August 20, 2018
Health & Fitness
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Should I Use An Electric Or A Manual Toothbrush?

Dr. Jeffrey Cranska
Dr. Jeffrey Cranska's picture
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May 3, 2018

Dentistry and modern science have not yielded a cure for tooth decay. The most common disease facing mankind, tooth decay is caused by our bodies’ reaction to what we eat.

Today’s dental mission statement should not focus on just reacting to problems; instead, the effort should be in curing the disease. Brushing, fluoride and sealants only address the existing problem.

Q: What is the history of the toothbrush?

A: Boar bristle brushes go back to ancient China. French dentists in the 17th century brought the idea to Europe. William Addis developed a bone and pig bristle brush in 1780 England, which led to mass-produced toothbrushes. DuPont developed nylon bristles in 1938, and soon there was Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush in the United States.

After returning from World War II, American soldiers were ordered to brush their teeth daily. The first electric brush in the United States was the Broxodent in 1960. The first rotary brush, the Interplak, was introduced in 1987.

Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?

A: You want a brush that fits the size and shape of your mouth. The brush should be durable and have soft nylon bristles.

Q: Should the toothbrush be electric or manual?

A: Electric toothbrushes are not more effective than manual toothbrushes as long as you brush your teeth thoroughly for two minutes, twice a day.

Electric toothbrushes are battery-operated and clean teeth using a bristle head that moves.

Both types of brushes are effective at cleaning teeth, but people with arthritis and dexterity limitations, among others who have difficulty getting proper results with a manual brush, may find electric toothbrushes easier and more effective.

One isn’t better than the other. Each person needs to find what works for him or her. For children who do not want to brush or have difficulty brushing with a manual brush, an electric brush may be a better alternative.

A timer helps ensure use. Children can be one of the biggest beneficiaries of electric toothbrushes because they brush but don’t get all of the food buildup and plaque removed. Those with braces are especially susceptible to this happening.

These motor brushes help patients get their mouths as clean as possible.

The American Dental Association states that both manual and electric toothbrushes can be equally effective at fighting plaque and gum disease.

This year, the Oral-B oscillating-rotating-pulsating power toothbrushes became the first powered toothbrushes to earn the ADA seal of acceptance.

Dental diseases are not completely preventable. No vaccine is available to prevent these common diseases. Without a cure, utilize the modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.


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