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Dental Care Essentials: Electric Toothbrushes

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In the world of dental care, not all toothbrushes were created equal. Some have the advantage of being electric. When you start using an electric toothbrush, there are some things to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of the experience. Just because it is electric, the toothbrush is not a magical cure-all device that will make your mouth instantly free of all bacteria, plaque and cavities.

Read on for a quick guide on how to get the most out of your new electric toothbrush.

A little history

The electric toothbrush has been around since 1954. There are two main types of electric toothbrush, and they work quite differently. One type uses an electric motor to provide a vibration, which helps dislodge buildup from the teeth. The other type uses a motor to make the bristles oscillate. This type has been found to be slightly more effective than the vibrating variety.

Many electric toothbrushes now feature a timer so the user knows when they have brushed for the recommended time allotment. Others feature an LCD display that gives a readout on batter life and other information.

Picking the right brush

There are two types of toothbrush to choose from: rechargeable toothbrushes and disposable toothbrushes. If you are having some trouble deciding whether using an electric toothbrush is right for you, buying a disposable one can be a cheap and relatively risk-free way of testing them out before deciding on a more expensive rechargeable one.

A number of different brand-name companies offer disposable toothbrushes in the $10 to $15 range. A rechargeable toothbrush can be found for as little as $30 or $40, but oftentimes can run into the hundreds of dollars depending on the brand and variety.

Using the electric toothbrush

Just because you are now using an electric toothbrush, do not forget that it is how you brush that matters. Use small, circular motions and make sure to get the fronts and backs of the teeth, including the gumline. Take your time and, when possible, use the timer that is included on the toothbrush to make sure that you are brushing for the recommended amount of time.

Just like any other toothbrush, replace the head — or the whole thing, if using the disposable variety — every three to four months. A worn out head is easy to spot. The bristles will be flayed out and often the color marker on the bristles will have faded.

Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for TenderCare Dental of Cornelius, a dentist in Hillsboro that recommends electric toothbrushes.

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