Generally speaking, toothbrushes haven’t changed much in the last 3000 years. The ancient Babylonians would chew on the end of a twig and use the resulting pulp to brush their teeth. In the 1930s, the electric toothbrush appeared in Switzerland and gave us the first significant breakthrough in toothbrushes, allowing more people to clean their teeth more efficiently.
Is an electric toothbrush really better? In theory, electric toothbrushes do exactly the same job that manual toothbrushes do. Good tooth brushing is one of the most important and effective ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. So why would you need an electric toothbrush?
Better Oral Health
A recent study found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay, and tend to keep their teeth longer than those who use a traditional toothbrush. An 11-year study showed that electric toothbrushes, especially those that feature brushes that rotate in both directions (oscillating heads), are superior to manual tooth brushing. Scientists suggest that the investment in an electric toothbrush could significantly improve the health of your mouth.
Perfect for Tiny Hands
The dexterity required to brush your teeth properly doesn’t appear in children until they are nearly 7 years old – many children can’t even tie their shoelaces without help until they are older. Dentists often suggest that parents help their children brush their teeth, which can be tricky and can end in a battle for independence. Electric toothbrushes allow parents to monitor without having to brush their children’s teeth, and many models are made just for kids, with flashing lights, fun characters, and timers that include music to help your child brush.
A Solution for Limited Mobility
Patients who suffer from arthritis or other conditions that affect the ability to use the joints and muscles can use electric toothbrushes to achieve the effectiveness of tooth brushing. Electric toothbrushes oscillate and scrub your teeth without the need to engage your hands and arms to obtain the proper motion. An electric toothbrush does all the work for you so that all you have to do is hold the brush gently while it cleans your teeth.
Orthodontic Deep Cleaning
Patients with traditional braces benefit significantly from electric toothbrushes because they can clean more thoroughly. The oscillating or vibrating brush head allows bristles to get into smaller spaces without damaging brackets or teeth. It’s important that orthodontic patients use a small brush head with soft bristles that can safely get into the small spaces, and patients should check with the orthodontist before using an electric toothbrush.
While everyone can benefit from the use of an electric toothbrush, there is still no replacement for professional cleaning and a solid oral hygiene regime. You still need to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist every 6 months for cleanings and an oral examination. An electric toothbrush can help you to have easier visits to the dentist and to keep your mouth healthier.
Ask your dentist about electric toothbrushes, and we’ll be happy to explain how to use an electric toothbrush and what kind of brush might be best for you – call us today!