Do you remember what things were like in the old days, when brushing your teeth was an exhausting ritual of getting a toothbrush and rubbing it back and forth in your mouth for a few minutes? Thankfully, the wonders of modern technology have solved this problem for us, with the invention of the electric toothbrush.

An electric toothbrush looks like a slightly bigger version of a normal toothbrush, but when you put in a battery and press a button, it vibrates for you. Despite the mockery they sometimes attract, however, electric toothbrushes do have a serious purpose: while they don’t really make it much easier to brush your teeth, they certainly do get your teeth a lot cleaner. The electric vibration is much faster than anything you could do by hand, vibrating tens of thousands of times per minute, meaning that dirt and bacteria are much more effectively dislodged from your teeth.

If you’re going to get an electric toothbrush, probably the best kind to get is one with a rechargeable battery. This way, instead of having to take out the batteries and put in new ones, you can just plug the toothbrush into a charger, the way you would with a laptop computer or a mobile phone – much more convenient.

However, one danger of electric toothbrushes is that people often don’t change them as often as they should. Just like with normal toothbrushes, the heads wear out. While electric toothbrushes obviously don’t require you to buy a whole new toothbrush every few months, you do need to keep buying new heads, otherwise the toothbrush’s effectiveness at cleaning may be dramatically reduced.

If you are already very good at cleaning your teeth, then spending the money on an electric toothbrush may not necessarily be worthwhile for you. If you have trouble getting everything off your teeth when you brush, however, or can never quite bring yourself to brush for as long as you should, then an electric toothbrush can make things much easier for you.