Top dentists agree on only one thing
As an added bonus, electric toothbrushing enables a larger population to effectively clean their teeth, according to Anastasia Turchetta, who has been practicing as a Registered Dental Hygienist for the past 29 years. "Some people have trouble with dexterity," Turchetta explains. Certain medical conditions or simply the effects of aging could make it difficult for people to "not only to grasp the handle but maneuver the brush to reach all the surfaces of all the teeth." Failure to do so isn't just a matter of dental health, she points out as well. Improper dental hygiene can lead to bone loss, loss of teeth, or even loss of life."
So, when the question became which the best electric toothbrush, here are the names we heard.
Philips Sonicare Toothbrush
To Dr. Alvarez, the specific version isn't important. What is important is that with any Sonicare toothbrush, you're getting 31,000 brush strokes per minute (compare that with 200 by a manual toothbrush!), which is the same frequency as the professional ultrasonic instruments he uses in the office. And that sonic energy pushes between the teeth and under the gumline in a way that no other brush can do. "What the sonic effect does also is to disrupt cell membranes of the bacteria found on the teeth and gums. And that goes a long way toward destroying the bacteria," adds Lance Loveless, DDS, LVIF of Austin's BridgeView Dental.
Another fan of the Philips Sonicare brand is Mountain View, California, dentist Steven Lin, DDS, whose upcoming book, The Dental Diet (because, as he says, "nutrition is the number one way to have strong healthy teeth) is slated for a January 2018 release. "After trying one a few years ago, I feel it gives my enamel its cleanest feel. Beyond just conventional tooth scrubbing, Sonicare brushes are said to create a secondary fluid dynamic that helps to disrupt dental plaque beyond where the tips of its bristles actually touch." In addition, throughout the various brushes in the Sonicare collection, you can find such features as:
- Two-minute timer with 30-second intervals, which is a must since you should be brushing for a two minutes
- Long-term durability; the heads have to be replaced every three months and do end up lasting that long
- Excellent battery durability (up to a two-week charge)
- Easy and comfortable grip
- Easy to use controls
- Comfortable brush size
- Massage modes
- Sensitivity modes
- Whitening settings (speaking of teeth-whitening, here are some awesome tips from dental professionals).
All of that being said, some of the dentists we spoke to did have their own particular favorites from the Sonicare line.
Philips Sonicare Essence
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Philips Sonicare DiamondClean
As an example, she says the DiamondClean Smart can actually push suggestions to your smartphone "so that your oral health is always at the top of your mind." And that's great for people trying to regain control of their oral hygiene. It's so smart that it can even make recommendations as specific as which quadrant of the mouth you should be focusing on."
Dr. Konig also prefers the DiamondClean Smart brushes for his own use because he likes how the sonic technology coupled with sweeping motions drive fluid into the tight spaces between the teeth and gum line, resulting in a greater cleaning efficiency. "But it's actually a very personal choice," he stresses. "The sonic vibrations in the Philips brushes aren't for everyone. And if you're someone who finds them bothersome, then you'll do just fine with Crest's Oral-B."
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"Personally, I love the Oral-B because it lets you know the areas where you're brushing too hard, which can lead to toothbrush abrasion," adds Mobile, Alabama dentist, Valerie Musial, DMD. "It's timed in 30-second increments for each quadrant of the mouth for a total of two minutes. I also love it for the different interchangeable heads that it comes with. I like the one that's round and similar to what the dental hygienist uses when you come for your biannual cleaning. There is one that is the perfect shape for getting around orthodontic brackets and appliances and another one that is pointed to get in between the teeth for those that don't floss as well as they should."
No one likes going to the dentist, of course, but you could learn a lot if you ask the right questions. Or you could just read up on these 13 things your dentists thinks you should know.
Oral B Genius Pro 8000
"Overall, Oral-B's products are excellent," he told Reader's Digest, "but this newest model is a truly smart brush that will not only provide a superior feeling of clean but also astound the user with its relevant technological advancements. Pressure sensors allow prevent users from overbrushing. Timers ensure adequate, but not overzealous, attention is given to the teeth and gums. An assortment of LED colors allow for personalization, and Bluetooth technology provides you with customized real-time feedback about your brushing habits (delivered right to your smartphone)."
And here is the brushing-habit question we know you're dying to ask: How bad is it to brush your teeth only once per day?
Oral B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000
Shhh. Don't tell the dentists, but here is the most efficient way to keep your teeth clean—without brushing them.
Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Rechargeable
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Sonicare vs. Oral-B
Although Dr. Musial likes using the Oral-B brushes, she says that one of her hygienists swears by Sonicare, and another loves the Rotadent (which we'll get to in a moment). "When looking at dental products I suggest looking for any that have the ADA seal of approval," she advises. "But then personal preference should be the big decider. In my 17 years of practice I have found that the best toothbrush is whichever one a patient will use consistently.
Likewise, Dr. McDavid recommends trusting your instincts. "Choose the brush you think you'll enjoy using most. If you have any questions regarding the different options, bring them up at your next cleaning with your local hygienist. Most are extremely knowledgeable about home care and products available."
Here are the things your dentist wishes you would do between visits.
Rotary brushes are not for everyone, but Dr. Handschuh sees them as particularly helpful for patients who may not have the dexterity to clean all locations on their teeth with a manual brush, such as the young or the elderly, or people who've had a stroke. That said, it's important to remember that good oral health habits such as daily brushing and flossing, good nutrition and regularly scheduled dental visits can help prevent strokes, as well as other circulatory problems, diabetes, and cancer.
Likewise, the health of our teeth can provide insight into our general health. Here are some of the signs of disease your teeth can reveal.
The GO SMILE Sonic Blue is part of the GO SMILE Sonic Pro Teeth Whitening System. According to Dr. Lehmann, it provides fast-acting light-powered whitening, built right into a sonic toothbrush, to improve the health and appearance of your smile. "It's been proven to whiten four times faster than comparable 'brush to whiten' systems, and 90 percent of users saw whiter teeth in 2 days, dramatic results in 1 month, and a healthier, whiter smile every day!"
In addition, Dr. Lehmann adds that the sonic cleaning comes in both regular and gentle modes. We can't help but notice how cool those blue lights look, but Dr. Lehmann explains that they're that color for a reason: "They're tuned to wavelengths shown to kill bacteria for greater oral health and accelerate whitening for visible results, fast! The patented oversized design of the brush head allows for greater distribution of the blue light from the brush to your teeth."
Have you heard that yellowish teeth are actually stronger than white teeth? But seriously, who doesn't have white teeth goals? Here are some proven ways to get those pearly whites even whiter.
Best toothbrush for kids
"Nobody wants a toothache, so wet your toothbrush and get your toothpaste. Put on a dab about the size of a pea. Now get your toothbrush ready and follow me!"
Luckily, Blippi, created by his alter-ego Stevin John, had a teeny-tiny sliver of time between takes to talk to Reader's Digest about dental care for kids. (Don't forget: Medically trained experts agree dental care for kids is best begun with a simple, appropriately sized manual toothbrush.)
"I like toothbrushes that have bristles that tickle my gums and gently clean my teeth," Blippi informed us, "but since my favorite colors are orange and blue, if you can find an orange and blue toothbrush, you should definitely get that one. If you can't find one that's orange and blue, then I guess you can get one that's either orange or blue. And don't forget to brush your tongue!"
And although we know you're loving Blippi's Toothbrush Song, please don't get any ideas about borrowing your children's toothpaste. You're supposed to be a grownup, and besides, there's a hidden danger in using your kids' toothpaste.
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