If you’re already brushing your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and flossing at least once, you’re on your way to excellent oral health. Removing plaque and bacteria regularly reduces your risk for cavities and tooth loss.
But when it comes to your brush, does the type matter? It certainly does! First, always use a soft-bristled brush. Hard brushes risk eroding the enamel that protects your teeth from cavities and keeps them looking white and healthy.
However, when choosing between manual and electric toothbrushes, the choice may not be as clear. The American Dental Association (ADA) states that manual and electric toothbrushes are both effective for cleaning teeth. They’re also both effective for removing the oral plaque that leads to dental decay and gum disease.
At Sargon Dental, our founder and expert dentist Sargon Lazarof, DDS, recommends an electric toothbrush for most of his patients in Encino and West Hollywood, California, and Pleasant Grove, Utah. An electric toothbrush offers a number of advantages that may make it a better choice for you if you want to get the most out of your daily brushing.
Your toothbrush choice affects your dental hygiene. Following are some of our top reasons to consider switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric one today.
Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque
Plaque is the sticky, bacteria-filled film that coats your teeth after you eat a meal or snack. The most important reason to consider switching from your old-school toothbrush to an electric one is that the oscillating head of a good electric model is better at removing plaque than manual brushing.
When you clean your teeth more effectively, you lower your chance of cavities and gum disease. Less plaque also translates to a reduced risk of future tooth loss. After three months of daily use, an electric toothbrush can reduce plaque by 21% and mild gum disease (i.e., gingivitis) by 11%.
Electric toothbrushes are better for enamel
A manual toothbrush clears away plaque as you “scrub” your enamel. In contrast, an electric toothbrush provides a gentler, more powerful clean that doesn’t rely on force. An electric toothbrush gets its deep-cleaning action from the rapid oscillation of its soft-bristled head.
Over time, vigorous cleaning with a manual toothbrush may erode your enamel and make your teeth more sensitive. Proper brushing with an electric toothbrush — guiding the brush head along the surface of your teeth without applying extra pressure — fully cleanses your enamel without inadvertently damaging it or increasing your tooth’s sensitivity to heat or cold.
Electric toothbrushes are gentler on gums
Like your teeth, you only get so much gum tissue. Once it’s gone, your teeth don’t have as secure a position as they need to stay rooted and strong.
Scrubbing your teeth with a manual toothbrush can irritate or erode your gum tissue. This could cause your gums to recede. Eventually, this could expose the roots of your teeth at the gumline. Ongoing gum damage sets the stage for periodontal disease. Periodontal disease increases your risk for deep dental decay and infections that require a root canal.
The oscillating head of an electric toothbrush cleans your gums thoroughly, gently, and without tissue-damaging pressure. Women and men who switch to an electric toothbrush have 22% less gum recession after 10 years of use when compared to those who use a manual brush.
Electric toothbrushes help you brush thoroughly
To maintain good oral hygiene, brush your teeth twice daily — once in the morning and once again just before you go to bed. Each time, brush for about two minutes to adequately clean your mouth, including:
- The front and back of each tooth
- The chewing surface of each tooth
- Your gums along the base of your teeth
- Your tongue and the roof of your mouth (i.e., palate)
Unfortunately, left to their own sense of timing, the average person only spends about 45 seconds cleaning their teeth each time they brush. However, some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers. By paying attention to your toothbrush’s timer, you establish a thorough brushing regimen that doesn’t fall short.
Electric toothbrushes keep braces cleaner
If you have traditional metal or ceramic braces, you may find it hard to keep them clean. The gentle, low-pressure cleaning motion and superior plaque removal action of an electric toothbrush help remove food from wires and brackets. An electric toothbrush is especially good for tweens, teens, and adults who wear braces.
Electric toothbrushes make brushing easy
An electric toothbrush does the hard work of brushing. You simply guide it across the surface of your teeth, gums, palate, and tongue. Its soft oscillating head — rather than your arm muscles — does all the cleaning.
The majority of women, men, and children who switch to an electric toothbrush notice that their dental hygiene routine requires less effort. Even so, their cleaning becomes more thorough. It’s a win-win on every level.
Of course, even with an electric toothbrush, you need to maintain your twice-yearly visits to our office for an examination and thorough professional cleaning. Contact us today for a dental hygiene appointment. Call our friendly Sargon Dental office staff, or request an appointment online.