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BY: Dr Stella Karakasi
Absolutely. When brushing your teeth, you should use something that’ll remove plaque most effectively, and a rechargeable electric toothbrush is the best tool for this. Once you buy the toothbrush, the only thing you need to regularly replace is the head. This should be changed every three months. The device gives you a digital reminder when it’s time to replace it. Plus, different family members can use the same apparatus and just clip on their own brush head. So it’s actually pretty economical.
I personally use one and love it for a number of reasons:
1. A timer guides you to brush for 30 seconds per quadrant. So you don’t have to think about brushing.
2. The pressure sensor guides you to hold the brush against your teeth at just the right pressure. This way, you don’t over- or under-scrub.
3. It gives you various brushing modes (e.g., sensitive teeth or gum massage).
Rechargeable toothbrushes are also a great motivator for kids. Mums often ask me how they can get their kids to brush their teeth for longer. The timer on a rechargeable electric toothbrush makes it fun. Some visual displays give a smile or a wink when the correct brushing time is up. Children love seeing things flash up, so it almost becomes a game.
Battery-powered electric toothbrushes aren’t as powerful as rechargeable brushes, but they still provide some extra cleaning action in comparison to a manual brush. A manual toothbrush isn’t as effective as an electric toothbrush. Although it can still do an OK job as long as you brush for long enough, change the brush every three months, choose the correct brush for your teeth and use the correct brushing technique -- not too hard or too soft.
The bottom line is this: If you can afford a rechargeable electric toothbrush, it’s worth getting one. It gives you a superior clean, which may help you save on dental bills in the long run.
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Dr Stella Karakasi is a Sydney-based dentist with more than 20 years of experience.
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