Who Benefits From Using An Electric Toothbrush?
Is it time to throw away your old manual brush?
Brushing our teeth is one of the most fundamental things that we can do in order to keep our teeth and gums healthy. How and when we do this can also make a real difference, as can the type of toothbrush that we use.
Increasingly, dentists are discovering that, providing all other things are equal, patients who use electric toothbrushes are generally able to keep their teeth and gums in better condition than those who brush manually. We’ll take a look at why this is.
Before we move on to our post, it is important to say that even after reading this blog you decide to remain a manual toothbrush user, remember that you need to change it around every three months, the same as with an electric brush head. If you don’t do this, the bristles will soon become too worn to be fully effective.
Who will benefit from switching?
The answer, in the opinion of our Epsom dentists is that everyone would benefit from switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush. Whilst certain groups may benefit more than others (see later in this blog), it is a good move for almost everyone.
The rotating bristles or ultrasonic action of an electric brush means that more consistent cleaning is typically achieved. Many also have pressure sensors which cut out when you are brushing your teeth too hard. This is important as brushing teeth too hard is one of the possible causes of enamel erosion. Left untreated, this could result in sensitive teeth and even tooth decay.
The design of these brushes is also beneficial in the prevention of gum disease as the bristles remove plaque more effectively than a manual toothbrush. As gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the UK, this can only be a good thing.
Whilst, at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, we believe that everyone would benefit from using an electric toothbrush, there are some people who will gain extra benefits from doing so. One of these is young children. We all know that it can sometimes be difficult to get kids to brush their teeth correctly, with many giving them a quick brush simply to make their mouth taste nice. This is not an effective way of preventing tooth decay and gum problems of course!
By encouraging a child to use an electric toothbrush, there is a better chance of them cleaning their teeth effectively. The moving bristles of the brush will do some of the work that young arms would otherwise have to do. This is especially useful when it comes to bedtime when they are very likely to be tired and the last thing that they want to do is to brush their teeth. In addition to this, the feel of a vibrating brush head in their mouth can make it more fun and may encourage them to brush their teeth more willingly. As long as you make sure that they spend long enough brushing their teeth, you could, perhaps, make a game of it by singing a song and getting them to repeat it while brushing for comic effect.
Arthritis and elderly patients
Another group of people who may well benefit from switching to electric toothbrushes are those suffering with arthritis, and elderly people who have mobility issues. For these people, the physical action of brushing may be very difficult and even almost impossible in some cases. By allowing the head to rotate against the surface of the tooth, any physical energy or movement that is required is kept to an absolute minimum. As older people often suffer more dental problems, partially due to decreased saliva flow, the use of an electric toothbrush can be a real boon to their oral health.
Another useful aspect of an electric toothbrush is that they have ‘fatter’ handles. This can make it much easier to grip than a manual toothbrush which is good news for anyone with arthritis of the hands. You may also wish to consider sitting at the sink and using it as a support for your arm if you find this helps you to clean your teeth. There are some more useful tips on this page on cleaning your teeth when you have arthritis.
When it comes to removing surface stains from your teeth, an electric brush will almost certainly be more effective than a manual brush. Along with a little more care about what you eat, avoiding teeth staining food and drinks; regular use of an electric brush may also help you to keep your teeth whiter for longer than if you use a manual brush. Of course, not all discolouration is caused by surface staining and can also result from a darkening of the dentin layer within teeth. This can only be addressed using a teeth whitening procedure which we are pleased to provide at our Epsom practice. Unfortunately no level of brushing will fix dull teeth which arise when the dentin in our teeth darkens as we age.
For any oral health care advice or to arrange an appointment to see a dentist at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, you can call us on 01372 720136.