing plaque or preventing bleeding. Spending the extra time to teach your child how to brush teeth properly is more effective in maintaining one's dental health than purchasing a fancy toothbrush. For more information, contact a specialist like North Phoenix Pediatric Dentistry.