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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mum was right: good oral hygiene is seriously important. We all know it’s paramount to tooth and gum health to brush morning and night, floss each day, and schedule regular trips to the dentist. But how you clean your teeth is just as important as how often.
If you’re still on an elbow-powered manual toothbrush, welcome to the 21st century! If you’ve been using the same electric for years, chances are the tech has developed exponentially to deliver healthier, shinier results. And all at a fraction of the cost of a dental bill.
“Three words: better dental health. According to a study cited by dentalhealth.org, electric is the way to go. Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of England’s Oral Health Foundation, says, “Health experts have been speaking about the benefits of electric toothbrushes for many years. This latest piece of evidence is one of the strongest and clearest yet – electric toothbrushes are better for our oral health."
“Electric toothbrushes, especially those with heads that rotate in both directions, or 'oscillating' heads, are really effective at removing plaque. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.”
Like it says on the tin, a couple of AAs is all it will take to keep your electric toothbrush humming along nicely. With twice daily use, they should last between four to six weeks. Battery-powered electric toothbrushes can be handy for travelling if you don’t want to be bothered carrying around yet another charger.
Just like a phone, they feature a charging station or cable, which tops up an internal lithium battery. Don’t stress if you forget to recharge for a few days as you should get – at the very least – a couple of weeks of optimum performance on a full charge. Recharging daily will see that battery last up to five years, but if you want to squeeze extra life out of it, let it run down fully every six months and recharge. Most rechargeable models also feature a red light display somewhere on the handle, which indicates that a power top up is required.
Although flossing is an established part of dental care – especially when it comes to gum health – the traditional ribbons and tapes can be unwieldy. That’s where air flossers come in. Used with water or mouthwash, they use compressed air to deliver a stream to teeth and the area between them to dislodge the debris and plaque that can cause problems down the track. And the stats are pretty impressive. We’re talking up to 99.99 per cent plaque removal in treated areas in a process that takes only a minute for a whole mouth clean.
The head simply vibrates to help dislodge plaque.
Meaning the brush heads move from side to side up to 8800 times a minute as an additional way to remove plaque.
The brush heads move in a circular motion.
Side to side and up and down movements are combined.
Just as manual toothbrushes need to be replaced through wear and tear over months of use, look for an electric toothbrush that allows you to do the same. Packs of three to six replacement heads will keep you going for a while, just replace the heads every three months. One of the newer developments in this area are heads featuring brushes with differing lengths to provide what is known as cross action, which adds a new cleaning dimension to the motion of the motor.
One of the key frustrations of dentists – aside from where to moor their second boat – is that while people are conscientious about brushing, they often don’t do it for long enough. Never fear, however, many of the latest generation come with a handy smartphone app, which guides you around your mouth, ensuring you spend the correct amount of time in each zone. Clever.
For a generation raised on manual toothbrushes, it can be tough to get to grips – see what we did there – with the efficiency and power of electric toothbrushes. Instead of simply letting the brush do the work, users sometimes apply too much on their teeth and gums, inadvertently causing damage in the moment and over time. To prevent this, leading brands now include pressure sensors, which alert you when you’re pressing too hard. It usually takes the form of a light somewhere on the handle, which illuminates when you need to ease off a touch.
Depending on the model you opt for, most electric toothbrushes require 14 to 22 hours to fully charge their lithium ion batteries from scratch. That said, you should be able to get five days to two weeks use out of them – brushing twice a day for two minutes each time.
“Health experts have been speaking about the benefits of electric toothbrushes for many years. This latest piece of evidence is one of the strongest and clearest yet – electric toothbrushes are better for our oral health. Electric toothbrushes, especially those with heads that rotate in both directions, or 'oscillating' heads, are really effective at removing plaque. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.” Says Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of England’s Oral Health Foundation
There is so much going on here. From multiple modes (such as specialised gum health or deep clean) and alerts that it’s time to change your brush head, to automatically syncing the brushing mode to the type of brush head being used, the tech is becoming more intuitive every year.
When braces or retainers are in the picture, an electric toothbrush can be highly effective at reaching any nooks and crevices. It’s important though that kids are taught not to press too hard and work with the motion sensors, as the last thing you want is costly repairs to the orthodontics. There are also smaller heads designed specifically for little mouths to facilitate all-over cleaning.
If you’ve reached the implant or crown stage of life, congratulations (and commiserations for your bank account)! That said, electric toothbrushes can be useful on these, but it’s always wise to double check with your dentist beforehand.
When a generation is set in their ways and grew up with manual toothbrushes, it can be tough to make the switch to electric. But they can be a huge help if your mobility is restricted and you have trouble moving the brush on your own. It does the work for you. What’s more, electric toothbrushes are an effective way to clean dentures without being too abrasive, especially if you select a low intensity or gentle mode.
Once you get to the top-end of electric toothbrushes, you’ll find that many come with a sleek carry case to protect the components and brush head during travel. Another handy gadget is a smart phone holder you can affix to the bathroom mirror. This allows you to consult the app, which accompanies the brush with ease.
With regular cleaning and charging, an electric toothbrush should last around five years, with the majority of manufacturers offering a two-year warranty.
Buying an electric toothbrush used to be an expensive endeavour. There are still fancier models can still run at more premium prices but now we have more options—including lower-priced toothbrushes to fit more budgets.
Visit The Good Guys in-store or online for a huge range of electric toothbrushes at every budget.
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