Every day, more people quit smoking, join a gym or start eating healthier. And although it’s important to be conscious of the type of food you consume, you shouldn’t overlook the beverages you drink as well. Not only are some loaded with hidden calories, but they do a number on your oral health. What is the worst drink for your teeth, though? There’s isn’t one that tops the list. Here are five beverages to avoid and why.
There used to be an commercial jingle that told you to “have a” certain soda “and a smile.” Unfortunately, showing your teeth is the last thing you’d want to do having had enough of it. The acids and sugar byproducts in soda heighten your risk of cavities by softening the teeth’s protective enamel.
What Do Sugary Drinks Do to Teeth?
It’s widely known that regular consumption of sugary beverages is not good for you, but even the occasional indulgence can have negative effects on your oral health. When you have one of these drinks, the sugar latches on to your teeth. Bacteria that are normally found inside your mouth eat away at the sugar these drinks leave behind. However, as the bacteria consumes the sugar, it begins to produce acid. Eventually, the acid begins to eat away some of the enamel on your teeth. This makes the teeth thinner and weaker. As the enamel weakens, the likelihood of developing cavities becomes greater. Sugary drinks are known as one of the most common dietary causes of tooth decay.
A morning cup of coffee is a daily routine for millions of people. However, coffee’s natural brown color can turn your teeth an ugly yellow by revealing the dentin beneath your enamel. Sugar is a popular additive to coffee, too, and can increase one’s risk of cavities in the same way as soda.
Not a fan of coffee? A soothing cup of tea gets you going each morning, and its antioxidants can do wonders for your body’s defense against oral cancer. Choose your flavor wisely, though; black tea and darker blends can stain your teeth in a similar manner as coffee.
Whether you prefer a nice glass of wine, cracking open a six-pack or your favorite liquor on the rocks, the strength of most alcoholic drinks can wear down enamel, as well. Its sugar content can also contribute to periodontal disease, whereas red wines – despite their antioxidants – leave particularly heavy stains over time.
5. Sports Drinks
After a challenging workout, some people like to replenish their electrolyte stores with a thirst-quenching sport drink. However, the high acid content in these drinks can damage tooth enamel even more than soda.
Not all drinks are bad for you, of course. You need certain liquids to maintain saliva flow and your teeth’s overall strength. Here are some you should never forget:
What to Drink?
Plain old tap water may lack taste, but it also has no sugar or artificial sweeteners that lead to tooth decay. Most towns and cities add fluoride to their water supply, not to mention it’s refreshing on a hot day or after a sweat-soaked workout.
Milk, too, does a body good. It’s also low in sugar and high in calcium, protein and phosphorus – all of which are helpful to building bone in your jaw. Another option if you’re craving something sweet to drink is juice. Although actual fruit is ideal, juices that are sourced 100-percent from fruit juice aren’t bad alternatives, either. Simply consume them in moderation.
What is a Filling?
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When Dr. Jaleel gives you a filling, she first removes the decayed tooth material, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. At the Fairlawn Dental Clinic, we offer composite fillings that are durable and natural-looking.
Steps to a Filling
When you visit Dr. Jaleel to get a filling, you may be given local anesthesia to numb the area if necessary. Next, she will remove decay from the tooth, using a drill. Lasers also can be used to remove decay.
Once all the decay is removed, Dr. Jaleel will shape the space to prepare it for the filling. Different types of fillings require different shaping procedures to make sure they will stay in place. Dr. Jaleel may put in a base or a liner to protect the tooth’s pulp (where the nerves are). The base or liner can be made of composite resin, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, or another material.
After a Filling
Some people feel sensitivity after they receive a filling. The tooth may be sensitive to pressure, air, sweet foods or cold. Composite fillings often cause sensitivity, but other types of filling materials can, too.
The most common reason for pain right after the anesthetic wears off is that the filling is too high. Call your dentist so you can be seen as soon as possible to reduce the height of the filling.
