With a warm smile, Dr. Abbey LaManna is focused on keeping your teeth healthy and providing a positive and relaxing dental experience at Lakeshore Family Dentistry in Glendale.
Dear Dr. Abbey, DDS --
Q: Which is better to use, an electric or manual toothbrush?
A: Electric wins, and here’s why: It quickly covers more area and reaches spots that might otherwise be missed.
Because studies show that the average time people spend brushing their teeth is only about forty-seven seconds, one time per day -- about a quarter of the time that is actually needed to do the job well -- it’s important to have the right tool to make up for lost time.
As someone who has examined thousands of smiles, the difference of using an electric over a manual toothbrush is noticeable. People who go electric tend to have better check ups, whiter teeth and healthier gums.
Here are eight reasons why I tell all of my patients to use an electric toothbrush:
1. More movement per minute. Leading electric toothbrush brands create six to eight times more movement per minute with an electric brush versus a manual one. In about a minute, you’ll cover 30,000-48,000 strokes per minute with electric while only 300-600 strokes in the same time by hand brushing. You’ll be ahead of the game simply for the number of strokes covered per minute.
2. Mimics professional cleaning. An electric rotating toothbrush head is similar to the instrument used by hygienists when cleaning plaque off of teeth. As far as plaque is concerned, the sooner it’s off, the better. If you use n electric toothbrush regularly, you’ll have cleaner teeth. Ultimately, your professional cleaning appointment will go quicker, because you’ll have a healthier check up too.
3. Improves oral health. An electric toothbrush’s slim, angled neck and contour-fit bristles get deep between teeth and along the gum line. Improving gum health reduces gingivitis, or inflammation, and lessens the chance of bleeding gums.
4. Easier for folks with physical limitations. Those with limited ability to move their shoulders, arms or hands due arthritis or ALS, and have difficulty brushing will find an electric toothbrush easier to use. It’s also a great tool for care providers who want to keep their patient’s mouth healthy.
5. Removes sugar bugs and stains. For children, they do a great job of removing the sugar bugs from sticky foods that make their way into the pits and grooves of their teeth. Although not a complete solution to whitening, adults using one will find an electric toothbrush also helps blast away stains from beverages that are prone to staining teeth like coffee and wine.
6. Keeps track of brush time. Many electric toothbrushes are designed to help you monitor the proper length of brushing with a built-in timer to clock the required two minutes needed for adequate brushing. Some even have a cycle that beeps every 30 seconds to remind you when it’s time to move from the top to the bottom of your teeth, as well as when to move from inside to outside. During this time, your electric toothbrush may give you a signal if you are brushing too hard, or too softly.
7. Safer for sensitive teeth. Electric toothbrushes are safe to use for special dental cases, such as those who have orthodontics, dental work, and veneers or implant materials. There are various brush heads available that match a person’s dental needs, including one that works specifically for braces to get in between the wire brackets. Almost all electric toothbrushes have a digital reminder to tell you when it's time to replace your brush head. Usually, this happens around every three months.
8. Kids love them. Electric toothbrushes make brushing fun for children, who find the beeps, or music that comes with them, as an added treat. Your child may even tell you that it tickles their mouth as they get used to the vibration of the handle. If that’s not a sensation they like, simply use a softer setting for the first dozen brushes, and gradually build up to full power.
No toothbrush, electric or manual, is good unless you use it. Make sure the toothbrush head is in good condition, and replace it if bristles are no longer straight and firm.
Also, if you are coming off a cold, remember to replace your toothbrush head as it might be harboring virus or bacteria that your body is fighting.
Finally, be mindful that any teeth that you’d like to keep, you should floss on a regular basis!
Dr. Abbey LaManna, DDS, welcomes all ages in her comfortable, private Lakeshore Family Dentistry office. It is located in Glendale and is also conveniently located near Whitefish Bay, Fox Point, River Hills and Bayside. Her goal is to keep your teeth healthy and provide a positive and relaxing dental experience. You can find out more at: lakeshore-familydentistry.com