Should I use an electric tooth brush or a manual toothbrush?
This is a question we get asked a lot in surgery. And the honest answer is it doesn’t really matter! It’s all about how you use it. I, for example, have only ever used a manual toothbrush, and in all honestly, very rarely floss or use interdental brushes (ssshhh, don’t tell Aditi!), but I have no fillings and have only ever recorded a score of 0 on my basic perio exam (which is the score we are aiming for, for everyone!).
However, we have patients who do everything they can be and still end up needing fillings and regular perio treatments, and they can be using an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush is great because it does most of the work for you. All you need to do is slowly move it across your teeth, and it does all of the main movement for you. But you don’t direct it where to go, then you will miss areas, and all that electric goodness won’t be doing any good anyway.
They’re great if you have dexterity problems though. We highly recommend them for people who struggle to grip a manual toothbrush as the electric ones are usually thicker in their body, and you don’t have to move them around as much as you would scrubbing with a manual.
But the moral of the story is as long as you are thorough and get to all surfaces of your teeth, then it doesn’t matter what you brush with. Brush for 2 minutes a day, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste and get some floss or an interdental brush in between all of your teeth, and you should be absolutely fine.
Just watch out for commonly missed areas; behind your lower front teeth, the sides of your back teeth, the gum line, and the point where you change the direction of the toothbrush when going from left to right.
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