Is an Electric Toothbrush on Your Christmas List? If Not, It Should Be!

What’s on your Christmas list this year for Santa? I can tell you something that should be on there – an electric toothbrush. If you’ve never used one, you’re missing out! Here’s why I recommend electric toothbrushes, and what you should look for when buying one.

Electric Toothbrushes are Better at Removing Plaque

Studies show that electric toothbrushes make a measurable difference when it comes to removing more plaque compared to manual toothbrushes. This evidence showed that after just one to three months of use, there was an 11% reduction in plaque, and after three months of use, there was a 21% reduction. And it doesn’t stop at removing plaque from teeth – electric toothbrushes were also shown to reduce gingivitis, with a 6% reduction after one to three months of use and 11% after three months.

Electric Toothbrushes are Gentler on Gums and Enamel

Now this isn’t true of all electric toothbrushes, but some of the more high-tech models that include pressure sensors help you regulate pressure so you don’t overdo it and wear away enamel or put too much pressure on the gums, which can cause irritation.

Electric Toothbrushes Make Brushing Easier

Electric toothbrushes are simply easier to use! For many people, this is the main draw. It requires less work and therefore you’re more likely to brush twice a day and for the full two minutes. Some models even include a 2-minute timer so you don’t stop brushing too soon. Plus, they’re ideal for people with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or other conditions that affect mobility in the fingers and hands.

What to Look for in an Electric Toothbrush

There’s a wide variety of electric toothbrushes on the market in a wide range of prices, from $5 store brands to name brand varieties that cost a few hundred dollars. It can be hard to know where to start when you’re looking for your first one. Here are some things to consider.

Brush head cleaning action. Oscillation-rotation brush heads rotate, vibration heads vibrate back and forth, and sonic toothbrushes vibrate, too, but at a much higher frequency than regular vibrating models. Some studies[3] have shown that oscillating-rotating brush heads are more effective at removing plaque and helping gingivitis, so consider buying a model with this type of action.

Power source. Some brushes run on batteries while others charge in a docking station plugged into the outlet. Neither one is superior to the other in terms of cleaning ability; just consider your lifestyle (e.g., frequent travelling) when deciding.

Extra features. As mentioned above, some models come with a 2-minute timer and pressure sensors built in. Some of the newest models even have Bluetooth connectivity, so your toothbrush can communicate with your phone to keep track of your brushing habits and effectiveness. If you think these will help you brush better or more often, or they simply look like fun, go for it.

Merry Brushing!

If Santa doesn’t end up putting an electric toothbrush in your stocking, then go ahead and buy one for yourself. Once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!


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Six Reasons to be Thankful for Good Oral Health

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? This year, put good oral health on your list if you’re lucky enough to have it. Good oral health is something that’s easily overlooked, but it affects your quality of life in a big way and shouldn’t be taken for granted. Here are six reasons to be thankful for good oral health this holiday season.

1) Essential for Good Function

Good oral health is the foundation of good function. Missing, decayed, and abscessed teeth can make chewing and speech production difficult, while a bad bite can affect swallowing. If you chew, swallow, and speak easily without giving it a second thought, then you have good function, which is definitely something to be grateful for.

2) Saves You Money

The cost of regular, preventative dental care is nothing in comparison to the cost of interventions to fix teeth and gums that haven’t been cared for. Fillings, crowns, gum grafts, and other dental and periodontal interventions can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Taking care of your oral health day by day can save you big time in the long run.

3) Helps You Keep Your Teeth for Life

Approximately 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and around 40 million Americans are missing all their teeth, according to the American College of Prosthodontics[1]. Physical trauma and underlying disease can lead to tooth loss, but by far the main reason is poor oral hygiene. Taking care of your teeth and gums through brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings and check-ups help up your chances you’ll keep your choppers into old age.

4) A Pain-Free Mouth

Tooth decay, abscesses, fractures, and cracked fillings are just some of the causes of toothache. Good oral health equals strong, healthy teeth which equals teeth that don’t hurt. Plus, when your teeth and gums are in great shape, you avoid the necessity of procedures that can be painful, like extractions, root canals, and gum grafts.

5) Connection to General Health

By keeping your teeth and gums in good shape, you may be reducing your risk of developing diseases that are associated with bad oral health, including heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. Another great reason to reach for that toothbrush twice a day!

6) Self-Confidence

A smile is one of the first things people notice, and being able to smile freely is a big booster of self-esteem. Someone who is embarrassed about the way their teeth look may not smile as much and their self-confidence will take a hit. If you like your smile when you look in the mirror, you can thank your good oral health.

Don’t Take Good Oral Health for Granted

Good oral health isn’t something that happens by accident – it happens when you take care of your teeth and gums regularly, day in, day out. For such a small investment of time and effort, the benefits are enormous. So this Thanksgiving, when you’re stuffed with turkey and finished the last bite of pumpkin pie, pause for a moment to give thanks to your health, teeth, and gums for making it possible, and for all the other ways good oral health makes life better.