In the marketplace today the average customer is bombarded with commercials, online and print Ads along with all other forms of media about how they should brush their teeth! And it is big business. The numbers themselves show that if everyone was doing what they were supposed to do, each member of every household would have a toothbrush that they used 2x a day and replaced every 3 months (now we do know that everyone doesn’t follow the rules but you get what I’m saying, a lot of toothbrushes are sold!) So which one is right for you!? And does it change if you are in orthodontics treatment? The short answer is no. However, will depend on different factors: your budget, your dexterity, and mainly your habits.
The electric toothbrush: This will be the most pricey but has the advantage of “doing more of the work” for you. Meaning you simply turn the brush on and let it work. Another advantage I have seen with some of these electric toothbrushes is they can have timers on them to remind us that when brushing our teeth 2 minutes can feel like 10! So if you are the type that rushes through your brushing this might be a good built-in mechanism to get your time up. People with limited dexterity might also find the electric toothbrush to be more effective to reach and clean all areas of the mouth. In terms of your habits we have found that if a patient has a hard time getting in the habit of brushing their teeth, the sensation of the electric toothbrush can be more enjoyable and leave the patient with a better feeling when finished and thus will be more likely to build the habit of brushing more.
Manual Toothbrush: This is going to be the more economical route and convince patients can buy in bulk to help them remember to replace them at month 3. There are now companies, which are reasonably priced, and will send you a new brush every 2-3 months reminding you to throw away your current one and replace it. The manual toothbrush has all the capabilities of the electric however takes more thoughtful work by the patient. The technique is more sensitive and making sure you have the dexterity to accomplish cleaning in all areas is important.
So which one do I use with Orthodontic treatment!? In short, as long as you use the methods and techniques we teach you at Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics either type can bring you great results. If you are wearing braces we do remind you that this increases the surface area where plaque, food, and debris can get lodged and that it is crucial to maintain great oral hygiene. I personally recommend what I use, an electric toothbrush, just because it is a bit more consistent and I find that the toothbrush doing some of the work can increase efficiency. The great news is because the industry is so big we can now get these electric toothbrushes for great prices, as low as $10. Next time you’re at your orthodontist’s office make sure to ask them what they recommend, and if you can’t get an answer maybe just ask them what they use!
Should I get a waterpik?!! Check out my next blog post where I discuss the supplemental products you can use with your orthodontic care.