The new powered toothbrushes: better, worse, or about the same?

March 23, 2011

Brushing with an electric tooth brush

The American Dental Association says that powered toothbrushes can be very effective. And for people with physical problems that make it hard to use their hands or arms to move a toothbrush around, electric toothbrushes can be a real help. Read more on why taking care of your teeth is important.

Both traditional toothbrushes and powered models are about the same in terms of cleaning power, the American Dental Association says. What really counts is that you use the toothbrush, and that you use it every day the way your dentist tells you. See how ordinary and powered toothbrushes differ.

Whether you choose a battery-powered toothbrush or an "elbow-powered" one, be sure to pick a brush you like and find easy to use. Then, you’re more likely to use it the way you’re supposed to: twice a day, and long enough to fully clean all of your tooth surfaces. And don’t forget to brush your tongue, too. It helps kill germs, which keeps breath fresh.

A few more tips:

  • Choose the softest brush you can find; this protects tooth enamel.
  • A good tooth brushing takes about two minutes. See tips on choosing a brush that is right for you.
  • Change your toothbrush for a new one every three to four months or sooner if the bristles are worn.
  • Keep your toothbrush clean. Rinse it with clean tap water when you’re done.
  • Store your toothbrush in a dry area. Dampness helps germs grow.

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