Are Sonic Toothbrushes Better for Oral Health?

Sonic toothbrushes have become an extremely popular alternative to the standard electric version, as well as the manual variety. Ample research supports the assertion that the sonic toothbrush may indeed be worth its increased cost, based on the extended and improved health benefits it provides. Read on for more facts about the newest trend in oral health and dental hygiene.

History of the Sonic Toothbrush

Conceptual design for the first sonic toothbrush, the Sonicare, began in the late 1980s, and was formally introduced at a 1992 dental convention in Florida. In less than 10 years, this product became the best-selling power toothbrush in the United States. The success of the sonic electric toothbrush has prompted an interest in further research with regard to its long-term effectiveness and potential for improving oral health. In recent years, hundreds of studies have been conducted at universities both domestically and internationally, but the results remain inconclusive.

Anatomy of the Sonic Toothbrush

Most of the research surrounding the sonic oral appliance has examined the improved oral health benefits compared to standard, manual toothbrushes. The sonic electric toothbrush has extensive cleaning ability, powering up at 30,000 strokes per minute, compared to the average of 300 strokes with a manual brush. It also sweeps back and forth, which allows the person using it to reach hardtoclean areas much more effectively, compared to a manual brush. Because the brush operates at such a high speed, it emits a sound audible to the human ear, or sonic wavesThis provides a secondary type of cleaning action, a non-contact action achieved via sound waves, using principles of fluid dynamics. Although the range of non-contact efficacy is only about 1/8 inch, this is truly significant compared to other types of toothbrushes on the market today. 

Health Benefits of the Sonicare Toothbrush

Most studies surrounding the sonic toothbrush evaluate its effectiveness on decreasing plaque levels, reducing the chance of gingivitis, increasing the whiteness of teeth and reducing the pressure during the cleaning of teeth compared to standard brushes. One study, published in an academic journal in 2012, examined the effectiveness of plaque removal by sonic versus manual brushing, and the effects were significant. More than 100 adults were tested over a four-week period. Results revealed that plaque removal with the Sonicare toothbrush was five times more effective than a standard toothbrush. Removing plaque inevitably also leads to improved gum health. Sonicare not only prevents gingivitis, but has been clinically shown to reverse it over time. Clinical studies have also shown the sonic toothbrush has the ability to whiten teeth in under a month’s time.

The only apparent drawback to the sonic toothbrush is its cost. Compared to a standard brush, Sonicare can cost more than $100, significantly more than the manual type. However, the benefits appear to outweigh the initial investment, especially since research suggests making the switch will pay dividends in long-term oral health, potentially saving money on extensive dental work.

If you have concerns about your oral health or questions regarding mouth, facial or teeth issues, contact Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah. It’s never too late to develop effective oral hygiene habits, and you may prevent further damage by making the switch to sonic toothbrushes.