Streatham dentist, Dr Rohit Kumar, asks if an electric toothbrush should be standard equipment in every bathroom.
When the electric toothbrush first came out, they were seen by some as a passing gimmick, and a rather ‘space age’ looking one at that. They are now more widely accepted though and this type of toothbrush is now widely used, although manual toothbrushes have by no means disappeared altogether.
With Christmas not too far away, it is quite likely that an electric toothbrush will be on a lot of shopping lists.
For patients of the Confidental Clinic in Streatham who don’t currently use one and haven’t got one on their Christmas list yet, we look at why you should consider doing so.
First of all, we probably shouldn’t have to say it but brushing is the single most important thing that you need to do to keep your teeth healthy. Despite this, not only do too many people just give their teeth a quick brush, but also often use old and worn out brushes. This method might leave your breath smelling OK (at least until gum disease takes hold), but it won’t clean the teeth of all the sugars, acids and bacteria that are so damaging to your tooth enamel.
Whilst a good quality and relatively new manual brush used for at least 2 minutes twice a day will do a reasonably good job, most dentists and hygienists now agree that an electric toothbrush is more efficient at removing unwanted bacteria and food debris from the tooth surface and gum line.
Although some people don’t brush their teeth well enough, others are so keen to keep their teeth healthy and looking good that they apply too much pressure when brushing them. Over time, this can lead to gum recession and enamel wear which is likely to increase tooth sensitivity and heighten the risk of tooth decay. This may mean that the affected teeth will need to be restored, sometimes using porcelain dental veneers to replace the damaged surface of the teeth. Using an electric toothbrush removes the need to apply pressure of this kind as the fast rotating bristles do a lot of the physical work, removing residues efficiently without the use of excessive force.
While everyone can benefit from using an electric toothbrush because of the above, there are certain groups for who they might be especially useful.
Older patients and those with physical limitations