11 Sep Electric or Manual Toothbrush – Which is Best?
Most of us love a bit of high tech and a new gadget, but is an electric toothbrush really worth the extra money? Will it give the clean and sparkle that the advertising would make us believe they will?
Well the answer is both yes and no. For some of us an electric brush may be better if it makes us more likely to spend time cleaning our teeth. Using an electric brush does not make brushing any quicker and it may actually take you longer whilst you master the technique. It is very important that your dental hygienist helps you use an electric brush properly and maximises on its efficiency.
Which type of electric brush?
With so many to choose from, where do you start? Again it will be a good idea to chat with your hygienist who can guide you as to the best models out there. When we say best we do not necessarily mean the latest or most up to date either. Often, companies fine tune their brushes but an older, cheaper model may well be good enough for you and do the job just as well. We do recommend a brush that is rechargeable rather than using battery power as this will maintain its effectiveness better and we want to ensure you can get replacement heads easy enough. You will need to change the heads so if a model is so old that it doesn’t have replacement heads then this will be of no use.
But I don’t have a charging point in my bathroom?
Not a problem, just plug your toothbrush in where it can be charged and a good toothbrush should be able to hold its charge for at least a week and sometimes several weeks. As they get older, like all electrical items, they do start to lose their charge but not having a point in your bathroom shouldn’t stop you from using an electric brush.
I don’t like the feel of an electric brush on my teeth, what can I do?
This is quite common and if it feels uncomfortable and you don’t like it don’t use one, a manual brush will do the job just as well if not better! The key is technique which ever brush you opt for and making sure you take your time when brushing and clean all the surfaces of your teeth. Some dentists advise dividing your mouth into quarters and concentrating on each quarter by quarter, others will says 15 seconds per tooth, front, back and side. Brushing techniques are very different depending on whether you use a manual or an electric. With an electric you must let the brush do the work but you will still need to position the brush correctly.
If I use an electric brush does it mean I don’t need to use floss or interdental brushes?
Sadly no! You will still need to cleanse between your teeth and your hygienist will recommend a technique that suits you. It may be interdental tape or floss, interdental brushes or perhaps if you like your gadgets a Sonicare Air Flosser or a Water Jet.
The important aspect of a cleansing routine is that it is a routine and you carry it our twice a day, every day. Your dental hygienist will help you with a regime that works for you and you can see a difference with.
When did you last see your hygienist? Perhaps it’s time to book in?
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Dr Ali Rifai
The Gentle Dental Practice