We have many patients ask us if they should be using an electric toothbrush. There are so many different options available that sometimes the whole process can be really confusing. So to make it easier here is some basic information to help you make the choice, and of course as always you’re welcome to ask us at your next appointment.
Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at cleaning teeth if you use proper technique and brush well. Overall, an electric toothbrush may make brushing easier, resulting in better plaque removal. Using an electric toothbrush also helps to prevent you from brushing too hard. Too often we see irreversible damage in our patient’s mouths from brushing too hard, with a hard bristled toothbrush.
When using a manual toothbrush always use a soft bristle with a small head and use a very gentle action. Plaque is very soft and can be removed easily, calculus and staining however cannot be removed with a toothbrush, so brushing harder to try and remove these will only damage your teeth and gums.
When choosing an electric toothbrush you have options. You can buy the cheaper entry level models or the more expensive high end options. The only difference between these is the functions, timers, batteries, fancy lights and stands. The head that you choose will work well on any model. We recommend the sensitive head; this causes less damage and is a nice gentle bristle that can be used on the gum margin without discomfort.
The oral B vitality with sensitive head is a great intro into the electric toothbrush world, it’s cheap convenient and easy to buy. Coles/Woolworths/priceline/chemists etc all sell them, prices vary and you can occasionally get them half price from the supermarkets down to around $25. If after this you find that you love the electric toothbrush you can venture into the higher end models that have better batteries and controls.