“What is the reason for buying an electric toothbrush?” I asked myself when I entered my local Target store. I knew that my dentist recommended it, but why. I perceived myself to be an adequate brusher; I floss and rinse usually 3 to 4 times a day, so what can the electric toothbrush do that I can’t? I found out–to my surprise–quite a bit.
For starters, they clean more thoroughly. Electric toothbrushes win hands down over manual brushes when it comes to cleaning ability. The electric version’s whirring bristles remove plaque better and faster. Their more advanced designs are also able to get at hard-to-clean areas like the backs of molars and the gum line, thus helping to prevent cavities and gingivitis.
An electric toothbrush will keep a person from brushing too hard. When a person brushes too vigorously they injure their gums, which possibly will lead to a receding gum line. When the gum tissue won’t grow back, this means you have injured your gums. Brushing too hard can also remove enamel from the tooth surface, which affects your tooth’s sensitivity to cold, heat and other stimuli.
My favorite aspect of the electric toothbrush is that it has a timer so I always know that I am brushing for the 2-minute time frame dentists recommend. If you haven’t heard the beep, keep brushing! The other feature many electric toothbrushes have is a digital reminder to replace your brush head, which should be replaced between 3 to 6 months depending on how often you brush and how hard you brush.
They are also great for people that have issues with dexterity. Electric toothbrushes have larger handles, which are easier to grip. Plus, their powered brushes do the cleaning for you, especially in the tricky areas that require fine motor skills to get at, such as the backs of molars and behind your upper and lower front teeth.
I have quickly become converted to the benefits of using an automated tooth-cleaning device. My electric toothbrush has a clear advantage to manual brushing though good technique and flossing are part of the key to having great dental health.
Sarah Kuretzky, MA, CPT, CHHC