Are electric toothbrushes more superior compared to manual ones? Do they really clean better? How much difference does it really make and is it worth spending your money on one?
We brush our teeth for many reasons: to feel fresh and confident, to have a nice white smile, to avoid bad breath and also to avoid disease. All these are made possible because when we brush, we are removing and reducing the amount of plaque in our mouth.
Therefore dental plaque is essentially the very reason why we brush our teeth. Dental plaque is basically a buildup of bacteria that forms mainly at the gum line and if we don't remove it, it can be damaging to our oral health.
Many research have shown that because toothbrushing is able to mechanically remove plaque therefore it is able to help with gum disease and also prevent dental cavities if used together with a fluoride toothpaste.
These benefits occur regardless whether it is an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush. But based on that, ideally you'd want something that could clean your teeth the best to prevent these problems in your mouth in the future.
Now you can probably guess which one cleans your teeth better. Research has shown that electric toothbrushes do clean your teeth a little bit better although not by a lot. The well-known Cochrane research group looked into data from existing studies published from 1964 to 2011 involving more than 5 000 participants. The analysis showed 11 percent of plaque reduction in the first three months and a 21 plaque reduction after three months of using an electric toothbrush. As for gingivitis (also known as early stage of gum disease) there was a 6 percent reduction in the first three months and an 11 reduction after three months.
More recent studies, notably an impressive 11-year cohort study has shown that there are reduced gingival pocket depths in patients who are using electric toothbrushes, which is a measure of overall gum health and oral health. Besides removing more plaque electric toothbrushes are also good for those with reduced manual dexterity for example such as people with carpal tunnels, arthritis and developmental disabilities. This is because it does most of the work for you and it usually comes with a bigger handle for better ergonomics.
Some extra features like built-in timers and pressure sensors can help to make sure that you are brushing your teeth for a good two minutes and also make sure that you are using the right amount of force on your teeth.
However electric toothbrushes do not come cheap and you need to also consider the cost of replacing brush heads and batteries. Some portable versions require charging and some plug-in versions may not be easily transportable, making it less travel friendly. As for manual toothbrushes, they are affordable and accessible. You can find them at any drugstore or any pharmacy.
However its effectiveness at cleaning is heavily dependent on the user and the problem is a lot of people don't know how to brush their teeth perfectly. One study showed that people are likely to brush too hard if they're using a manual toothbrush, leading to gum recession and tooth wear.
The realme M1 Sonic Electric Toothbrush looking sleek in white. It comes with two different brush heads: regular and sensitive; and also a wireless charging dock with usb cable. I've been using the sensitive brush head because the bristles feel softer and for someone who's using an electric toothbrush for the very first time I highly suggest that you start with this first because it is more gentle on your teeth and gums. The brush heads are 3.5 mm thin, metal free and feature round-ended bristles that are 99.99% bacteriostatic which means in layman's term, it prevents the growth of bacteria.
Different electric toothbrushes have different modes of action. The realme M1 Sonic Electric Toothbrush as the name suggests uses a sonic motor and vibrates at 34 000 times per minute. This produces a 10 degree stable swing to fit the surface of the teeth more closely for deeper cleaning. It has 4 cleaning modes. Soft mode for sensitive teeth, clean mode for daily use, white mode for deep cleaning with maximum vibration and polish mode for a quick shine.
I've been using this for a week now and so far it has been a pleasant experience. I do realise that it actually does take quite a bit of concentration to just position the toothbrush, especially the brush head, at my teeth and to move it all around covering all the surfaces of the teeth. At first it felt a little bit weird having something vibrating inside my mouth
but after a while it was okay i guess. Pro tip: after applying toothpaste and before putting the toothbrush inside your mouth, please please do not turn on the start button because toothpaste will be flying everywhere and it gets messy. Trust me. Been there, done that. If you wanna switch cleaning modes you can either do it while brushing or before applying toothpaste.
Overall I love this toothbrush. It's definitely great at cleaning teeth. It has long 90 days battery life with wireless charging and I absolutely adore the minimalist and ergonomic design. This toothbrush definitely delivers what it claims to do.
I'll rate it 8 out of 10 because it has most of the features that an electric toothbrush should have but from a dentist's point of view i would prefer if it has a pressure sensor but then again 199 Ringgit for this power tool... it's a steal!
Choosing a toothbrush is largely a matter of personal preference, affordability and also professional recommendation. Electric toothbrushes may have an appeal to some because they represent a 'high-tech' solution to an everyday task. But it all boils down to how much are you willing to invest into your teeth. If you have the extra money and would love the extra features in an electric toothbrush then you can consider getting one.
However if you are limited financially then it doesn't make sense to splurge. You're better off using a manual toothbrush but make sure that you're using it correctly. to properly brush your teeth or you can ask your dentist if there seems like there's any areas that you are neglecting.
Whatever toothbrush you choose remember to brush twice a day, floss once a day, replace your toothbrush every three months and also visit your dentist twice a year.
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