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Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

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Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective tools for helping to clean your teeth. In today's post, our St. Thomas dentists discuss the benefits of using an electric toothbrush based on your smile needs.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

A regular manual toothbrush is a great tool for cleaning your teeth, provided that you are thorough, and use the proper brushing technique.

  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush in a circular motion across the teeth.
  • Remember to brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

If you brush properly, as outlined above, and both you and your dentist are satisfied with the state of your oral health, then you’re doing great! There’s no need for any additional tools (other than floss, of course; use that once a day!).

However, if you struggle to brush all of your teeth thoroughly when using a manual toothbrush, or if you or your dentist feel that your oral hygiene routine could use a boost, you may find that an electric toothbrush is a helpful tool.

How can an electric toothbrush help?

Electric toothbrushes that have small, round, rotating heads mimic the ideal brushing motion. Avoid electric toothbrushes that make a sawing motion if you can.

With an electric toothbrush, you hardly have to do any work! Simply apply your favourite toothpaste to your electric toothbrush, place it up against your teeth, and turn it on. Guide it gently around your mouth, over all the front and back surfaces of each tooth.

You don’t need to perform the brushing motion yourself, and this makes it much easier to clean the backs of your front teeth (which can be awkward with a manual toothbrush), and the small round head makes cleaning your back molars and other tight or hard-to-reach areas a little easier, too.

And because the head spins so quickly, electric toothbrushes can do a great job of removing surface stains from your teeth. Some electric toothbrushes even have timers that let you know when your full two minutes are up!

Overall, an electric toothbrush can help you brush more thoroughly, and may even make brushing feel like less of a chore.

Concerned about brushing too hard?

Some people hesitate to try an electric toothbrush because they are concerned it would not be gentle on the enamel of their teeth, or their gums.

In fact, many electric toothbrush users find that it actually helps them brush more gently because they don’t have to make the scrubbing motion themselves. Scrubbing tends to make you want to apply pressure, and this is a non-issue with an electric toothbrush, as it performs the motion for you.

If you are concerned about brushing too hard, many electric toothbrush brands sell heads with extra soft bristles for sensitive teeth and gums.

Wondering if an electric toothbrush might be a good choice for you? Please contact our office to book an appointment with one of our St. Thomas dentists. We are here to help you improve your oral health.

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