Do You Really Need a Power Toothbrush?


Recommended for People with Limited Mobility

Do you really need a power toothbrush?  The short answer is, “probably not.”  A regular toothbrush is fine if you’re strong enough to apply adequate pressure and if you’re diligent enough to brush all sections of your mouth for over two minutes each time.  However, power toothbrushes are recommended for people with physical limitations that make it difficult to apply enough pressure with a manual toothbrush.

If you struggle with arthritis or limited mobility, a power toothbrush is probably a better choice. The toothbrush provides much of the brushing action for you, so you get a better clean with a lot less movement on your part.

Better at Removing Plaque

One reason to select a power toothbrush is that clinical studies do demonstrate that they are better at removing plaque, and unremoved plaque is a major threat to the health of your gums:

A wealth of new research – with a few exceptions – supports that the current generation of power brushes removes more plaque than manual toothbrushes in a variety of clinical trial models.

Good Brushing Habits Are the Most Important Factor

But here’s the interesting thing: The main reason people get better results with a power toothbrush is not because power toothbrushes are inherently superior to regular toothbrushes. It’s because people who use power toothbrushes are more likely to practice good brushing habits.

Two Minutes Every Time

The most important feature on a power toothbrush might be the two-minute timer.  This helps users focus on brushing all sections of the mouth completely.  And the cheapest way to upgrade your manual toothbrush is probably to just use a stopwatch or listen to a two-minute song every time you brush.

Research demonstrates that on average people who choose power toothbrushes will experience a “significant reduction in plaque” However, the interesting finding is “that reduction may come only from having a brush that encourages good habits, like a full two minutes of brushing for each session.”

Power Toothbrushes Encourage Good Habits

People who invest in a power toothbrush are obviously committed to improving their dental health.  And this is the main reason why they get better results overall than people who use manual toothbrushes.  This article from Review.com explains how the phenomenon works:

How you brush is more important than what you brush with. If you carefully brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss regularly, an electric toothbrush may not be worth the investment.

Brushing the Right way

Whether you choose a manual or a power toothbrush, the most important thing is how you brush.  Those teeth aren’t going to brush themselves, no matter how fancy your toothbrush is.

Here’s a list good habits you should practices with whichever type of toothbrush you choose:

  • Gently stroke the brush back and forth.
  • Don’t use too much pressure on teeth.
  • Snack as little as possible between meals.
  • Thoroughly brush all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Brush teeth twice per day.
  • Replace toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
  • Hold toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Select a toothbrush that easily fits your mouth.
  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

In addition to practice effective daily oral hygiene, the best thing you can do is visit Dr. Barksdale for regular checkups at least twice a year.  Why not give our office a call and schedule that appointment today?

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