In this article I will discuss why we need to brush our teeth and why it is better to use an electric toothbrush than a regular toothbrush. I will discuss the features that are important for an electric toothbrush to have and the features that are just gimmicks designed to further lighten your wallet. I hope that once you have read this article you will agree with me that the best electric toothbrush to buy is the Oral B Professional 1000.
Quick Summary of the Oral B Professional 1000
Value for Money:
Built-in 2 Minute Timer:
Fits all Oral B Brush Heads:
Best price: $29.97 on amazon.com
Why you need to brush your teeth
We all know that we need to brush our teeth, but many people don’t know why. A lot of people think that the purpose of brushing their teeth is to remove food particles, but that isn’t correct. The purpose of brushing is to remove the plaque.
Plaque is the white creamy stuff that accumulates around the gum line if the teeth haven’t been brushed for a day or two. The plaque is filled with bacteria and these bacteria are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria in plaque cause tooth decay by consuming sugar in the diet and converting it into acid. It is this acid that actually causes the dental cavities.
Tooth decay is the most common cause of people losing their teeth.
The bacteria in the plaque also cause gum disease. The bacteria cause an inflammatory reaction in the gum which for most people results in gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that is restricted to the gums only. Apart from possible bad breath and swollen and bleeding gums gingivitis is not that serious.
About 1 in 5 people with untreated gingivitis will develop a more serious condition called periodontal disease where all the tissues around the tooth including the bone are affected. If periodontal disease is left untreated the bone is gradually eaten away from around the tooth and the tooth can become wobbly and may end up needing to be extracted.
Periodontal disease is the second most common cause of people losing their teeth.
So if you don’t want to lose your teeth to tooth decay or gum disease, you need to brush your teeth regularly to get the plaque off.
Ideally you will also clean between your teeth with floss or other device for cleaning between the teeth such as a Waterpik to make sure that there is no plaque left where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Electric toothbrushes do a better job of removing plaque than regular toothbrushes
More and more studies are showing that electric toothbrushes remove more plaque than normal toothbrushes do. Because they produce strong vibrations when operating they also remove a lot of plaque between the teeth where the bristles don’t actually touch.
A normal toothbrush hardly removes any plaque between teeth.
I can usually tell if somebody doesn’t floss regularly, because they will bleed very easily from the gum area between their teeth when I check their gum health with a probe.That’s if they use a normal toothbrush.
If they use an electric toothbrush they usually don’t bleed at all. Not only that, but they tend to get far less decay between their teeth. That’s because an electric toothbrush does a great job of removing plaque.
Don’t get me wrong, It’s possible to brush very well with a manual toothbrush. The proper toothbrushing method is to position the toothbrush bristles on the teeth at a 45 degree angle to the gum line and to make very small circular movements to get the plaque off at the level of the gum without damaging the gum and enamel.
However, most people don’t do this correctly even if they try and usually end up scrubbing horizontally which tends to wear away the gum and the enamel and misses a lot of the plaque at the gum line.
An electric toothbrush is easy to use because you just have to hold it against the teeth.
Be honest, do you spend a full 2 minutes brushing? Most people using a regular toothbrush will stop around the 45 second mark and they don’t spend enough time on their back teeth.
Because electric toothbrushes usually have a timer that alerts you every 30 seconds that you have spent enough time on one quadrant of teeth, it makes it easy to properly clean ALL the teeth, not just the back ones. The small heads on the electric toothbrush help with accessing the back teeth as well.
A lot of people use too hard a toothbrush or brush too hard. This can cause the gum to be worn away from the base of the tooth and the enamel to be worn there as well. This may lead to very sensitive teeth. This looks unattractive as well because the yellow tooth root starts to show through and can be seen when you smile. If you have crowns that have their margins hidden at or just below the gum line, when the gum recedes from excessively hard toothbrushing the margins will show and this will not look good either.
Most electric toothbrushes now have pressure sensors that stop the brush from pushing into the tooth and gum too hard when too much pressure is applied. This prevents wear of the enamel and gum.
Electric toothbrushes save money on dental bills
Using an electric toothbrush is more expensive than a regular toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will probably cost you about $40 a year assuming you replace the brush head every three months and that the electric toothbrush itself will need to be replaced after three years (conservative estimate).
If you use a manual toothbrush you will likely only pay about $10 a year assuming you replace it every three months. So you can expect to pay about $30 more a year if you switch to an electric toothbrush.
However because people who use electric toothbrushes tend to get a lot less decay and don’t need professional cleans so often, they save money on their dental expenses over all. Keep in mind that the dentist will charge anywhere from $100 to $300 to fix a cavity and a professional clean will set you back about $75.
Would you agree that spending $30 more a year on your toothbrush could end up saving you a lot of money if it resulted in needing less dental treatment at the dentist?
Not only may you spend less at the dentist, but you are much more likely to avoid uncomfortable dental treatment and lost days at work.
Most people don’t floss
Everyone should floss or use some other tool that cleans between teeth like a Waterpik to remove the plaque between the teeth. However, I would say that only about 10% of people actually floss daily. Therefore, if like most people, you don’t floss, I strongly recommend using an electric toothbrush to mitigate this lack of proper cleaning between the teeth.
What’s with all the different types of electric toothbrushes?
All you need from an electric toothbrush is a constant high rotation speed, to be rechargeable so that the brush head speed doesn’t fade off from having a flat battery, a timer to let you know that you have brushed for the full 2 minutes, and a pressure sensor to prevent gum wear.
The Oral B Professional 1000 has all those features and is one of the least expensive electric toothbrushes on the market.
The expensive electric toothbrushes do all this too, but also have features that cost you a lot more money and are just gimmicks.
You can pay a lot of money for a toothbrush that syncs via bluetooth to your phone and tells you how long you have brushed for or if you are brushing too hard. You will not gain any new information from this though because the inexpensive electric toothbrushes including the Oral B Professional 1000 already alert you when you have brushed the required 2 minutes and will also let you know if you are pushing too hard while brushing.
So what’s the point in having all the information delivered to your phone? It may look cool and high tech, but it is not going to help you brush your teeth any better. And do you really want to have to take your phone into the bathroom every time you need to brush your teeth?
Don’t pay hundreds of dollars for gimmicks!
Which brush head should I use on the Oral B Professional 1000?
There are nine Oral B brush heads you can use with the Oral B Professional 1000. The CrossAction brush head is the one I recommend for most people and comes free when you buy the Oral B Professional 1000. A lot of good research has gone into the Oral B CrossAction brush head. The angulation of the bristles allows them to reach deeper between the teeth than a conventional design.
The other eight types of Oral B brush heads are not really necessary, but you may want to try them in some situations. For example, the Ortho brush head is designed to be used around braces and the PowerTip brush head is designed to be used around bridge work. If you have sensitive teeth, then you may consider using the Sensitive brush head.
Just to make it very clear, the electric toothbrush I recommend is the Oral B Professional 1000.
It’s the best electric toothbrush because It is inexpensive, has a timer and pressure sensor, is rechargeable and all the different Oral B brush heads can be used with it. Oral B is a good brand that has been around for a long time and the Oral B Professional 1000 even comes with a 2 year warranty.
You won’t get a better clean with the more expensive electric toothbrushes!