The second type of discomfort is a very sharp shock that appears only when your teeth touch. This is called galvanic shock. It is caused by two metals (one in the newly filled tooth and one in the tooth it’s touching) producing an electric current in your mouth. This would happen, for example, if you had a new amalgam filling in a bottom tooth and had a gold crown in the tooth above it.
In most other cases, the sensitivity will decrease over one to two weeks. Until then, try to avoid anything that causes it. If your tooth is extremely sensitive or your sensitivity does not decrease after two weeks, contact your dentist’s office.
It’s important to let Dr. Jaleel know about any sensitivity you are feeling. The next time you need a filling, he or she may be able to use a different material and make changes to reduce sensitivity. People vary in their response to different materials. Your dentist has no way of predicting if your tooth will react to a particular material.
When you talk to Dr, Jaleel about the sensitivity, try to describe it as precisely as possible. This information will help decide what should be done next. Dr. Jaleel may take out the filling and put in a new one. She may add a base, liner or desensitizing agent on the tooth as well. If the filling was very deep, you could need a root canal treatment to solve the problem.
Dr. Jaleel will polish the filling after it is placed, but occasionally sharp edges may remain. You can’t detect this at first because of the anesthesia. If you find one, contact Dr. Jaeel and arrange to have it smoothed as soon as possible to avoid injury to your tongue or mouth.
You may receive a temporary filling (usually white, off-white or gray) if:
- Your treatment requires more than one appointment.
- Your dentist wants to wait a short period of time for the tooth to heal.
- You have a deep cavity and the pulp (containing the nerve and blood vessels) becomes exposed during treatment.
- You need emergency dental treatment.
A temporary filling may make your tooth feel better. This is because the filling seals the tooth, protecting the pulp from bacteria and reducing sensitivity.
Temporary fillings often contain eugenol, an ingredient in over-the-counter toothache remedies. Eugenol is also a component of oil of cloves, which people use for toothache pain.
Temporary fillings are not meant to last. Usually, they fall out, fracture or wear out within a month or two. If you get a temporary filling, make sure you visit your dentist to get a permanent one. If you don’t, your tooth could become infected or you could have other problems.
All orthodontic patients must know how to clean braces, regardless of age. Orthodontic care is a serious investment of a family’s time and finances. By learning about proper orthodontic home care in advance, patients will be prepared for the time commitment necessary to maintain oral health during and following orthodontic care.
What Gets Caught around Braces
Each type of orthodontic hardware, including wires, bands, brackets, expanders, springs, elastics and screws, poses its own unique challenges for the patient when it comes to cleaning. All this hardware provides additional surfaces for food debris, plaque biofilm and acids to adhere and collect in these areas of the mouth that are very difficult to clean.
The tiny germs first find an effective place to hide around orthodontic hardware and between teeth, growing into larger colonies of plaque biofilm. As readily available food particles are digested by the germ colonies, the plaque biofilm masses process the food debris. Acid is the by-product of this germ digestion process. These acids etch around the brackets and bands, creating the white chalky orthodontic spots often shown to patients before they pursue braces. The good news is that these spots can be prevented if a patient is taught how to clean braces properly.
Cleaning Braces at Home
The proper removal of food debris, biofilm and acids from around the braces will protect the teeth and gums from being affected by oral care diseases. Patients must be reminded before the placement of orthodontics that a higher level of at-home care will help decrease the incidence of tooth decay. Specialized equipment is recommended for cleaning teeth with braces. The standard tools for cleaning braces at home include a high-quality toothbrush, floss/interdental cleaners and an at-home oral irrigation system.
Toothbrushing: Whether manual or electric, a toothbrush with soft bristles and a compact head is best for cleaning teeth with braces. Always remember to remove elastics before brushing so hooks and wires are not disturbed.
The following are some toothbrushing instructions to assist you in cleaning your braces:
1. The toothbrush should be held at a 45-degree angle at the gum line and brushed back and forth and then swept toward the biting surface of the teeth.
