Choosing the best toothbrush for each person is not an easy task. In addition to the range of soft, hard, straight, flexible, and curved toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes come into play. But are the latter really recommended, or is it better to rely on the traditional manual toothbrush?
First of all, electric toothbrushes make cleaning easier and more comfortable than manual toothbrushes. According to the periodontal health guide of the European Federation of Periodontology, both brushes are effective if used correctly, although some studies show that electric toothbrushes are slightly more effective.
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A comparative study published in Cochrane showed that the use of electric toothbrushes reduces plaque 11% more than manual toothbrushes between the first and third month of use, and 21% after three months. Regarding gingivitis, it reduces it by 6% between the first and third month, and by 11% after three months of use.
In addition, people who use an electric toothbrush tend to brush longer, especially those whose toothbrush has a timer.
However, if for example we have undergone surgery or oral surgery and we have stitches or sensitized areas, our dentist may recommend manual brushing with a soft toothbrush.
How to choose an electric toothbrush
The first thing to consider is your oral hygiene needs: Do you have a tendency to suffer from gingivitis, caries, bad breath, tooth stains…? Your dentist can guide you in this regard. There are electric toothbrushes with specific accessories for the gums -such as the dental irrigator-, for cleaning the tongue or for whitening.
The main difference between electric toothbrushes is how they produce movement. On the one hand, we can find rotating or oscillating brushes, and on the other hand, sonic or ultrasonic brushes, which produce movement by vibrating the brush head.
They are more effective in removing dental plaque.
They clean better in hard-to-reach areas.
Effective against tobacco or coffee stains.
More comfortable to use, as they require less effort on our part.
More effective and deeper cleaning, thanks to their vibrations and high-frequency movement.
They act better against bacterial plaque since the vibrations introduce oxygen-rich bubbles into the saliva that prevent the growth of bacteria in areas where plaque accumulates.
More effective for people wearing orthodontics.
In other words, the decision will depend on your specific oral hygiene needs.
In addition, many electric toothbrushes have technological features that we can appreciate. For example, the timer is very useful to ensure that we brush for the minimum recommended time. The pressure sensor can be very practical for people suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis. Other functionalities, such as Bluetooth, allow us to collect data on time, pressure, etc. to assess the quality of brushing. Our recommendation is to select the functionalities that will really be useful to you.
How to use an electric toothbrush
In itself, the cleaning technique with a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush is not too different. The World Health Organization gives some general recommendations on the use of the toothbrush:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, two minutes each time. In this case, the electric toothbrush with a timer helps us to respect the recommended brushing time.
Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
Change the toothbrush every two or three months. In the case of electric toothbrushes, follow the recommendations of each manufacturer.
When brushing, you should reach all parts of the tooth, and do not forget to brush the tongue, including the back area.
The most practical thing to do is to follow a specific order, a method that allows us not to forget any area.
Electric toothbrushes, even the most basic ones, require a greater investment than manual ones. Here are some tips to help you take care of your electric toothbrush and make it last longer:
Rinse the brush thoroughly after each use, so that there are no remains of paste, food, or fluids.
Let the brush air dry and store it in an upright position.
Change the brush head every two to three months, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, or in any case if you notice that the filaments are worn or deformed.
Proper cleaning is the first step to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for life, so we recommend always following good oral hygiene habits. At the Ahora Clinic, we can offer you all the necessary instruments for oral hygiene, and above all the best advice tailored to you.