Are electric toothbrushes better for your teeth then manual ones?

Are electric toothbrushes better for your teeth then manual ones?

Are electric toothbrushes better choice than manual ones?

With correct brushing technique, you can achieve optimal results with both manual and electric toothbrushes, says Peter Alldritt, consultant to the Australian Dental Association’s Oral Health Committee.

“If someone is doing really well with a manual brush and not having any problems with a plaque or brushing too hard, there is little to gain from switching to an electric toothbrush,” Dr Alldritt says.

Mastering the tooth brushing technique

The whole reason we brush and floss our teeth is to remove plaque, which is a biofilm of bacteria that tries to attach itself to our teeth.

The right brushing technique achieves a perfect balance between getting the toothbrush close to the gum — so you remove all the plaque from the gum line — without pressing too hard and causing damage to the teeth and gums, Dr Alldritt says.

“In order to think they are doing a perfect job of brushing, some people get in there so hard they can actually cause recession of the gum,” he says.

This means the thin top layer of gum is worn away, causing the lower part of the tooth to be exposed.

Since the tough outer layer, the enamel, covers only the upper part of teeth (above the normal gum line), this leaves the lower part of teeth vulnerable to damage caused by hard brushing.

“They can then cause abrasion where they are actually brushing away the [lower parts of the] tooth by brushing too hard,” Dr Alldritt says.

He says it’s this difficulty in achieving the perfect balance that may mean some people are better off using an electric toothbrush.

When electric may be better

For the many people who struggle to brush their teeth properly with a manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush can be an improvement because it is less dependent on brushing correctly.

An electric toothbrush designed for children with colourful pictures and music may make it easier to get kids brushing their teeth.

“It sounds like a bit of a gimmick, but if that is going to make it easier for the child to brush their teeth then that has to be good for their oral health,” Dr Alldritt says.

People with arthritis in their hands or other disabilities may also find it easier to hold an electric toothbrush because they have a bigger handle than manual ones.

Which toothbrush best suits you?

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