If you manually brush your teeth, you may consider getting an electric toothbrush. But do those really work and are some better than others?
Why Manual Toothbrushes are Okay
Manual toothbrushes are simple and generally work just fine, provided that you brush properly. That requires you to brush your teeth at a 45 degree angle and get all sides of your teeth for at least two minutes. If you’re in a rush, brush improperly, or miss spots, you’re likely to get plaque and tartar building up which will cause cavities.
On average, the correct way to brush your teeth requires about 600 strokes in the two minutes you’re brushing. Compare that to the 3000 to 7500 stroke of a “normal” electric toothbrush or the 30,000 to 40,000 strokes of a sonic toothbrush in just a minute, and you’ll see why electric toothbrushes are popular. However, they don’t make up for brushing incorrectly nor do they replace flossing. Some people use electric toothbrushes because they have problems brushing properly due to lack of manual dexterity or may have arthritis which limits the length of time they can use to the toothbrush.
Still, others have found electric toothbrushes have significantly decreased plaque and cavities. If you’re still getting cavities despite proper tooth brushing and care, you may wish to consider trying an electric toothbrush to remove more plaque.
Better than Manual Brushing?
According to one study in 2003 by the Cochrane Oral Health Group, proved that using electric toothbrushes that have rotational and oscillation action proved to remove more plaque than manual brushes and those who used them had fewer incidents of gingivitis.
Consumer Reports also found that the electric toothbrush that worked best rotated in two directions and pulsed. It removed at least 75 percent of the plaque. Not surprisingly, it was the most expensive toothbrush. The runner up was a vibrating-type toothbrush that did an excellent job, although people who used it disliked the vibrating qualities.
What to Look for in an Electric Toothbrush
No matter how sophisticated your electric or sonic toothbrush is, it won’t do the job if you don’t use it. So, be sure that the electric toothbrush is one that you’re willing to use. Some testers who tried toothbrushes at Consumer Reports found some of the toothbrushes to be too big for their mouths or awkward to use. This is why it is important to have a money back guarantee on the electric toothbrush, especially since many are pricey. Whichever electric toothbrush you use, you will want to use it all the time.
Using a toothbrush with rotational and oscillation action is probably the best toothbrush, provided that you use it correctly. Brushing your teeth still requires that you brush every tooth surface.
Not a Panacea
Using an electric toothbrush isn’t a panacea for the dentist. You still need to visit the dentist regularly for check ups and cleaning. But chances are if you brush and floss properly, you’re likely to get reports of fewer or even no cavities.