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Electric Toothbrushes

Electric Toothbrushes

An electric toothbrush is a toothbrush that uses electric power usually supplied by a battery to move the brush head rapidly, either by back-and-forth oscillation, or by rotation-oscillation (where the brush heads alternates clockwise and counterclockwise rotation).

An electric toothbrush makes use of electric power to move the brush head which cleans the teeth. It is also sometimes known as a rotary toothbrush, since its head moves in an oscillating movement. There are many features which aid in proper brushing for people who have issues with motor coordination and movements. Though some researches claim that they do not provide any extra advantages over manual toothbrushes, other dental care research professionals and dentists agree that these brushes do have certain benefits to provide over their manual counterparts.

Electric brushes also come with various features, such as special modes for sensitive teeth, gum massage and whitening. Some come with pressure sensors that let you know if you're brushing too hard, or feature digital reminders to replace your brush head. Most are packaged with extras such as toothbrush holders and travel chargers.

Before you rush out to buy an electric toothbrush, do a little research. First, electric toothbrushes aren't the same as battery-powered toothbrushes, which are similar to manual brushes but use a AA battery to make the bristles vibrate a little, thus providing some extra cleaning. True electric toothbrushes are rechargeable units that plug into the wall. You change the brush heads every three to six months and keep the handle, which receives the charge. The heads comes in different shapes and sizes and work differently. They may oscillate, vibrate, rotate or use sonic technology.

Knowing how the electric brush actually works would really be helpful for people who are trying to find out the best toothbrush. Electric brushes usually move in an oscillating or a vibrating pattern. They operate on batteries which can be recharged or replaced when needed. As they are to be operated near water, the parts are tightly sealed to preclude any possible damage to the device and harm to the user. As an electric system is incorporated inside their body, they are a bit thicker than manual toothbrushes. Another cool feature is that a timer can be set, normally for two minutes, to notify the user that he needs to change his cleaning location in his mouth. The user is alerted by a sound or just a short gap in the power supply. Some models may even have sensors which alarm you if you apply extra pressure in brushing. You can also adjust the head's movement rate; such as for cleaning, soft brushing, or massage. In addition to the features, some models have an LCD screen which shows the time the user has been brushing or needs to brush. In few models, the LCD may even display a smiley.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes
Electric brushes can be classified into two categories according to the type of action that they employ: vibration or rotation-oscillation. When using vibrating toothbrush, a brushing technique similar to that used with a manual toothbrush is recommended, whereas with rotating-oscillating brushes the recommend cleaning technique is to simply move the brush slowly from tooth to tooth.

Advantages of an Electric Toothbrush
In the past, if a shopper wanted to purchase an electric toothbrush, he or she would have to visit the appliance section of the local department store. Nowadays, these battery- or electric-powered teeth cleaning devices are found just about anywhere, even at the supermarket.

Most people know that brushing the teeth can remove food and plaque from the teeth and gums; it also cuts down on tooth decay, gingivitis and other gum disease. An electric toothbrush can do all this and more. A study comparing those who used an electric model to those using a manual toothbrush showed that while the manual brush did an acceptable job, the electric version cleaned comparably better.

Not only does the electric toothbrush move quicker for a deep down tooth cleaning, it also gets under the gums, reducing gingivitis. In addition, it is ideal for those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other painful or debilitating conditions. Because the rotating head does all the work, the person doing the brushing doesn't have to constantly move the hands, wrists or arms back and forth to brush.

In addition to noticeably whiter and visibly cleaner teeth, the owner of an electric toothbrush often has fresher breath than someone who manually brushes. This isn't to say that the person using a manual toothbrush automatically suffers from bad breath, but statistics show an electric device cleans better. When the mouth is cleaner, the breath is fresher.

Those who own a manual toothbrush tend to brush harder than those who use an electric one. While this is normally considered a good thing, it's important to note that if teeth are brushed too hard, the tissue covering the gums can become damaged. An electric toothbrush requires less pressure, leaving gum tissue with minimal damage from brushing.

