An electric toothbrush can be an excellent alternative to a traditional, manual toothbrush. If you aren’t sure about it, talk to your dentist, but there are legitimate reasons why an electric toothbrush offers some distinct pluses. Its bristles can vibrate, oscillate and rotate and can exert the appropriate level of pressure on the teeth – not too hard, not too soft. Electric toothbrushes also clean gums and other hard to reach areas of the mouth. A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. After three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent.
An electric toothbrush may have other useful features, such as a built-in timer to indicate how long you have brushed. Some will even notify you when the charge is low or if the brush head needs to be replaced.
Like any other toothbrush, your electric toothbrush must be kept clean and maintained properly in order for it to function, as it should. The more you know about caring for your electric toothbrush, the better job it will do in caring for your dental health.
Here are a few tips to follow to keep your electric toothbrush at its very best:
• The head of an electric toothbrush should be changed as often as you would a manual toothbrush. Typically, this is every 3 months depending on the brand and make of the electric toothbrush you are using.
• You should clean the head of the electric toothbrush regularly and wipe down the handle to avoid saliva buildup, which can be a thriving ground for bacteria.
• You should change the brush head after any illness to avoid an infection due to bacteria.
• It is not necessary to use a UV light sanitizer or any other special sanitizer to clean your electric toothbrush. Normal cleaning will suffice.
• If you travel with your toothbrush, keep it covered on the road.
• Don’t store your toothbrush in a holder at home – the perpetually moist environment can promote bacteria growth.
• Store your toothbrush upright in a cup or a toothbrush holder that allows it to dry.
• As with a manual toothbrush, you shouldn’t share your electric toothbrush heads with anyone.
• Check the manual included with your electric toothbrush to see how often you should charge it. Some (but not all) electric toothbrush batteries last longer if you let them drain fully before recharging.
While using an electric toothbrush, you should follow the traditional best practices of brushing twice daily, not exerting too much pressure on your teeth or gums and brushing at least 2 minutes gently to ensure proper cleaning.