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Electric Brush vs. Manual Brushes

Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting your dentist twice a year for an exam and thorough hygiene maintenance. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at-home as a part of your normal oral hygiene routine. Many people use manual toothbrushes to remove debris and plaque from their teeth. However, electric brushes have become widely popular in recent years, leaving some to wonder whether one type is better than the other.

Did you know…

the Dental Association does not lean toward one type of brush over the other. It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may better benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you decide is right for you, all brushes should be soft-bristled to avoid tooth abrasion that can lead to decay and receding gum lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which toothbrush should I be using?

You can effectively brush your teeth with either a manual toothbrush or an electric one. However, the rapid movements of an electric toothbrush may be more effective at removing plaque from the teeth and gum line. If you have questions about which toothbrush is best for you, speak with your dentist/hygienist about it at your next dental visit. An electric toothbrush with an oscillating head or a brush that includes a 2 minute timer to let you know how long to brush.

What types of results should I be getting from by toothbrush?

Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual brush, it should be easy for you to maneuver in your mouth and behind your back teeth. If the head is too big, it may not be effectively removing plaque from your teeth.

How to Brush Your Teeth

It is recommended that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times a day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle towards the gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from all surfaces of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate and cause bad breath.

Did you know…

that the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? It is recommended using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but a hard/medium brush actually causes abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay.  Replace your toothbrush/toothbrush head, four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my oral home care habits?

You may need to change your oral home care habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral health. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your dentist/hygienist for a full consultation.

What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correctly?

The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are definitely noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.

Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?

Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings at least twice a year.