An electric toothbrush is the name utilized to describe toothbrushes which gain their power from a battery, usually rechargeable, to create movement of the head which contains the cleaning bristles. These bristles should not only be soft, but they should have rounded and polished ends. Many people mistakenly believe that a medium-stiff bristle or even a stiff bristle is better. Actually, a soft bristle properly used, is far superior. A ninety degree cut through the bristle leaves a ninety degree sharp edge which will actually cut or scratch the gum tissue; therefore, the rounded and polished bristle is utilized. The action created is either ultrasonic, rotational, or oscillating. Sometimes they may rotate as well as oscillate.
Although electric toothbrushes in the past were often recommended to patients with minor physical problems, today, much more often, these brushes are recommended to the average patient. This is also true of the patient who is just too aggressive with a manual brush, and although trying hard, may cause toothbrush abrasion with resulting permanent damage to the tooth and gums. A low-voltage electric toothbrush is the perfect solution to this problem since it is very difficult for a patient to break this habit of aggressive brushing which also results in toothbrush abrasion. An electric toothbrush utilizes the correct motions, causes no harm, and with most patients, improves their oral hygiene and their oral health as well. So I can honestly say that since most patients are somewhat inclined to be in a rush and do not utilize a manual brush properly, that the use of electric toothbrush is much more often recommended than in the past. And I might add that it is also highly recommended.
Now, many electric toothbrushes have blue-tooth capabilities, and will verbally remind that the patient should spend more time in a certain quadrant. It will also remind them if they are utilizing too much pressure on the tooth or gums. The end result is that the patient does a better job, spends the appropriate amount of time in each quadrant, and substantially lowers and eliminates his gum disease, decay, and substantially improves their oral health. The patient will also soon realize that their total dental bill also becomes lower due to fewer problems. This makes the electric toothbrush a very wise investment for the patient.
Although a manual toothbrush, properly used, will achieve excellent results, it is more-often not properly used. Many patients either apply too much pressure to their teeth, often with stiff or medium bristles, and do actual damage to their teeth and gums. They often miss critical areas and do not properly floss. Therefore, an electric toothbrush is recommended, as it is far superior in ease of removing bacterial plaque, which prevents bad breath, tooth decay, tartar build-up, gum disease, and even bone loss. Properly used, an electric toothbrush will do no harm to teeth, gums, or bone. The key word is “proper.”
If the patient is interested in “raising” the shade of their teeth, or “whitening” their teeth, they should consider using a whitening toothpaste along with their electric toothbrush, recognizing that this will take much longer than the whitening process provided by your dentist as the bleaching agent content is significantly lower. Such toothpastes as Whitening Charcoal Toothpaste, Colgate’s Optic White Express Toothpaste, Crest’s Pro Enamel or 3 D White Brilliance, Sensodyne Pronamel, or Arm & Hammer Extreme Whitening. And there are others.
Electric toothbrushes such as Oral-B, Phillips Sonicare, and other ultrasonic brushes such as Fairywill, Rotadent, and the Foreo ISSA 2, are an excellent adjunct to good oral health, oral hygiene, and preventive dentistry. They definitely add to proper maintenance of the teeth. Fluoride should always be a component of your toothpaste and flossing is recommended prior to brushing. And, as a final reminder, one should always look for the ADA (American Dental Association) Accepted seal.
Life Member of American Dental Association, Emeritus Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry, Member of Academy of Implant Dentistry