If you asked five of your friends, “What’s the best way to brush your teeth?” you'd probably get five different answers. Many of my patients also ask me that same question. My answer: If you’re brushing well, two times a day and the recommended minimum 2 minutes, you’re probably doing a good job. Many people often over-estimate the time they brush and often even rush through the process. And flossing, well, that’s a topic I’ll get to in another blog. But let’s assume you’re not the best brusher and timing yourself seems like a hassle, a sonic toothbrush may help. Most sonic toothbrushes these days have a built-in timer, so they won’t shut off, until you’ve brushed at least 2 minutes. And remember that’s the minimum time you need to spend cleaning your pearly whites. So, without working up a sweat, you just have to move the vibrating toothbrush over all of your teeth and gums – and your teeth and gums get clean. That sounds pretty good.
How do Sonic Toothbrushes work?
Sonic toothbrushes use high-frequency vibration to drive up to 62,000 brush movements per minute to gently sweep away plaque. These movements also activate fluid in your mouth, creating a surge of tiny microbubbles that reach around and between teeth, creating a substantial cleaning movement above and even below the gun line.
What about the science?
After reading a number of dental journal studies, it’s clear sonic toothbrushes if used correctly do a better job of cleaning teeth than a manual toothbrush. One study, for example, compared manual brushing to a common sonic toothbrush. This study used children ages 11-17, with braces, who had existing gingival inflammation (they weren’t brushing well). At the end of the 28 days, the kids that used sonic toothbrushes reduced plaque by 57%, vs. 10%, using a manual toothbrush. Their gingivitis reduced by 29%, vs. 3% in the manual toothbrush users. Those are significant changes. So, while I believe manual toothbrushes can clean your teeth well, sonic toothbrushes may offer some advantages.
The most basic sonic toothbrush can cost around $40 and on up to over $150 for models that offer more bells and whistles. Luckily the whole family can share one sonic toothbrush, because they offer interchangeable, color-coded brush heads.
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