Everyone has thought about getting an electric toothbrush at least once or twice in their lifetime. Some people are turned off by the maintenance of charging and changing brush heads, while others are more put off by the price and size of some models on the market. Do they even clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush? How much better can an electric toothbrush really be? Considering everyone should be brushing at least twice a day, every day, it’s time to get to know your toothbrush a little better, considering it has a big job to do every single day with no days off!
If you’re conscientious about your oral health, you already know the role your toothbrush plays in your life. Every day it goes in there, into trenches of biofilm bacteria in your mouth, fighting off plaque that can potentially turn into decay or gingivitis. Without brushing every day, all of these harmful things would build up in your mouth, potentially causing some major damage, not to mention some very foul smelling breath. Without your toothbrush, it’s likely you would be missing quite a few teeth by now and be dealing with some nasty periodontal disease, too. So, it’s safe to say that we should be thankful for our toothbrush and all the hard work it does. The question remains, however, are we getting the most out of our daily brushing with the toothbrush of our choice?
Brushing Up on the Numbers
Of course, using a manual brush is better than not using any toothbrush at all, but electric toothbrushes have shown to have an edge on the disposable classic. Reports show that electric toothbrushes can reduce up to 21% more plaque and gingivitis, and 11% more when used continually for three months. Considering that 96% of Americans will have some form of tooth decay by the time they hit the age of 65, it seems like we can use all the help we can get from some better brushing. It’s estimated that more than a quarter of Americans have untreated cavities at any given time! Other alarming data shows that men with a history of periodontal disease had a 64% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those with healthy gums and oral health. Gum disease has also been linked to premature births in pregnant women, affecting mother and child. If statistics and data aren’t enough to prove that you should consider switching to an electric toothbrush, then focusing on how you use your manual brush just might do the trick.
Rate your Manual Brushing
It’s important to keep in mind that manual toothbrushes can only work as efficiently as electric toothbrushes if they are used correctly, consistently, and for up to two minutes, at least twice a day. This means that a lot of the responsibility falls on you and your daily tooth brushing performance. Frankly, that’s a lot of pressure. Everyone has been guilty of a lazy or low-effort brushing more than a handful of times, whether due to time constraints, fatigue, or whatever excuse we’ve rationalized in our heads. It’s simply impossible to compete with the power of a rotating and oscillating electric toothbrush head that spins and moves at a speed 50 times faster than our arms and hands! Not only is an electric toothbrush breaking through plaque and bacteria, but it’s also stimulating your gums in a way to keep them healthy. These electric versions are doing a lot of the work for us and doing a better job of it, too.
Step Up your Brush Game
The ADA released a study in 2014 that showed 30% of people weren’t brushing their teeth twice a day. When they did brush, they were most often doing it wrong. The average brush time for most people was a measly 52 seconds a day when the recommendation is two two-minute brushings a day. It seems like America really needs to reconsider the quality of the tooth brushing they’re engaging in, particularly in the hard-to-reach areas of the mouth where buildup and bacteria love to hang out. If you feel like your recent dental appointments have been less than stellar, or you aren’t sure, ask for some feedback from your hygienist. Most dentists can tell a person’s brushing habits by just looking at their teeth. They can recognize if they brush too hard, or not hard enough, but most often, they can immediately see if someone is not brushing efficiently enough to keep plaque at bay.
Find your Holy Grail Tooth Brush
There are so many electric toothbrush options on the market that it can become quite overwhelming to make a decision. Asking your dentist what they recommend is a good route to go, but do a little bit of research on your own before you commit to a particular brand or model. Some models have timers that will ensure they keep you brushing for a full two minutes, helping you break the habit of the infamous “drive-by” brushing all of us have been guilty of one time or another. Basic models that don’t have any fancy add-ons or extras will still do the job correctly, so if you’re a low-maintenance kind of person, don’t hesitate to go for a simple model that gets the job done. If you’re committed to really investing into an advanced model to take your oral health to the next level, there are plenty of brands that offer a range of styles. If you’re techy, the newest types of electric toothbrushes are going to rock your world. Some new models have apps connected to the brushes that help track how well you are brushing. They collect data of how your brushing performance rates over time and even show a diagram of your teeth, helping you recognize areas that you are missing or not brushing well enough. Now that’s some next-level brushing!
If you’ve been debating about getting an electric toothbrush, there has never been a better time to take the plunge. These brushes are no longer a “luxury,” and there is a wide range of models that range from the very affordable, to the most high-tech and lavish. Once you feel the difference of brushing with an electric toothbrush, you will ask yourself why you waited so long to get your oral health to its optimal level.
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