Manual vs Electric Toothbrushes
Many of us have grown up using regular manual toothbrushes to clean our teeth daily. Over time a variety of toothbrush design changes and options have become available. For instance, a specialized toothbrush was created to better reach the back molar teeth and more effectively remove plaque in that area. This was accomplished by simply angling the handle inward around two thirds of the way down the toothbrush. Violá, that simple change gave us better hygiene! Another innovation was the addition of blue colored indicator bristles. With use, the blue color gradually wears away alerting you when it is time to change to a new toothbrush. Now we have options for battery-powered electric toothbrushes and even toothbrushes that are “smarter”. They can give us information on our smartphones about how well our best efforts are doing at cleaning our teeth.
The motion of cleaning your teeth
First let’s take a look into the methods toothbrushes use to clean your teeth. There are two different ways electric toothbrushes clean your teeth which include vibration and rotation-oscillation. A toothbrush that uses the vibration method of cleaning your teeth uses a back and forth mechanism. A toothbrush using the rotation-oscillation method does the just the same as the vibration but adds a circular motion. This helps to mimic how you would manually brush your teeth.
How fast is it moving?
Next, the speed that the toothbrush bristles move is something to consider when choosing which toothbrush to use. Electric toothbrushes deliver thousands of brushing strokes per minute, while a manual toothbrush delivers only around 300 strokes per minute. That’s a dramatic difference, but don’t let that fool you though. The manual toothbrush can be just as effective as using a power toothbrush, if used correctly.
Correct brushing technique
Today’s electric toothbrushes can be a real benefit to those who may lack the knowledge for proper brushing. The technique you use is the key factor for getting your teeth as clean as possible. You should brush for at least two minutes using the toothpaste you prefer. Try using short, gentle strokes to be sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Be sure to pay attention to the gum line and hard-to-reach back teeth. Angle the toothbrush 45 degrees towards the gumline while brushing. This will be sure to keep both the tooth and gums healthy. Also, make sure to brush twice a day!
Electric toothbrushes provide us with the proper movement needed to clean our teeth. Many electric toothbrushes now come with a built-in 2 minute timer to encourage brushing long enough to achieve a thorough cleaning. The latest electric toothbrushes even have apps that work with your smartphone. The apps can give you instant feedback if you are brushing too hard. They can also tell you if you need to spend more time in one section of your mouth. Who knew we needed so much technology to keep our teeth clean! Of course you can always choose an electric toothbrush with some of the more basic features if these others aren’t for you. After all, keeping your smile sparkling clean should be a pleasant and rewarding experience.
The cost factor
Another factor to consider is cost, but remember that purchasing an electric toothbrush doesn’t have to empty your wallet. A variety of electric toothbrushes come packaged with a few detachable and reattachable brush heads. A family can share the more costly base of the toothbrush and just switch out the removable brush head attachments. The color, symbol, sticker, or overall shape identifies who’s brush head is who’s. Just remember its recommended to change out the brush heads every 3 to 6 months for optimal cleaning. If you find visible wear on the bristles or brush head, that would be a good time to change it out too.
These toothbrushes are awesome!
The best choice is simply a matter of preference. If you want to go higher tech and get the best possible cleaning your teeth can get outside of a dental chair, you can try an electric toothbrush. Although, if you’re happy with your manual toothbrush and are using it effectively, there’s no reason to give it up. After all, at the end of every dental cleaning appointment you find a new one in your take home bag.
At Dental Oasis, we encourage our patients to ask questions. We offer a variety of electric toothbrushes in our office. We’ve found there are different types for every function and budget. We can usually save patients $10 to $30 compared to the manufacturer price. Dental Oasis in McCordsville offers the best in dental care with a focus on proper home care and overall oral health. The start of a more confident you is just a phone call (317-DENTIST) away.