Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?
When it comes to your oral health, there are a number of contributing factors that join together. Not only is it important to simply maintain your dental routine, but how well you maintain it also contributes to your overall oral health. As a cosmetic dentist in Greensboro and surrounding areas, we are often asked what the most important part of a dental routine is, the best dental products to use and what kind of toothbrush is best to have.
One of the most common questions we hear from patients is, “Should I be using an electric toothbrush?” or “What are the benefits of an electric toothbrush?” At Macdonald & Whaley Cosmetic Dentistry, we believe that electric toothbrushes are superior to your common manual toothbrush, and, most often, recommend that patients make the switch.
While the answer ultimately comes down to how much time and energy a patient spends on his/her dental routine, electric toothbrushes do offer benefits that may help patients improve their dental health.
Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes
Though often lumped into the same category of “electric toothbrushes,” there are really two types of non-manual toothbrushes. First, there is the electric toothbrush, which usually offers about 3,000 to 7,500 rotating motions per minute. Then, there is the sonic toothbrush, which offers about 30,000 to 40,000 strokers per minute, rotating back and forth in a vibrating motion. The main difference in the two is the speed of motion, though both offer benefits, such as:
- Increased surface area coverage. Electric and sonic toothbrushes both offer more rotations per minute than the average patient can cover, resulting in the ability to cover more surface area in the same amount of time. According to webmd.com, the manual way of brushing your teeth covers about 300 strokes per minute, or about 10% of the surface area an average electric toothbrush can cover and about 1% of the surface area a sonic toothbrush can cover.
- Increased time spent brushing. Ideally, patients should brush two times a day for two minutes, which may not seem difficult, but most patients don’t brush as long as they should. Certain electric toothbrushes, such as the one we offer here in our office, have a two minute timer that signals patients to brush each quadrant of his/her mouth for 30 seconds.
- Prevents damaging brushing. Often times patients brush their teeth harder than necessary. Some electric toothbrushes pick up on this and slow down if too much pressure is applied. Not to mention, the intensity of the electric toothbrush itself will likely cause patients to brush lightly.
- Better for patients with dexterity issues. For patients who suffer from arthritis or other debilitating joint issues, everyday tasks that may seem simple to most are actually difficult and daunting. Electric toothbrushes do the mechanical work for patients, alleviating any pain that may come from rapid movement.
- Makes brushing fun. Simply put, some patients just like the excitement and change of using a different type of toothbrush, which in and of itself may motivate the patient to brush longer or more often.
Ultimately, an electric toothbrush will not completely transform a patient’s oral health. Patients must still maintain other healthy habits, and ensure they are using the toothbrush correctly and as often as recommended. While we do recommend the switch to an electric toothbrush, it is important to remember every important piece of a healthy dental routine.
At Macdonald & Whaley Cosmetic Dentistry we encourage all of our patients to maintain healthy dental habits. We strive to be your number one resource for dental tips, news and resources, and are happy to help you care for your smile. Are you due for an appointment at our office? Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!