These days it seems like we have an electric version of just about everything -- electric razors, electric cars and of course, electric toothbrushes. And while you might think using a motorized toothbrush is just plain lazy, they actually provide benefits beyond making brushing easier.
Electric toothbrushes are ... exactly what their name suggests: Toothbrushes that use electricity to move the bristles during use. The brush head usually moves in a circular or back-and-forth motion powered by rechargeable or replaceable batteries.
Are They Really Better?
Dentists will tell you that a manual toothbrush can be just as effective as an electric model if used properly, but most patients simply don't brush as thoroughly or for as long as they should. In these cases, an electric toothbrush can help by maximizing the cleaning power of every stroke. In addition, some dentists recommend electric toothbrushes because they may:
- Improve oral health in patients who are receiving gum disease treatment
- Monitor brushing duration by beeping at certain levels
- Help teeth look whiter by reducing surface stains
- Motivate reluctant brushers to brush for longer
Lending a Hand
Electric toothbrushes also allow patients with limited manual dexterity to effectively brush their teeth. In addition, anyone who must assist a disabled or elderly person with their oral hygiene may have an easier time using a motorized toothbrush.
There are many types of electric toothbrushes on the market today, so ask your dentist which model he or she recommends -- there are even some brands that dispense toothpaste, vibrate to help dislodge dental plaque and include a timer to ensure you brush for the proper amount of time.
The important thing to remember is that an electric toothbrush is no substitute for good brushing. Although it may provide some additional dental benefits, it's up to you to take responsibility for your oral health -- make sure to brush for a full two minutes, floss, and visit your dentist regularly. Remember, a toothbrush is only as good as the person who uses it!
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