Toothbrushes have been around since 3500-3000 BC, but thankfully, they are no longer made from twigs or the bristles of wild hogs (source). These days, most toothbrushes boast plastic handles and nylon bristles. Some are maneuvered manually, while others are powered by electricity and provide automatic oscillation. The American Dental Association (ADA) is not especially picky about which kind of toothbrush you use so long as you brush properly and often. However, many people, including many dentists, tout the benefits of an electric toothbrush.
A well-designed and correctly used electric toothbrush can help you remove bacteria lurking between teeth and plaque built up on enamel. So if you want to improve your dental hygiene routine, keep reading to learn about the benefits of an electric toothbrush.
The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush
Form and Function
Electric-powered brushes come in a variety of styles and perform specific functions. Some are designed for sensitive teeth, while others are geared toward preventing gum disease. Do your homework before you buy a new toothbrush, especially if you’re looking at costly models. Pay special attention to the design of the handle and brush, the type of action employed (vibration or rotation-oscillation), the speed of the movement, the motions of the bristled head attachments, the power source, and convenient special features (timers, sensors, displays).
According to Consumer Reports, after three months of use, consumers who used electric toothbrushes removed 21% more plaque and 11% more gingivitis when compared to those who used manual toothbrushes. Brushing by hand, most people produce 300 to 400 strokes per minute (source). Some electric models, on the other hand, depending on the motion of the brush, are capable of tens of thousands of strokes per minute. Electric toothbrushes are also better able to reach regions of the mouth that are difficult to clean, like those troublesome molars. If you’re guilty of neglecting your back teeth, an electric toothbrush might help you up your cleaning game.
Prevention of Overzealous Brushing
Sometimes people mistakenly assume that the harder they brush, the cleaner their teeth will be. Unfortunately, overzealous brushing can actually harm the teeth. It can remove tooth enamel, resulting in painful sensitivity, or cause your gums to recede. One of the benefits of an electric toothbrush is that many models can help you decide how hard to brush. They may beep, lower their pressure, or catch your attention with a light if you apply too much pressure.
If your pearly whites aren’t looking their best, you can purchase detachable polishing heads for your electric toothbrush. They typically have a cupped design made of rubber. When used with a nonabrasive whitening toothpaste, these polishing heads can polish and brighten your teeth. However, if you use a polishing head more than once a week, you could harm your enamel, so save this feature for special occasions.
Ease of Use
If you struggle to brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush may be just what the dentist ordered. The handle is much larger and easier to grip, and the brush does all the work for you. This can be a blessing for seniors, people with arthritis, and anyone who struggles with manual dexterity.
Timing Is Everything
Although few people bother to watch the clock, dentists recommend that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, but preferably three minutes, each time you brush, splitting your mouth into four equal sections and spending approximately 30-45 seconds brushing each quarter. If you rush through brushing or fail to distribute your time evenly, you could benefit from a powered toothbrush that lets you know when you’ve brushed a full three minutes. Some brushes even have timers that issue discreet reminders, letting you know when it’s time to switch spots. Finally, some brushes include technology that analyzes your brushing habits and sends the data to your phone, so that you can monitor your oral hygiene routine.
As some electric toothbrushes resemble toys, it should come as no surprise that many kids prefer them to manual toothbrushes. They may enjoy the soft whirring sound, the feeling of the vibrating bristles, or the light-up charging station. If your child has fun brushing with an electric toothbrush, they are more likely to make it a habit and brush thoroughly every time.
No matter which type of toothbrush you prefer, make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition, schedule regular dental appointments so that your dentist can examine your teeth and check that you’re brushing properly.
If you’re looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. Schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!