Electric Toothbrushes

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An electric toothbrush is a fairly recent innovation in dental technology which makes use of electric power to move the head of the brush in an oscillating pattern. They are also sometimes called 'rotary' toothbrushes. Most dentists agree that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for around two minutes. Since most people don't come anywhere near close to this time when brushing, some common advice is to use a stopwatch to get a feel for the times involved.

It is important to use short, gentle strokes as brushing over zealously can lead to a range of dental issues. Make sure you pay special attention to the back of your teeth and other hard to reach places. If you have any dental restorations, you will need to take care of them in the same way you would your natural teeth. It is recommended that you brush in four stages; the outer surfaces of the upper teeth, the outer surfaces of the lower teeth then the inner surfaces of both. It is also advised that you floss and clean your tongue, which can help to combat bad breath.

Regular brushing with your electric toothbrush can help to prevent problems such as plaque. A sticky film which forms in and around your teeth, plaque is made up of many microorganisms and bacteria. It can form in several locations both above and below the gum line and if it is not treated can often harden into tartar. Tartar gives the bacteria in plaque an ideal breeding ground, increasing the rate at which stains form and causing several problems with your teeth. If left untreated, tartar can often lead to the loss of teeth.

History of the Electric Toothbrush

The first electric toothbrush was invented in Switzerland in 1954 by Dr Philippe-Guy Woog. Although products which were called 'electric toothbrushes' before this, they didn't work in the way that modern electric toothbrushes work. Electric toothbrushes were originally intended to help patients who didn't have sufficient motor skills to brush manually and for patients who were having orthodontic treatment.

Benefits of using an Electric Toothbrush

For a long time, electric toothbrushes were thought to be much better than manual brushing, as they left the user less room to make mistakes. However, recently conducted research into the effectiveness of the electric toothbrush has found that most models available for purchase aren't any more effective than manual brushing. Models which use a 'rotation oscillation' design were found to be marginally more effective than manual brushing but it seems to indicate that how you brush is much more important than the type of brush used. Most dentists would agree that electric toothbrushes are still an ideal aid for patients with limited dexterity or those who have difficulty reaching the rear teeth.

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