Electric or Manual?

While we give every one of our patients a toothbrush after their twice-yearly exams and cleanings, we’d be happy to forgo those and give you more floss instead. Why?

It’s not that we don’t want you to brush, obviously. It’s that we’d like you to consider switching to an electric toothbrush.

We’re not trying to have you spend money on a luxury item that replaces manual brushing because you’re lazy or because we have some sort of vested interest in an electric toothbrush company. Electric toothbrushes simply make sense for most patients as a tool for better home hygiene.

Why is an electric toothbrush better?

The thing about electric toothbrushes that Dr. Brown and all of our team like is that the brush does the work for you. There isn’t the variability in brushing styles that can create problems. For instance, some people simply drag the brush back and forth in a lackadaisical fashion. This doesn’t get the bristles into the gaps between the teeth. Others brush too hard, causing their gums to recede.

But with one of the new generation of electric toothbrushes, all you need to do is place the rotating/vibrating head on your teeth and move it slowly from tooth to tooth. It does all the work, and it brushes the right way. Couple the rotation of the brush head with the vibration it is delivering, and you have a great combination for excellent cleaning. Many of these toothbrushes even have a built-in timer that tells you when you’ve been brushing for two minutes, the length of time recommended by the American Dental Association.

The goal is to be a thorough brusher, and many people are any but that. If you’re a very diligent brusher, you may get every tooth brushed and hit your gums. But the truth is most people have never brushed for two minutes in their entire life.

Here are some specific cases where electric toothbrushes are a no-brainer.

  • You’re not a great brusher —You brush your teeth but don’t pay much attention. You could easily leave a tooth here or there with plaque on it.
  • You’re a kid — Kids think electric toothbrushes are fun; some think they tickle their teeth. Once you explain to place the brush head on each tooth, they’ll do a good job brushing. Also, kids with traditional braces benefit mightily from electric brushes because of their thoroughness.
  • You are older — Issues with involuntary hand shaking and other problems can be easily overcome with electric toothbrushes.

The proof

This isn’t just theoretical stuff. Before Oral-B (the first electric toothbrush brand to receive approval from the American Dental Association) got that approval, it had to provide research of its effectiveness. The company makes both manual and electric toothbrushes, so it had the perfect scenario of testing one against the other. It had dentists and hygienists ask 16,000 patients to use an Oral-B electric toothbrush from one visit to the next. When asked to monitor how their patients’ teeth looked afterwards, the dental professionals said the electric toothbrush had a positive effect on the oral health of over 80 percent of the patients.

So, maybe this year you should put an electric toothbrush in everyone’s stocking? Otherwise, if it’s time to schedule your twice-yearly professional cleaning and exam with our team, call us at Implant Dentistry of Florida, (321) 372-7700, to make an appointment.

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