Forty-seven seconds, one time per day. That’s the average time people spend brushing their teeth – about a quarter of the time that is actually needed to do the job well.
This is why I recommend that all my patients use an electric toothbrush over a manual one. It quickly covers more area and reaches spots that might otherwise be missed.
As someone who has examined thousands of smiles, the difference is noticeable. People who use electric toothbrushes tend to have better check ups, whiter teeth and healthier gums.
Here are eight reasons why you should go electric when brushing your teeth:
- Creates six to eight times more movement per minute with an electric brush versus a manual one. Leading electric toothbrush brands cover anywhere from 30,000-48,000 strokes per minute. In the same amount of time, you’ll only be able to do a fraction of that, about 300-600 strokes per minute, by hand brushing. So, you’ll be ahead of the game simply for the number of strokes covered per minute.
- Gets plaque off your teeth – the sooner, the better. Because an electric rotating toothbrush head mimics the instrument used by hygienists, if you use it regularly, you’ll have cleaner teeth. Ultimately, your professional cleaning appointment will go quicker, and you’ll have a healthier check up too.
- Provides better dental cleaning and oral health. Their slim, angled neck and contour-fit bristles get deep between teeth and along the gum line. Improving gum health reduces gingivitis, or inflammation, and lessens the chance of bleeding gums.
- Helps people who have physical limitations. Electric toothbrushes are ideal for people with limited ability to move their shoulders, arms or hands due arthritis or ALS, and have difficulty brushing. In addition, an electric toothbrush is a great tool for a care provider wanting to keep a patient’s mouth healthy.
- Blasts coffee and wine stains. Although not a complete solution to whitening, adults using one will find an electric toothbrush helps blast away beverages that are prone to staining teeth like coffee and wine. For children, they do a great job of removing the sugar bugs that make their way into the pits and grooves of their teeth.
- Monitors length of brushing. Almost all come with a built-in timer to clock the required two minutes needed for adequate brushing. Some have a cycle that beeps every 30 seconds to remind you when it’s time to move from the top to the bottom of your teeth, as well as when to move from inside to outside. During this time, your electric toothbrush may give you a signal if you are brushing too hard, or too softly.
- Safer for special dental cases. Electric toothbrushes are safe to use on sensitive teeth, or for those who have orthodontics, dental work, veneers or implant materials. There are various brush heads available that match a person’s dental needs, including one that works specifically for braces to get in between the wire brackets. Almost all electric toothbrushes have a digital reminder to tell you when it’s time to replace your brush head. Usually, this happens around every three months.
- Makes brushing fun for kids. Electric toothbrushes are fun, especially for children who will find the beeps, or music that comes with them, as an added treat. Beginners may even say it tickles when getting used to the vibration of the handle. If that’s the case, consider using a softer setting for the first dozen brushes, and gradually build up to full power.
However, no toothbrush, electric or manual, is good unless you use it. Make sure the toothbrush head is in good condition, and replace it if bristles are no longer straight and firm.
Also, if you are coming off a cold, remember to replace your toothbrush head as it might be harboring virus or bacteria that your body is fighting.
Finally, be mindful that any teeth that you’d like to keep, you should floss on a regular basis!