2. Brush the top and bottom surfaces of the brackets to remove plaque and food debris as well as the front of the bracket and wires. It may be beneficial to physically hold back the lip with one hand and brush the bracket areas.
Fluoride Treatment and Germ Killers
Although topical fluoride is very important to use regardless of whether you have braces, fluoride becomes even more important during and immediately following orthodontic care. Since braces make teeth tougher to clean, the risk for tooth decay increases with braces. A fluoride rinse can decrease this risk.
The delight of having your braces taken off to reveal a beautiful smile can often be overshadowed by a diagnosis of cavities throughout the mouth, but these cavities can be prevented. Don’t let them happen to you! By learning how to clean braces effectively before their placement, both patients and parents can be proud of a newly aligned smile.
Every parent gets hit with a few dreaded questions at some point while raising a child; “Is the Tooth Fairy real?” is one of them. Sometimes the question pops up once children start to question Santa Claus. Suspicions about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy usually quickly ensue, but sometimes the Tooth Fairy is called out separately and even early on. Dr. Jaleel has been asked this plenty of times by anxious parents. Here is what you should do if your child begins to have doubts.
Consider What They Are Really Asking
Are they looking for the truth or for reassurance to keep believing? A good way in which to determine this is to ask questions such as, “Why do you ask?” and “What do you think?” Then ask how they feel about their responses. If it seems as though they are ready for the truth, give it to them. However, if they appear to be hoping to hold on to the story a bit longer, keep it going by simply explaining, “Well, I absolutely believe in the magic of the Tooth Fairy!”
Also, consider their age. A preschooler telling other children in the sandbox that there is no Tooth Fairy is going to cause social issues, as will a child in middle school who still believes. Sometimes it is necessary to gauge your response by the impact that continued belief will have on your child when among peers.
Even if your child is pretty sure they know the truth, confirmation that Mom and Dad are really the Tooth Fairy is still rattling. Explain that it is a tradition that parents and children have been perpetuating for decades. Remind them of how much fun they had carefully putting their tooth under the pillow and excitedly waking up the next morning to find their prize. Tell them that parents do it because they love seeing their child’s joy.
Be Prepared for Their Response
Some children laugh when they find out that their parents are the Tooth Fairy. The thought of parents waiting up and then sneaking into one’s room to take a tooth from under a pillow and to leave a dollar in its place is a bit silly, after all. Other kids cry and grieve an innocent piece of childhood lost. Still others get angry that they were misled.
Once your child finds out the truth, you should determine together how it should be handled going forward. Explain that it is important that the truth be kept secret so that younger siblings or other children who still believe can continue to have fun. The magic does not have to end with “Is the Tooth Fairy real?” Your child may want to keep pretending so that those dollar bills under the pillow keep flowing.
Years ago, letting children eat between meals was frowned upon, but now we’ve learned that kids need to snack. Children should eat every three to four hours to get the energy and nutrients they require. And it’s important they eat right. Snacks should not be high in salt, fat, sugar and caffeine; they should be nutrient-dense and contain at least two different food groups. This may sound easy enough, but Dr. Jaleel knows how difficult it is for parents to prepare healthy food for their children to enjoy. Maybe your kid is a picky eater, maybe you’re too busy to prepare difficult snacks. Either way, your Ottawa dentist has some advice for you.
The best snacks are foods that aren’t sticky and that clear quickly from the mouth. Here is what your kids could eat. Change it up to provide variety so your kids never get bored. Put these into their lunch boxes for them to periodically snack on:
- Whole-grain sandwiches with savoury filling, such as ham, turkey, or chicken
- Bread sticks
- Fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas
- Raw vegetables such as celery and carrots. For something extra special, pair them with hummus
Some food that deserves a permanent time-out are:
- Cereal and marshmallow squares
- Candy apples
- Soft drinks
- fruit rollups
- Chocolate, especially if they contain caramel
- doughnuts and other pastries
Brushing on the go
Even if you send your kids to school with a lunch box brimming with tooth-friendly snacks, they’ll still need to clean their teeth after eating. One tip is to tell your child to rinse his or her mouth vigorously a couple of times, preferably with community-fluoridated water from the tap at school.
