What are the benefits of an electric toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes generally give you a level of dental hygiene that you won’t get from a manual toothbrush. Because they are pre-set to brush at a certain speed, they can have your teeth cleaner than manually brushing your teeth. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes each time, and that can be very hard on your hand and arm to sustain the sort of motion that makes brushing your teeth worthwhile. Electric toothbrushes make that much easier. Electric toothbrushes also come with certain features, such as gum massagers and sonic waves, which can improve your oral health in a way that manual toothbrushes cannot.
Do I really need an electric toothbrush?
If you have never had any issues with your teeth and your dentist remarks on how good your mouth looks whenever you have a check-up, you might not need an electric toothbrush. However, if you tend to get cavities, are forgetful about brushing, aren’t sure of your dental hygiene, and want fresher breath and whiter teeth, you might want to consider an electric toothbrush. It is documented that most people in America do not have adequate dental hygiene routines; either people do not brush their teeth for long enough, do not brush enough in general, or are brushing incorrectly. If you think any of those applies to you, an electric toothbrush can help correct your problems. If you have arthritis, an electric toothbrush will be especially helpful, as you can get a thorough cleaning without too much strain on your wrists and fingers.
What strength bristles should I get?
Many electric toothbrushes, especially higher-end models by Philips and Oral-B, have multiple heads with varying bristle strengths, but many toothbrushes only come with one. If you are getting a model with only one head, make sure you get a toothbrush with soft bristles. This is best for your tooth health, and medium or hard bristles can actually damage your enamel and gums.
How big should the head of my toothbrush be?
Most adults will want a toothbrush head that is half-inch wide and one-inch tall; any bigger than this and you are probably not going to be able to reach all of your teeth surfaces easily, which means that you won’t be getting a grade-A brushing. If you have an especially small mouth and find that even regular sized heads are too large, think about getting a child’s size toothbrush instead, or buying a compact head for your electric toothbrush.
What is a rotation oscillation toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes that rotate or oscillate, such as many Oral-B toothbrushes, are among the highest quality hygiene tools you can buy. A rotating oscillation toothbrush has bristles that move around in a circle, rather than back and forth, and evidence suggests that this is the healthiest way to brush your teeth.
What are sonic and ultrasonic toothbrushes?
Sonic or ultrasonic toothbrushes, such as many in the Health line of products, move side-to-side, up to 40,000 strokes per minute; the sonic vibrations also contribute to plaque breakdown and helps release more saliva, and important cleaning agent.
What sort of features are available on an electric toothbrush?
Some of the most popular features on an electric toothbrush include timers, quad pacers, ultraviolet sanitizers, gum massagers, and different modes like gentle brush mode, high speed, quick brush, and polishing. Some models also offer a pressure sensor.
What does a gum massager do?
Your gums as important as your teeth in terms of your oral health. A gum massager stimulates your gums, increasing blood flow and making them healthier. Poor gum health can lead to receding gums or periodontitis, which is a gum infection that can spread to your teeth. Your gums contain all the veins that support your tooth health.
What do the different modes on an electric toothbrush do?
If you have sensitive teeth, look for an electric toothbrush that includes a gentle brush mode. Philips even makes electric toothbrushes that are specifically designed for people with sensitive teeth. Toothbrushes with high speed modes will deliver a faster rotation or movement; this does not mean that you can brush for less time, or need to brush less often, but it can be very useful on those days when you are in a rush or for the occasional deep clean. Quick brush modes are similarly designed for mornings where you are in a time crunch. Polishing or whitening modes give you a more dentist-level clean, so your teeth are left whiter and shinier.
Should I get a toothbrush with a timer?
Many electric toothbrushes include a timer that will go off after 2 minutes, which is the recommended brushing time. This helps you assure that you are getting adequate dental hygiene, and many people find it extremely useful. Some toothbrushes also come with what are known as “quad pacers”; if you were to divide your mouth into four quadrants and brush each for 30 seconds you would be getting an even, healthy brushing. Quad pacers alert you after 30 seconds in each quadrant so you know it is time to move elsewhere. This will be a great feature for you if you tend to lose track of time, or want to be more rigorous in your teeth cleaning habits.
What is a pressure sensor, and why do I need one?
A pressure sensor, which is available on many higher-end Oral-B toothbrushes, gauges how hard you are pressing against your teeth and alerts you when you are applying too much pressure. It’s important that you keep a gentle pressure when brushing your teeth, or you could risk harming your enamel or gums.
What is an ultraviolet sanitizer?
Toothbrushes can collect a lot of disgusting and harmful bacteria, plaque, viruses, and particles. Ultraviolet sanitizers release ultraviolet light from the charger bases, killing the bacteria and other microscopic hazards that are in the toothbrush’s bristles.
Should I get a battery-powered or rechargeable toothbrush?
In general, rechargeable toothbrushes are more high-quality and effective, and budget-friendly, than battery-powered toothbrushes. A rechargeable toothbrush can last up to 3 weeks on a single charge, and if you start to feel it slowing down or not working up to par you can just pop it back on the charger and it will be ready to use again soon. Battery-powered toothbrushes will need the batteries replaced once they start wearing out, which means you will have to buy batteries fairly often if you want your toothbrush to always run at top performance. Just remember, if you get a rechargeable toothbrush, to unplug the charger when you’re not using it to conserve energy.
Can my child use an electric toothbrush?
Yes, be sure, though, that they do not share a toothbrush with you, as it is likely the head of your toothbrush will be too big for their smaller mouths, and too harsh. Instead, buy one of the many electric toothbrushes that is designed especially for children. These can be really great tools for teaching good oral hygiene for the rest of your child’s life: many electric toothbrushes even include fun songs that will play for the two minutes your child is brushing their teeth, or have an encouraging statement once the two minutes is up.
What do I need to do to clean my electric toothbrush?
First, make sure to change the heads often. You will want to replace the head on your electric toothbrush about every three months. In between replacing the head, you just need to store it like you would a regular toothbrush. Run water over it and store upright. Do not keep the cap on when not in use, because this can promote bacterial growth, and do not store it too close to other toothbrushes so that viruses and germs don’t spread from one to the other.
Does an electric toothbrush eliminate the need to floss?
Absolutely not. Even though electric toothbrushes can be extremely useful and beneficial for getting excellent dental hygiene, you will still want to floss at least once per day for ultimate tooth health. If an electric toothbrush claims to eliminate the need to floss, ask your dentist; he or she will still recommend regular flossing. Mouthwash is also something you should continue to use for optimal dental health.