Should You Be Using an Electric Toothbrush?

Your toothbrush keeps your smile bright and clean. “Whether you use an electric or a manual toothbrush is a matter of personal preference,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her cosmetic dentistry office in Phoenix. “Both types will remove plaque and prevent gum disease if used correctly and regularly,” she adds.

The website WebMD lists several considerations that may make a difference to you, and will affect the type of brush you prefer.

Cosmetic_DentistryCost. Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than manual toothbrushes. If your toothbrush runs on batteries, they will need to be replaced from time to time. And you will need to replace the head of the brush as often as you change your manual toothbrush. On the other hand, if you do a better job brushing your teeth with an electric brush, you may be saving money on dental and/or periodontal care.

Usability. “The toothbrush that you like to use, that’s easy to use, that you will use long enough twice a day to do a good cleaning job is the best toothbrush for you,” says Dr. Ford. Ease of use becomes important if you have arthritis or other mobility issues. Electric toothbrushes may reach back teeth more easily, but some models may be heavier than others and the vibrating brush may not be as comfortable as a manual one.

Plaque Removal. The website WebMD states, ” Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate whether manual or powered toothbrushes are more effective at reducing gum disease and eliminating plaque.  Evidence does suggest, says the website, that “rotation oscillation” brushes with bristles that move in both a circular pattern and back and forth, are more effective than manual toothbrushes.

Safety. If the toothbrush you choose has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, it has been tested to be safe to use in a typical tooth cleaning way, from bristles to handle. Too vigorous use that irritates the gums can increase bacteria in your bloodstream, and cause problems for some people. It’s always smart to discuss your health history with your dentist.

“Always ask your dentist questions about tooth care,” says Dr. Ford. “We want to keep you healthy and enjoy years of a bright smile,” she adds.

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