Dr. Brett L. Johnson

General & Cosmetic Dentistry

The Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

ID-10033589When it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, no one activity does more to prevent tooth decay and gum disease than brushing. Of course, like trying to play tennis with a baseball bat, the right tool can make a big difference when it comes to how successful you’re at any activity, and in recent years a number of improvements have been made to electric and sonic toothbrushes out on the market that can dramatically alter how you brush. At your choice for Oregon City family dental, Dr. Brett Johnson can help you figure out which brush is right for you .

Considering that most people have been using standard toothbrushes ever since childhood, making the switch to an electric or sonic brush can be a major transition. When you consider that brushing is more about technique than the type of brush you use, will making the switch really improve the health of a person’s teeth and gums? Here’s what using an electric or sonic brush can do to help protect your oral health.

Power Toothbrushes

In the U.S., the first electric toothbrushes were introduced to consumers in the 1960s under the name Broxodent and marketed by Squibb. While these early brushes had to be plugged into the wall and did little more than just vibrate, today power toothbrushes offer a variety of features, rechargeable batteries, and sleek, compact designs.

The two types of power toothbrushes on the market today are sonic and electric, and the difference between the two different types really comes down to how fast they brush.

Electric Brushes: Powered to move between 3,000 and 7,500 rotations a minute, electric toothbrushes are designed to imitate the movement of your hand when brushing, thereby removing of all the muscle work normally required when brushing. The bristles on the head of an electric brush either rotate or move back and forth to help reduce gingivitis and to remove excess plaque.

Sonic Brushes: A more powerful version of an electric brush, sonic brushes provide the equivalent of 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute, and rotate in a back and forth motion. While the astonishing amount of strokes offered by a sonic brush is the device’s claim to fame, the brush does help to reduce plaque buildup, while keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

To contrast just how effective these types of power toothbrushes are, an old fashion hand held brush powered by you generates roughly 300 strokes per minutes. That is if you employ the correct brushing technique. That amounts to about 600 strokes over the course of the two minutes you should spend brushing, or just 20 percent as much as what a lower end electric brush can provide.

Power Toothbrush Benefits

A number of studies have found that regular use of electric and sonic toothbrushes can greatly reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent the onset of gingivitis over both short and long-term use. A 2008 study conducted by the Cochrane Oral Health Group, for example, found that individuals who used electric brushes with oscillating heads had less plaque overall on their teeth and reported fewer cases of gum disease.

The study also concluded that sonic or electric brushes could provide an enormous benefit to individuals who suffer from conditions that reduce their coordination or limit their mobility, such as arthritis, paralysis, or amputation.

Researchers suggested that using a sonic or electric might also help encourage regular brushing by eliminating the effort required to use a handheld brush. However, the one major obstacle for people wanting to purchase a quality electric or sonic brush could be cost. Low-end power brushes can range around $15, while high quality brushes can cost an excess of $100. Compared to the one or two dollars a standard brush can cost, it really becomes a matter of personal preference whether to spend the money for a power brush. But when you consider the important role healthy teeth and gums play in your life, the might not seem that prohibitive after all.

 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

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