A word about vitamin D
Sunlight provides vitamin D, but our northern climate means that we may not get enough of it during the winter. Being in Ottawa, we are all to familiar with the lack of sunlight. The best food source is fortified milk, but other foods (margarine, eggs, chicken livers and oily fish) contain small amounts. Most pediatric multivitamins contain sufficient vitamin D for your child’s needs, but always check with your pediatrician.
Kids and calcium
A well-balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and teeth. Your first choice should be milk and milk products fortified with vitamin D. These don’t have to be the lower-fat kind, unless your child is close to the end of linear growth. Kids need the extra fat for energy and development. If your kid is lactose-intolerant, some great substitutes are: swiss, gouda or cheddar cheese, soy beverages, yogurt, canned sardines or salmon with bones.
Women experience unique and varied hormonal changes at different life stages that may influence their oral health; pregnancy is no exception. During such an exciting and overwhelming time, your oral health may be neglected. Understanding these changes — combined with regular dental examinations and preventive care—is the best way to practise good oral health habits during this time. Today, Dr. Jaleel and the rest of the Ottawa Fairlawn Dental team compile a Q and A for all you need to know about how to take care of your teeth while pregnant.
Why should I tell my dentist I’m pregnant?
The dentist is a patient’s best source of advice on how to achieve and maintain optimal oral health at all times, and especially when a patient is pregnant. It’s important to remember normal pregnancy is not an illness; it’s a temporary condition. Remember, good oral health and habits in the mom are the best first steps in baby’s oral health.
Why are my gums bleeding more?
Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. The most common thing dentists notice in pregnant patients is that their gums can become inflamed and bleed more easily. This is due to changes in mouth bacteria that feed on the extra hormones secreted during pregnancy, and in the overall increase of fluid levels in the body as the pregnancy progresses. Regular professional dental cleanings are an important part of reducing the inflammation that can occur during pregnancy — as well as the patient’s own daily home care. Ask our Ottawa dental team about what type of solutions fit your needs. If you continue to have problems with your gums post-birth, book an appointment and talk to Dr. Jaleel.
At what point in my pregnancy should I schedule a dental exam with my dentist?
The Public Health Agency of Canada suggests scheduling an examination by your Ottawa dentist during the first trimester to have your oral health diagnosed. Sometimes, the six-month routine visit (which included scaling, polishing and a fluoride treatment) may be doubled – every three months instead of every six. Dr. Jaleel wants to ensure you have healthy gums the whole way through my pregnancy.
Should I have a dental X-ray taken while pregnant?
It’s safe to have dental radiographs taken during pregnancy; although, dentists tend to avoid them, except in the
case of a dental emergency. If a patient has an acute infection (such as an abscess), it’s important this be treated promptly. Emergency care during pregnancy is not only safe, it’s also essential. There are certain types of local anesthetics that are avoided during pregnancy, as well as certain prescription pain medication and antibiotics. If you require X-rays, you and your baby will be shielded from the low dose of radiation by a lead apron.
Can vomiting during pregnancy cause problems with my teeth? Will my frequent ‘morning’ sickness have an effect on my enamel or gums?
Stomach acid can damage the surface of your teeth and promote tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water after throwing up and don’t brush your teeth right away, since doing so tends to brush the acids into the teeth. If vomiting is really severe, you can rinse with a neutralizing rinse made by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to room-temperature water and swishing, then spitting it out.
Is it true a woman loses one tooth for every pregnancy?
No, that’s an old spouses’ tale. The calcium needed to make your baby’s teeth comes directly from your diet, not from your own teeth. However, if you don’t get enough calcium while pregnant, your body will provide this essential mineral from the calcium in your bones, putting your bones at risk. Even though the best source of nutrients is a well-balanced diet, with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, many pregnant women find it difficult to achieve this if they are suffering from pregnancy related nausea and vomiting. Ask you obstetrician or physician, or nutritionist what additional supplements may be needed.
