Brush Up on Modern Toothbrushes

Is a manual toothbrush as good as an electric toothbrush?

Good, old-fashioned brushing, without batteries, can be as effective as using an electric toothbrush if you use proper technique and brush long enough. Most people, however, don’t brush effectively or for the full two minutes that dentists recommend. A power toothbrush provides thousands of brush strokes per minute, and people tend to brush longer with an power toothbrush than with a manual one.  Many people tend to press too hard with their manual brush and use big head sizes and firm bristles.  For these reasons manual brushing can be more traumatic to the oral tissues than power brushes.

What’s the difference between an electric and a sonic toothbrush?

Most electric toothbrushes produce 3,000 to 7,500 rotations per minute, while a sonic brush can scrub 30-40,000 times per minute. However, the cleanliness of your teeth depends on how thoroughly you brush, not how many strokes you use.  Some people have thin, fragile tissue that can actually be damaged by aggressive brushing technique.  Dr. Kania will evaluate your needs and recommend the best brush for you. 

If I use a sonic toothbrush, do I have to floss?

Absolutely. Brushing cannot replace flossing. If you’re not fond of flossing, try a handheld flosser. These gadgets have a small length of floss stretched over two prongs. Simply hold the handle and move the floss between teeth, up and down, side to side. Flossing removes plaque and hardened plaque (an insoluble substance called tartar or calculus) from between teeth.

Does Dr. Kania recommend an electric or sonic toothbrush over a manual brush?

If Dr. Kania is concerned about the effectiveness of your brushing, at your prophylaxis appointment, she will suggest ways to improve your technique. Good, thorough, daily brushing and flossing will reduce your risk for gum disease, bad breath (halitosis), and cavities. Dr. Kania is a San Diego area periodontist, so if you need treatment for gingivitis, gum disease, or periodontitis, call (760) 642-0711 to schedule your visit in her Encinitas, CA office today.