Tuesday, 13 December 2011

What Electric Toothbrush?

As someone with more than a decade of electric tooth brushing under his cavities, I thought now’s the time to offer my answers to two related questions:
1. Are electric toothbrushes any good?
2. If they are, which electric toothbrush should one get?
My answers are based on my personal experience with three different Braun Oral-B electric toothbrushes. These include the $30 Vitality model (pictured), as well as a $100 model and a $200 one.
The most obvious difference between electric and manual brushing is the feeling: generally speaking, my mouth tends to feel much fresher after a session of electric brushing than after a manual operation. I suspect it is to do with the relentless nature of the electric toothbrush, coupled [slightly!] by the fact they’re much easier to use given that one’s duties are downgraded to simply guiding the brush along one’s teeth.
My speculations are further enforced by the repeatedly observed fact that my teeth feel more polished the more expensive the brush is. After a week of repeatedly brushing using the $200 brush my mouth feels like it has been polished, waxed and fitted with brand new teeth. So, is that it? Should we all buy the most expensive electric toothbrush we can afford?
Hold your horses. At least to this mouth there are more important issues than the refinement level of my teeth’s polish. The older I get, normal cavities and such are turning to become the lesser problem; the main event taking place at my mouth is my receding gums. The amount of problems introduced by this recession far eclipses those generated by a bit more or a bit less cleaning.
My dentist recommended I relent, if only slightly, with my tooth brushing in order to support my gums (as opposed to pushing them further). She recommended I use a manual brush in the morning and an electric one at night, a move which quickly relieved various issues with my mouth. She also recommended using the softest brushes available and applying minimal pressure on the teeth while brushing.
Back to the question of which electric toothbrush is better, my personal answer reflects the status of my gums. After a straight week of $200 brushing my teeth may feel new, but I also get all sorts of weird pains coming up from the direction of my gums. Eventually, I settled on the $30 Oral B Vitality toothbrush as the best of both worlds, a brush giving me a decent clean mouth feeling that does not offend my gums much while producing this feeling. In the morning I brush manually using a soft brush. In between and now and again I even floss!
So there you go: the $30 brush that does a better job than the $200 one is further proof that splashing more money does not necessarily buy happiness; one needs to spend it wisely.

P.S. If you, too, are an Oral-B toothbrush user, do yourself a favor and get thy brushes from eBay. Compared to the shops, even the cheaper ones, they’re a fraction of the cost online.

Oral-B Vitality image: Oral-B

1 comment:

Delfina Schrecongost said...

Indeed, when it comes to choosing your own toothbrush, quality is not much of a factor. As long as you follow the correct brushing method and follow a healthy diet, you will have a strong set of teeth.