The quick answer is YES! Recent years have brought about a huge change in what the market has to offer consumers looking to take better care of their teeth. One of the main changes is the addition of sonic toothbrushes being offered as an improved alternative to the traditional manual toothbrushes that have been around since most of us can even remember.
The standard handheld toothbrush hasn’t really had any drastic changes over the years. The only real advancements have been changes in bristle lengths and the handle design. For most people with normal brushing, you can only get around 300 brush strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush. They are also limited in the sense that they can only clean the surfaces that they are actually brushing up against. This leaves the areas just below the gum line susceptible to bacteria accumulation and plaque buildup since a handheld toothbrush typically can’t reach these areas. When supplemented with regular flossing, the spaces between teeth can achieve a decent level of plaque, bacteria, and food debris removal. Unfortunately, most people don’t remember to floss as frequently as they should, and when they do, it’s often easy to do it quickly and not utilize the proper technique by making a quick snap of the floss between teeth and missing the important side surfaces between teeth.
Another variation on the toothbrush that has been around for some time now is the electric toothbrush. This option has proven to be more of a gimmick than an actual improvement in the toothbrush. The reason for this being that all it really improves upon is the automation of the brush stroke and increasing it to around 4,000 brushstrokes per minute. The problem with this is the same as with a manual toothbrush, it is limited to only cleaning the surfaces it can actually reach and come into contact with.
The most recent advancement in toothbrush design, as mentioned before, is the ultrasonic toothbrush. These have improved upon virtually every single aspect of the traditional toothbrush. Most brands and models of today’s sonic toothbrush can give users up 40,000 brush strokes per minute, providing a surface cleaning that is virtually unattainable by standard brushing alone. Also, by functioning at such a rapid frequency, giving the term “sonic”, these types of toothbrushes take advantage of fluid dynamics when it comes to cleaning teeth. This means that they move the brush head at such a rapid rate, that they are able to able to turbulently move particles of water and air in a gentle and effective enough way to easily clean between teeth and below the gum line. Studies have even shown that sonic toothbrushes still provide superior plaque removal even when they are held up to 4mm away from the tooth’s surface! Obviously, users should brush in full contact with their teeth, but this is a testament to how effectively people can clean their teeth with this technology. Many of today’s available models of sonic brushes include features that enhance their brushing experience, including built-in automatic timers to ensure proper brush time, pressure sensors to prevent brushing too hard, and even bacteria killing UV-sanitizers built into some high-end models.
Some of the additional benefits that sonic toothbrush users also say that they get, include brushing longer than they would with a regular toothbrush due to the ease of use and the built-in timer, having more of a “clean feeling” after brushing, and also a more gentle brushing experience. This is due to the fact that since a sonic brush is doing virtually all of the cleaning for you, all users need to due is gently brush it along all the surfaces of their teeth, as opposed to vigorous brushing that many people do while using a manual toothbrush. While there are countless benefits to switching over to a sonic toothbrush, it is not to say that by using a manual toothbrush you can’t achieve the clean teeth that your dentist loves to see. It is quite the contrary. Using proper brushing and appropriately flossing twice a day, combined with use of water flossers such as a Waterpik and regular dental cleanings, you can still keep a pristine smile. However, the reality is that most people don’t always remember to brush and floss as often as they should, or even get into the dentist for a professional cleaning as often as they’d like. This is why sonic toothbrushes such as Phillips Sonicare and Oral-B Professional Care are such ideal and effective options for providing the best possible clean from brushing!
If you have any questions about how to improve the way you care for your teeth, please contact the dental office of Scott Young, D.D.S at Dr. Scott Young, DDS to set up an appointment or ask us when you schedule your next cleaning! Dr. Scott Young serves The Woodlands, Houston, Kingwood, Spring, and Conroe areas.