Have you ever wondered whether it's time that you ditched your manual toothbrush
for the powered variety featured in the pretty ads? Well, the highly regarded
not-for-profit international health care organization The Cochrane Health Group
reviewed about 354 research studies on whether you should. Their findings are
that it's a good idea, but that the improvement for most people is just going
to be modest.
The Cochrane Health Group found that only the power brushes that rotate (oscillate
to be precise) are better, so forget about buying the power brushes with vibrating
bristles. Other key findings were that versus a manual toothbrush;
- The amount of extra plaque that is removed is about 7%.
- The amount of gingivitis that is reduced is about 17%.
Because the findings were for the general population, one would expect that the
switch to power toothbrushes would logically lead to greater improvements for
elderly patients with limited hand movement. One would also expect for the
improvements to be more meaningful for those individuals who are at medium
to high risk of decay.
By Dr Bradley Xue
Power toothbrushes are
particularly great for such
individuals where every little bit
helps to prevent that next cavity.
They get to hard to reach areas
with their small heads. They do all
the work for you by rotating. They
tell you how long you've been
brushing with a timer. They're
worth their investment if they
help to avoid even one cavity.
On the other hand, if your dentist finds that your toothbrushing is already very
thorough, then switching to a power toothbrush is not likely to make too much of a
difference. For most individuals, a slight modification of your brushing technique; by
being aware of brushing gently closer to the gums around all the teeth, may be
better than buying a power toothbrush. After all, even a power toothbrush needs
to be put over the right areas for enough time.
The next time you are thinking about saying goodbye to your manual toothbrush
consider the following key points;
- Switch it if you are aware that there can be improvements to your current oral
hygiene and you want to get all the help you can get.
- Be aware that having a balanced diet, brushing more thoroughly, and
flossing daily is going to make a bigger difference towards minimizing decay
and gum disease than changing to a power toothbrush alone.
- It's a great gift idea for elderly family members who have declining manual
dexterity or youngsters who don't brush thoroughly or for long enough.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Penick C. Power toothbrushes: a critical review. J Dent Hyg. Int J Dent Hyg. 2004 Feb;2(1):40-4.
Forrest JL, Miller SA. Manual versus powered toothbrushes: a summary of the Cochrane Oral
Health Group's Systematic Review. Part II. J Dent Hyg. 2004 Spring;78(2):349-54.
power (electric) toothbrushes versus
we look at whether you should make the switch
phone: (03) 9859 8517 fax: (03) 9819 7756 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Our toothbrushing advice has
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