We lose teeth for many reasons: gum (periodontal) disease, tooth decay and trauma — falls, accidents and sports related injuries. Adult teeth begin to form around birth. Anything happening to the body during the time of tooth formation can be disruptive. If you are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, one of the side-effects may be a premature loss of teeth. As well, infections can result in damage to adult teeth or their early loss. And some people have missing teeth because they never developed. Dental implants and dentures can be the answer to such problems. Missing teeth can result in a loss of self confidence and lower self-esteem. If you have several missing teeth and difficulty chewing, this could lead to digestive and nutritional problems. Your other teeth may start to shift or over-erupt to compensate for the missing teeth, upsetting the relationship between teeth, muscles and joints. Loss of many posterior teeth can affect your ability to chew and may also contribute to temporomandibular joint problems. Getting your implants or dentures early can prevent the occurrence of many of the issues mentioned above. Luckily, Dr. Jaleel is your Ottawa dentist and is here to help.
Implants or Dentures?
Keep all factors, not just cost, in mind. For example, implants are a good bet for those who like hard, crunchy foods such as carrots and apples. For those who prefer softer foods like pasta, another option might be preferable. And other factors such as bite or joint problems or some diseases should also be considered. On the blog today, we will break down the various restorative options for you.
Retained and supported by oral tissues, and retention and comfort can be an issue. Dentures can last up to 10 years, but an annual relining of the denture to maintain a good fit is recommended.
- Least-expensive option
- No surgery
- Can be made quickly
- Look good.
- Uncomfortable if not properly fitted
- Patients may develop sore spots
- Gums and bones shrink as we age and dentures accelerate that process.
Removable Partial Dentures
Supported and held by both tissues and teeth. Metal clasps wrap around various teeth, retaining the partial denture or, in some cases, attachments can be made to implants instead of teeth, which look better esthetically, as metal clasps are eliminated. Last up to 10 years, unless you need a crown or lose teeth.
- Last long
- Relatively cheap
- Relining required to avoid clasps damaging teeth
- Can contribute to bone loss.
Typically the teeth (or implants if there are not enough natural teeth) on either side act as anchors via crowns to support and retain an artificial tooth or teeth in between; hence, the term “bridge.” Can last 10 years or longer;
- Feels natural
- Very slim compared to a denture; looks great (which is a great psychological advantage)
- Food tastes better since the roof of the mouth isn’t covered (where the taste buds are).
- More expensive than dentures
- Cost increases if more implants needed to hold the prosthesis
- Need to reduce tooth size, which may weaken the tooth.
A tooth is attached to an “artificial root” made from titanium or titanium alloy, which is surgically placed in the jawbone, lasting up to 10 years or more.
- Tremendous psychological advantage
- Feels like your own teeth
- Nothing removable in the mouth
- No damage to other teeth
- No associated bone loss.
- Most expensive option
- Surgery is necessary.
How to take care of your dentures or implants?
Dentures: Remove dentures and soak overnight in denture cleanser, warm water or in a mix of warm water and vinegar (half and half). If your denture has metal clasps, use warm water only for soaking. Brush with a denture brush and rinse.
Implants and Bridge: Gently brush and floss daily. These can be treated more like natural teeth, but they are not as strong, so be gentle when brushing and flossing. If you have implants, be especially careful when flossing where the implant meets the gum. Talk to Dr. Jaleel about using specific cleaners, if necessary.
A dental examination is the foundation for optimal oral health
A dental exam is not just a checkup — it is a comprehensive assessment that can identify problems at the start, before they become serious. Prevention and early detection are the key components for good dental health. The most important sensation our teeth detect is pain. Often, when a patient experiences pain, the cause may be a variety of conditions. When pain appears, it may be too late for conservative treatment. By then, instead of just a cavity, for instance, you may need a root canal or even a tooth extraction. A dental exam is the greatest way to save money and protect your health.
