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Electric Toothbrushes vs. Traditional Toothbrushes

Are electric toothbrushes really better at cleaning your teeth than traditional, manual toothbrushes? The answer to that question tends to vary from study to study.

However, electronic toothbrushes have been known to make the overall brushing process easier and more fun for the user.

The fact is, if proper brushing technique is used, a manual brush should be just about as effective as its electric counterpart.

The reason dentists recommend an electric brush is because most people do not practice proper brushing habits and/or they do not brush for the full 2 minutes recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA).

The electric tooth brush was introduced to the market in the 1960s. The introduction came with many claims that the electric toothbrush was far superior to its manual counterpart. However, decades of study have proven that while the electric brush may hold a slight edge when it comes to cleaning hard to reach plaque, the difference between the two brushes is minor.

More important than the type of toothbrush you use the technique used to brush your teeth.

The American Dental Association recommends everyone brush:

  • For at least two minutes (120 seconds).
  • The outer surfaces of your upper and lower teeth.
  • The inner surfaces of your upper and lower teeth.
  • The chewing surfaces.
  • Your tongue.

It’s also highly recommended that everyone:

  • Replace your toothbrush approximately every three months.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Gently brush your gums.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Use mouthwash to kill remaining germs.
  • Choose a brush with a compact/small brush head to adequately brush the hard to reach spaces.
  • Change your tooth brush or brush head after recovering from the flu or a cold.

Each of the previous points is more important to your dental health than choosing an electric or traditional toothbrush.

However, you should elect to use an electric toothbrush if you:

  • Have arthritis in your hands and it pains you to use a traditional brush.
  • Patient who have other people caring for their hygiene.
  • Have trouble maintain steady brushing habits.
  • Are encouraged to brush more if an electronic brush makes the process more bearable.
  • Patients with limited dexterity
  • If you have a strong gag reflex – electric brushes do not produce as much foam with the toothpaste.
  • Great for children who are learning to brush on their own.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Finkelstein at My Plantation Dentist today for a regular cleaning and to find out more about proper oral care and brushing techniques!


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