Most people who brush manually have the best of intentions. However, their brushing removes food and plaque only from the very surface of the teeth and gums. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, penetrates more than the top layer, ensuring maximum plaque removal and an all over clean mouth.

Using A Electric Toothbrush
Step 1: Make sure your toothbrush is charged. Many electric toothbrushes have charge level indicator lights, so you can actually see when the toothbrush is charged.

Step 2: Start with the outside surfaces of the teeth. Guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth, holding the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before moving on to the next one. Follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of the gums.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on the inside surfaces of the teeth.

Step 4: Repeat Step 2 on the chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as behind the back teeth.

Step 5: Direct the brush head along the gum line and upon the gums. Again, do not press hard or scrub.

Step 6: Try grazing the brush head along your tongue and the roof of your mouth, back to front, to help freshen your breath.

Cleaning an Electric Toothbrush
Regular washing of an electric toothbrush is a must from a hygienic point of view. Soon after brushing your teeth, hold the toothbrush, turned on under running warm water for about 10 seconds. While cleaning the head of the brush, press and rub the bristles with your thumb. This is done to get rid of the toothpaste residues left behind in between the bristles. Avoid using cold water as it cannot remove the toothpaste stuck on the bristles properly. Before you clean up the handle of the brush, turn off the brush and detach its head from the handle. Now, put the handle under running warm water of the faucet to rinse off the toothpaste from its surface. After that, wipe off the handle with a clean piece of cloth. Then assemble the toothbrush and let it air dry by placing it into the cup in upright position. This way you can maintain the toothbrush in a good, usable condition for a long time. Usually, an electric toothbrush can be used for 3-6 months, which depends on the manufacturer's recommendations. You may have to replace it before that if you find that the cleaning head of the toothbrush has worn down.

Sanitizing an Electric Toothbrush
A deep cleaning of the electric toothbrush is recommended at least once every month in order to disinfect the bristles. Besides, you should also opt for cleaning the toothbrush after you had a bout of cold as it is carrier of germs that flourish inside the mouth when you have a cold.

This cleaning procedure involves use of bleach and water. Prepare a solution by mixing one cap of bleach in a glass of water. Make sure that the concentration of the bleach in the solution is not too high, as it can cause damage to the bristles. You must detach the head of the brush from its body before dipping it into the cleaning solution. Soak the brush head into the prepared bleaching solution for half an hour to destroy the germs flourishing on it. After that, take the toothbrush out of the cleaning solution and place it under running tap water to rinse off the bleach from it. While doing so, rub your fingers over the bristles to ensure that no trace of bleaching solution remains in them. Once you are sure that the bleach has been washed off completely, place the wet toothbrush on a dry towel so that the excess water is soaked up. This will ensure faster drying up of the brush head. Similarly, you can use hydrogen peroxide solution to sanitize an electric toothbrush.

The body or the handle of the toothbrush also requires thorough cleaning from time to time. However, do not dip the body of the toothbrush into bleaching solution as it can cause damage to its circuit. Take a pinch of detergent on a damp washcloth and wipe the dirty areas of the handle with it. To clean up the dirt and debris accumulated inside the crevices of the toothbrush body, rub a regular toothbrush over these areas. Finally, rinse off with fresh tap water. Let it dry up before you place it back on the charger.

After cleaning, the brush has to be stored properly. Never store an electric toothbrush in a closed cabinet as it promotes growth of bacteria on the bristles. Another thing that has to be taken care of is that it is not kept along with too many brushes in the same cup or brush holder because it increases the chance of spreading germs from one brush to another. It should be kept in a clean place in the bathroom so that airborne germs from the untidy bathroom do not use your toothbrush as their breeding ground.

In most cases, the type of toothbrush a person uses is a matter of preference. As long as he or she has good brushing habits and flosses at least once daily, his or her teeth will be healthy whether you choose an electric or a manual toothbrush.

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