Why is a complete dental exam important?
Regular brushing, flossing, good nutrition, not smoking and healthy behaviours are all important in reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease. But a dental exam can identify and diagnose problems early, before they become more serious and even irreversible. A dental exam encompasses a x-ray and clinical exam, including assessing your teeth, gums and other oral soft tissues, and a visual and palpation exam of the head and neck to detect dental decay, gum disease and other oral conditions, including dry mouth, and oral cancer assessments. We examine all of our patients for oral cancer; early detection can make a huge difference in treatment outcomes. Your dentist may also provide advice and assistance that will help you reduce or eliminate lifestyle risk factors such as smoking. At the very least, Dr. Jaleel recommends a dental exam at least once a year.
What you need to tell Dr. Jaleel
Each patient is different, of course, so the specific components of the dental examination will vary based on your specific concerns, your current oral and general health, lifestyle factors and frequency of professional dental cleanings. First of all, however, you need to be open with Dr. Jaleel and the rest of the staff, informing them of any medical conditions, medications, including any vitamin supplements and herbal ones, and the use of tobacco products. Remember to mention anything unusual such as any soreness, sensitivity to heat or cold or any loose teeth. Tellus when you are booking the appointment if you’re anxious when you visit. Talking over your concerns may help you feel more at ease, and new technologies and procedures can make some treatments more comfortable
The dental exam and your overall health
There are more than a hundred systemic medical conditions that can be detected orally. Many of them are conditions that we are trained to observe. For example, a sudden onset of chronic bleeding gums, despite excellent oral hygiene, could be a sign of leukemia. In the future, a dental examination may become even more important as newer tests are developed and we gain improved knowledge of the links between oral health and overall health. This is all very exciting, as we always knew the oral cavity is a gateway to our overall health. But, the best overall benefit to seeing a dentist regularly is maintaining your oral health.
We all like to eat, taste and socialize, but when our oral health is impaired, some of the things we enjoy doing can be quickly taken away due to pain, loss of teeth, poor-fitting dentures, dry mouth or taste change. And that can truly alter your quality of life.
Your child’s first dental visit
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that infants see a dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The first visit is also your opportunity to ask questions about anything you are unsure about. Some children get anxious, as they don’t know what to expect. Read our previous blog where Dr. Jaleel offers valuable tips on taking your child to the dentist for the first time.
How Much Do You Know About Your Oral Health?
One of our goals at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic in Ottawa, Ontario is to provide the best patient education to everyone. Dr. Jaleel believes it is important to understand the facts about your oral health, which is why we came up with these fun and informative trivia questions to test your dental knowledge. Read on to reveal the answers and explanations to each oral health question. (Some questions may have multiple correct answers.)
Oral Health Quiz
1. Flossing can increase your life expectancy.
True or false?
2. What percentage of adults are afraid of the dentist?
a) 25 percent.
b) 50 percent.
c) More than 80 percent.
3. Chewing gum is bad for your teeth.
True or false?
4. Toothpaste has an expiry date.
True or false?
5. What’s the hardest substance in the human body?
6. It’s OK to keep your toothbrush near the toilet as long as it doesn’t fall in.
True or false?
7. Your teeth are one-of-a-kind, just like your fingerprints.
True or false?
8. If you’re right-handed, the right side of your mouth will be the dominant chewing side, too.
True or false?
9. It’s OK to throw used dental floss in the toilet.
True or false?
10. How often should you replace your toothbrush?
a) Once a year.
b) When the bristles start looking worn.
c) Every three to four months.
1. True. By flossing daily, you can gain an additional six years.
How? Poor oral hygiene may lead to inflammatory gum diseases and heart disease. By flossing, we rid our mouths of these disease-causing bacteria.
2. Answer: c. More than 80 percent of adults experience some degree of dental fear. And more than half say this fear may keep them from seeing a dentist.
3. False. Most dentists give gum the thumbs-up — as long as it’s sugarless. Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which helps protect your teeth against decay-causing bacteria.
