While a manual toothbrush does a good job at removing plaque and keeping your breath fresh, investing in an electric toothbrush can help you to do a more effective job. According to a review of studies on manual and electric toothbrushes, it turns out that an electric toothbrush does remove more plaque and is more effective at managing gingivitis than its manual counterparts. But how does an electric toothbrush work to keep your smile white and bright? Let’s take a look.
Why Brushing Twice A Day Is So Important?
Your mouth is full of bacteria that need to be kept in balance through good oral hygiene. Part of this job comes down to brushing twice a day, and the other part is taken care of by flossing. Together, these two practices work to remove food, debris and plaque buildup that accumulates in your mouth.
Plaque is a thin and sticky film that coats your teeth, tongue and soft tissue. It needs to be removed every day using the methods mentioned above. When it is not removed and hardens between your teeth and below your gum line, it turns into a substance called tartar. Tartar can only be removed by your dentist using specialised instruments, which is why it’s as important to visit your dentist on a regular basis. When plaque and tartar are not removed thoroughly, they contribute to dental decay and gum disease.
How Does An Electric Toothbrush Work For Plaque Removal?
There are lots of different types of electric toothbrushes on the market, with different actions and cleaning speeds.
Some electric toothbrushes just rotate, while others oscillate in a circular movement. This electric technology gives you a consistent brushing experience, regardless of how rushed you feel or how much attention you’re paying to your dental hygiene.
According to a review of 56 different studies comparing the efficacy of manual and electric toothbrushes, using an electric toothbrush showed an 11% decrease in plaque over one month and a 21% reduction in plaque over three months.
When researchers looked at gingivitis, they found a 6% reduction in gingivitis after one month and an 11% reduction after three months.
So How Does An Electric Toothbrush Work?
An electric toothbrush has a power source, usually a chargeable battery that powers the head and bristles. This means it does an effective job of cleaning your teeth, with minimal effort from the person holding it. The design mimics the action a person would perform when brushing manually but does it more consistently and faster than a human hand.
With brushes that are labelled as ‘sonic’, the entire toothbrush head rotates and not just the bristles, giving the toothbrush more action and thus the ability to give your teeth a more thorough clean.
The Other Benefits Of An Electric Toothbrush
In addition to giving you a better clean and reducing plaque in your mouth, electric toothbrushes present other benefits, such as
Timing Your Brushing To Make Sure It’s Done Properly
Electric toothbrushes have built-in timers to take the guesswork away from how long you’ve been standing in front of your bathroom mirror. Some brushes also have a pressure sensor that alerts you if you’re brushing too hard, to protect your gum health.
Better Dental Hygiene For People With Orthodontics
Even though brushing and flossing are essential when you wear braces, brushing your teeth with orthodontics takes a special kind of skill. You can focus all your attention on cleaning between brackets and wires, with the peace of mind that your electric toothbrush is scrubbing away in those hard-to-reach spots.
An Easier Experience For People Who Have Limited Mobility
If you have a condition that affects your ability to use your hands fully or comfortably, like carpal tunnel syndrome, developmental disabilities or arthritis, an electric toothbrush enables you to clean your teeth properly without discomfort. All you need to do is position it correctly, and the rotating head and bristles will make sure that each tooth surface gets a good clean.
You Might Produce Less Waste
A manual toothbrush needs to be replaced every three months, but in the case of electric toothbrushes, you only need to replace the head. That means less waste going into landfills.
It’s A Great Way To Teach Kids About Dental Hygiene
Teaching your kids about dental hygiene from a young age is important to protect their teeth so they last a lifetime but it’s also pretty stressful because young children don’t have full control of their hands just yet. By using an electric toothbrush you can relax in the knowledge that the toothbrush is doing the hard work while your child learns the proper technique.
Brushing Your Teeth Correctly
If you’ve had dental decay it’s a good idea to have your brushing technique reviewed by your dental practitioner to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Always start at one side of your mouth, and work your way across your arch systematically. Make sure you brush each tooth completely, cleaning all surfaces and sides.
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line, to loosen any plaque that might have settled there.
Regardless of whether your toothbrush is manual or electric, make sure you pick something that has soft bristles. Using hard bristles or applying too much pressure can wear your gums down over time.
Use fluoride toothpaste with a manual or electric toothbrush.
Don’t forget to floss every day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before or after brushing, but it’s just as important for your oral health.
For more tips on dental hygiene or to find out more about ‘how does an electric toothbrush work’, it’s best to speak to a dentist. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8806 3799.
Is It Better to Use an Electric or a Manual Toothbrush?
Powered/electric toothbrushes compared to manual toothbrushes for maintaining oral health