Manual toothbrushes have been king of the toothbrush kingdom since 1938. That’s when the first toothbrush to use nylon for bristles instead of hog’s hair was introduced. It was called “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.” We’re still using manual toothbrushes today, so they did something right. But now Philips Sonicare toothbrushes are threatening to take the toothbrush throne.
Electric toothbrushes like the Sonicare are so easy to use that they can get anyone into good brushing habits, and kids have even said that they’re fun. Seriously. But is a cooler toothbrush worth the money?
(Spoiler alert: Yes.)
What’s wrong with the old fashioned way? Well, nothing! Manual toothbrushes are effective … if used correctly. But the truth is that most of us do it wrong, and how you brush is more important that what you brush with. Sonicare toothbrushes just make how you brush a whole lot easier. Kids will still need to practice proper brushing technique, but won’t have to worry about the finer details that even parents get wrong.
Listen to your dentist (as always)! If your dentist is bugging you about bleeding gums at every appointment, you should probably try something new. If your dentist showers you with praise, then keep doing what you’re doing. Dentists know what they’re talking about.
If you aren’t using your manual toothbrush correctly, then plaque is partying at all the spots you missed. Plaque is bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease if it’s not brushed away. Sonicare cleans hard-to-reach places, between teeth and below the gum line. That means sneaky plaque can’t throw anymore parties.
Sonicare toothbrushes are also great for fighting gum disease. In addition to effectively cleaning along the gum line, they can help prevent gum recession and reverse gingivitis. And since gingivitis and gum disease are linked to heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer, it is important to reduce your risk for those nasty problems.
You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes if you want a good cleaning, but that can seem like a lifetime before bed. And sometimes actually be a lifetime if you space out while brushing your teeth. Sonicare toothbrushes have a timer that lets you know when to brush a new area of your mouth and when it’s been two minutes. It’s a wonderful feature for all ages, but especially for helping kids establish good habits.
You can’t lose in this battle between man and machine. If your teeth are earning rave reviews from your dentist with a manual toothbrush, keep doing your thing. But if you need to step it up, try a Sonicare toothbrush. Kids and parents could both use some help brushing their teeth.
If you’re looking for electric toothbrush recommendations or in need of a dentist, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.