4. True. Any toothpaste containing fluoride must carry an expiration date and, typically, it’s two years after the manufacture date. After this date, fluoride in the toothpaste loses its ability to brush away bacteria in the mouth and protect against cavities. The flavour may also change, and the toothpaste may become too dried out and hard to squeeze through the tube.
5. Answer: b. Many people think teeth are made of bone, but they’re not. They’re actually made up of fours layers — enamel, the hardest substance in your body, being the outer protective layer.
6. False. A spray of bacteria from flushing can travel up to a distance of six feet. Yuck!
7. True. Toothprints are unique to each individual, and nobody has an identical set, not even identical twins.
8. False. Chewing-side preference has not been found to be related to an individual’s dominant hand side.
9. False. Yes, you should floss, but, no, you shouldn’t flush your floss. Dental floss is non-biodegradable and wraps around small clogs and tangles them into bigger ones.
10. Answer: b and c. You should replace your toothbrush (soft is best) every three to four months or if it starts to show signs of wear, or if you have been ill.
How many questions did you get right?
Choosing a toothbrush these days can be somewhat overwhelming. You may find yourself wondering whether that hi-tech electric toothbrush on the shelf is better than the manual kind you’ve always used. Here we break down the basics for you.
What a Brush Actually Does:
Essentially, the purpose of a toothbrush is to remove plaque, stimulate gums and maintain good oral hygiene. But the effectiveness isn’t solely based on the type of toothbrush you use. There are a number of other factors that are equally important, including your brushing technique, how often you brush and the length of time you spend brushing. And this is where the features of manual and electric toothbrushes come into play. While manual toothbrushes are portable, inexpensive and easy to use, they require the user to provide all of the brushing action. Electric toothbrushes, while considerably more expensive and complex to use, only require the user to guide the brush along the surface, while the brush itself uses electric power to vibrate, pulsate and oscillate, getting hard-to reach places.
However, electric brushes do not offer a clinically significant advantage compared with manual brushes. Considerable research has failed to demonstrate any significant clinical differences in overall cleaning efficacy between the two types of brushes. The decision really comes down to each individual’s needs and motor capabilities. People with mental or physical disabilities or who require caregivers to provide oral hygiene are better served with electric or battery-powered brushes. People who tend to be lazy brushers or who don’t spend enough
time brushing can also benefit from powered brushes.
Pros of Electric and Manual Toothbrushes:
Okay, now that we have discussed the purpose of a toothbrush, it’s time to compare the pros of both types of toothbrush. Count the number of statements that applies to you, and see are you more manual or electric?
- Pressure sensors to signal when brushing is too hard
- Timers to help keep track of how long you’re brushing each quadrant of your mouth
- Digital reminders for when to replace your brush head
- Oscillating-rotating or sonic technology
- Multiple brush-head compatibility, so you can choose which kind of bristle design you prefer.
- Criss-crossed, extra-long or multi-level bristles
- Textured bristles
- Cupped bristle design for whitening benefits
- Gum stimulators
- Tongue-cleaner pads.
Did You Know?
Whether you choose to go electric or stay maual, here are some things you need to know:
- Both standard toothbrushes and electric brush heads should be replaced every three months or when the bristles are no longer straight and firm.
- The recommended brushing time with a manual toothbrush is two minutes, two to three times each day.
- Plaque accumulates everywhere in the mouth, not just on the teeth and gums, so it’s important to buy a brush with a built-in tongue and tissue cleaner, to clean the whole mouth.
- Some of the latest innovations for manual toothbrushes include: Ergonomically shaped handles that are more comfortable to hold and cause less muscle fatigue during routine use than regular handles.
- Angled heads and multi-tapered bristles, which help overcome incorrect brush positioning and clean more effectively between teeth and under the gum line.
- Many people buy a brush in which the head is too large for their mouths, especially for children.
Brushes with smaller heads actually clean more thoroughly and reach more areas of the teeth, gums and tissues than those with larger heads.