Should I Use an Electric or Traditional Toothbrush?

October 24, 2017

One of the most common questions we hear from patients is, “Should I use a traditional or electric toothbrush?” The answer is not always what patients want to hear – it’s up to you. It’s true. Both manual and electric toothbrushes will adequately clean your smile as long as you use them properly. In combination with regular preventive dental checkups, maintaining your daily oral hygiene routine, including thorough tooth brushing, is the key to achieving and maintaining your healthiest smile. Keep reading to learn more about how to keep your teeth shining with any kind of toothbrush.

Tooth Brushing 101

The key to maintaining optimal oral health isn’t what toothbrush you use, it’s how you brush. The following are some tips to improve your tooth brushing routine with manual or electric toothbrush:

  • Brush for at least two minutes at a time. Most electric toothbrushes have a timer, but if yours doesn’t or you choose a manual toothbrush, consider setting a timer to make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes.
  • Brush at least twice a day, and if you want to boost your oral hygiene plan, consider brushing between meals. Wait at least thirty minutes after eating to brush your teeth. Directly following meals, teeth are undergoing an acid attack, and they may be damaged during brushing.
  • Brush systematically not randomly. This ensures you’ll clean the surfaces of every tooth. You’ll need to brush the outside, inside, and tops of teeth.
  • Use a soft or ultra soft bristled brush (both manual and electric). You should also replace your toothbrush or brush head every three to four months.

Manual VS Electric Toothbrushes

As long as you’re brushing properly, there is really no difference in effectiveness between manual and electric toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes do typically have a timer, which makes it easier to track the amount of time you spend brushing. Some people find themselves using too much pressure with an electric toothbrush, which simply needs to be placed onto the surfaces of each tooth to remove plaque. Patients with diminished manual dexterity may struggle to thoroughly clean their teeth with manual brushes, so electric brushes may benefit these patients.

Maintaining Optimal Oral Health

In addition to daily brushing, you should also floss at least once a day. This is the only way to ensure you’ve removed plaque buildup between teeth. If you frequently experience oral health issues like gum disease, hairy tongue, or chronic bad breath, you may want to add an antimicrobial mouth rinse to your daily hygiene routine. These oral rinses will reduce the amounts of oral bacteria, yeast, and fungus that can contribute to these issues. Most importantly, make sure you visit the dentist at least two times each year for routine checkups and teeth cleanings.

Meet Dr. McDougall & Dr. Richards

The McDougal and Richards Dentistry team loves helping patients learn how to care for their smiles in our office and at home. If you ever have questions about how to maximize your at-home hygiene routine, we can help. One of our skilled dentists or dental hygienists will be happy to answer your questions, walk you through good brushing and flossing techniques, and recommend oral hygiene products. To schedule an appointment or find out more about our dentistry services, contact our Richardson dental office today. If you want to learn more about the latest at McDougal and Richards Dentistry, come back to read our blog regularly.

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