An Electric Toothbrush: A Better Way to Brush Your Teeth?
There are so many new products on the market to help improve your health and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, many of these products don’t work like they say they will. And one of the most annoying things we can experience is spending our hard-earned money on something that doesn’t live up to the hype.
Some people feel this way about dental tools as well, like electric toothbrushes. You might think that you’ve been brushing your teeth most of your life without one without any issue, so why spend the money now? Or you might even think it’s just a way for some company to make money and that it doesn’t really benefit the consumer.
One of the best things you can do when it comes to investing in dental products is to talk to your Whittier dentist. They are happy to inform you when a product is a must-have or when it’s best to skip the latest fad.
Brushing Your Teeth – Why Use an Electric Toothbrush?
When it comes to the electric toothbrush, your Whittier dentist is totally on board and recommends it to all their patients.
The reason for this is because of how an electric toothbrush works. Electric toothbrush heads spin/rotate very quickly, allowing you to clean your teeth more thoroughly each time you brush. To brush as thoroughly using a manual toothbrush, you’d need to brush three to four times longer.
Does this mean we’re advocating to use an electric toothbrush for 30 seconds when brushing your teeth? No, we still recommend brushing for at least two minutes each time you brush. The perk, though, is that your teeth will be cleaner than they would be if you’d use a manual toothbrush for the same amount of time.
Electric toothbrush heads also tend to be smaller than manual toothbrush heads, making them easier to maneuver around those hard-to-reach areas. For instance, you’re more likely to get the backside of your very back molars cleaner with an electric toothbrush than manual types.
Another reason your Whittier dentist recommends electric toothbrushes is that they have a mechanism built in that causes them to stall or completely stop if you brush too hard. Aggressive brushing (even inadvertently) can lead to enamel wear, particularly around the root surfaces. The result is exposed dentin (which contributes to tooth sensitivity) and an increased risk of root surface decay.
What Are the Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush?
When you use an electric toothbrush, you will:
- Reduce your risk of dental decay
- Reduce your risk of gum disease
- Get thoroughly clean teeth while still being gentle on your gums
- Be able to use different electric toothbrush heads to address a variety of needs that are unique to you
- Brush as long as you’re supposed to because of the built-in timer
- Have an easier time brushing your teeth as thoroughly as possible even if you have dexterity/mobility issues
- Save money in the long run (better plaque removal means better oral health and less need for higher-cost dental procedures)
Is an Electric Toothbrush Better Than Flossing?
Most people would like a one-size-fits-all tool for dental home care. We get it. With one tool, you cut down on the time spent on your teeth, and taking care of your teeth is easier than ever.
It doesn’t help that some companies tout their products as not only being the next best thing but being the tool you need to replace everything in your dental homecare arsenal.
The truth is that you need to use an electric toothbrush in conjunction with floss. Even the best electric toothbrush heads aren’t able to clean in between the teeth or to the base of the gum pockets. At most, the bristles of a toothbrush can only go one millimeter into the gum pockets. Healthy periodontal pockets range from one to three millimeters. If you’re not flossing, plaque and bacteria will build up and fester in your gum pockets, putting you at risk for developing gum disease.
Is an Expensive Electric Toothbrush Worth It?
A high-end electric toothbrush can cost over $100. Should you pay that much for your electric toothbrush, or should you purchase the $10 at your corner drugstore?
Electric toothbrushes are like cell phones. The ones that cost more have more bells and whistles. They’re also typically made better and last longer.
You may decide that you don’t need multiple types of electric toothbrush heads or several settings – and that’s perfectly fine.
Our suggestion – besides getting a recommendation from your Whittier dentist – is to choose the electric toothbrush that:
- Has great online reviews from actual customers
- Is built to last
- Has some sort of guarantee or warranty
How to Brush Your Teeth: 7 Tips for Brushing Your Teeth with an Electric Toothbrush
Once you get your electric toothbrush, you’ll want to make sure you use it correctly for the best results. Here are a few tips for brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush from your Whittier dentist.
1. Change Your Electric Toothbrush Heads Regularly
Just as with a manual toothbrush, you’ll want to replace your electric toothbrush heads every three months. As you use the toothbrush, the bristles wear out and eventually bend or fray. When this happens, the toothbrush isn’t as effective at removing plaque.
2. Use Soft Bristled Toothbrush Heads Only
Medium- and hard-bristled toothbrushes aren’t better for removing plaque. Instead, they damage your delicate gum tissue. Stick to soft-bristle electric toothbrush heads. Your toothbrush has enough power to achieve a professional clean without resorting to hard, damaging bristles.
3. Brush at Least Twice a Day
Plaque builds up every time you eat. In an ideal world, we’d all brush after every meal. That’s not always possible, though, so your Whittier dentist recommends brushing at least twice a day – especially before bed. Thoroughly removing the plaque and food particles from your teeth before sleeping ensures that they don’t fester for eight hours and increase your risk of dental decay.
4. Use a Gentle Touch
Many people use a heavy touch when using a manual or electric toothbrush. They think that the harder they brush the better job they’re doing. Really, though, all they’re doing is damaging their teeth and gums. Heavy-handed brushing can lead to gum irritation and damage, gum recession, and enamel abrasion.
Thankfully, most electric toothbrushes have a built-in mechanism that ensures you’re not pushing too hard. However, if yours doesn’t, make sure to put light pressure on the teeth. If you notice the bristles start to fray, you’re pushing too hard.
You don’t need to push hard with an electric toothbrush. It’s doing the work for you. Simply (and gently) put the brush head on your tooth and leave it there for a few seconds before moving onto the next tooth and you’ll get each tooth thoroughly cleaned.
A Winning Combination: An Electric Toothbrush + Appointments with Your Whittier Dentist
Two of the best things you can do for your oral health is to visit your Whittier dentist every six months and use an electric toothbrush when brushing your teeth. This combination can help you prevent gum disease, dental decay, tooth sensitivity, and enamel wear. Plus, using electric toothbrush heads just makes your teeth feel so much better after you clean! If you want a more thorough cleaning experience – and want to save some money on dental bills – we highly recommend investing in an electric toothbrush.
Would you like more specified dental hygiene tips for your unique needs? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our hygienist to learn more.