About Electric Toothbrushes
Brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral care and prevention. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line. This helps avoid dental decay and keep your mouth healthy.
The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or more often if the bristles are visibly matted or frayed. According to the ADA, both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease.
Electric toothbrushes are the newest innovation in oral hygiene. They are designed to clean teeth more thoroughly than standard toothbrushes, but many people are unsure about using them. Are electric toothbrushes worth the extra money? Is it really worth all the hype surrounding them?
This article will discuss some methods on how to use an electric toothbrush, its benefits as well as some tips to know when purchasing one.
Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes?
Yes, Electric toothbrushes are an up-and-coming trend in oral care that many dentists recommend. Electric toothbrushes are engineered to be more effective at cleaning and massaging teeth and gums.
How do I choose an electric toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes are an excellent choice for those who want to brush their teeth more thoroughly. They have a number of features that can make the process easier and more enjoyable.
It is important not to go for an electric toothbrush that’s too small or large for your mouth. Generally, larger toothbrushes make it hard to effectively clean the hard-to-reach areas like behind your lower front teeth and upper back teeth.
It is advisable to go for a toothbrush with either a round head or a head smaller than 0.5 inches by 1 inch. Plus, the handle should be long enough that you can comfortably hold it in your hand.
Toothbrushes could be labeled “extra soft,” “soft,” “medium,” or “hard,” this relates to bristle stiffness. The ADA advises going for a brush with soft to medium bristles. Harder bristles can damage and remove enamel and root surfaces.
A good electronic toothbrush should have an oscillating motion, this means the bristles travel back and forth a certain distance to disrupt plaque and debris. Many electric toothbrushes will “vibrate” in your hand, but this provides no additional cleaning benefit at the bristles.
A Range of Settings
It’s a big plus if your electric toothbrush has various settings to help you personalize your brush, the experts say. Some important settings include a self-timer, a pressure sensor, and a range of cleaning modes, this removes a lot of the guesswork in your cleaning, which helps you clean with confidence.
What are the benefits of using an electric toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes have a lot of advantages which would be discussed in detail below;
More effective at removing plaque in hard-to-reach areas
Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do remove more plaque and decrease gingivitis (gum disease) than manual toothbrushes over time compared with a regular manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes where the bristles vibrate allows for more micro-movements every time you move your toothbrush across your teeth.
Easier for people with limited mobility
Due to the fact that an electric toothbrush does most of the work, it could be suitable for anyone with limited mobility, such as people with Parkinson’s Disease, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Stroke sufferers, Developmental disabilities, etc.
Electric toothbrushes allow the user to let the toothbrush do the work for them, as long as they are moved around the mouth, along each surface of each tooth, effective tooth-brushing can be achieved, even with poor dexterity.
Brushing for at least 2 minutes with built-in timers
Most electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer, which makes the user aware of how long they’ve been brushing their teeth, unlike manual brushes.
May cause less waste
For an electric toothbrush, you only have to replace the toothbrush head in many cases, so it may be less wasteful than throwing away a full manual toothbrush.
However, if you use a single-use electric toothbrush, you’ll have to completely replace it when it becomes frayed or at least every 3 months.
May improve oral health in people with orthodontic appliances
A study found that electric toothbrushes were particularly helpful for people with orthodontic appliances, such as braces because they made brushing easier.
Among people with appliances who already had good oral health, plaque levels were about the same, whether they used an electric toothbrush or not. But if you find it difficult to clean your mouth while having orthodontic therapy, the electric toothbrush may improve your oral health.
Gentle on gums
When used properly, an electric toothbrush should not hurt your gums or enamel. Many people are guilty of brushing too hard, which can, over time, cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel and can cause receding gums, which is also irreversible. Some electric toothbrushes have a sensor, which then emits a coloured light when too much pressure is being applied, notifying the user to brush more gently.
What are the disadvantages of electronic toothbrushes?
This is the main disadvantage of using an electric toothbrush. There’s the outlay for an electric toothbrush and the new heads can be more expensive than a new manual toothbrush. It has also been observed that brushing around braces tends to speed up the breakdown of the bristles and make the toothbrush less efficient hence the need for continuous replacement of toothbrush heads.
Users of electric toothbrushes also need to remember to recharge their electric toothbrush before it goes flat.
What is the correct way to use an electric toothbrush?
The steps in the correct use of electric toothbrushes are outlined below:
Step 1: Make sure your toothbrush is charged. Many electric toothbrushes have charge level indicator lights, so you can actually see when the toothbrush is charged.
Step 2: Start with the outside surfaces of the teeth. Guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth, holding the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before moving on to the next one. Follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of the gums.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on the inside surfaces of the teeth.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2 on the chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as behind the back teeth.
Step 5: Direct the brush head at a 45 degrees angle towards the gum line and upon the gums. Again, do not press hard or scrub.
Step 6: Try grazing the brush head along with your tongue and the roof of your mouth, back to front, to help freshen your breath.
If it comes down to cost, manual toothbrushes are obviously cheaper than electric brushes.
However, when used appropriately, both manual, powered (electric) toothbrushes can be effective for dental plaque removal. One advantage of powered brushes, in general, is their ability to remove a greater amount of plaque in a given period of time and to aid interdental cleaning with less effort.
It is therefore important to consult your dentist for advice to understand what your specific needs are before getting an electronic toothbrush. Book a 30 minutes free consultation with Novadent today.