New Technology: Better Than The Tried and True?
An evolving toothbrush is nothing new. In ancient times, people would use a stick with a frayed end to clean their teeth. The first toothbrush with bristles was found in China between 619-907 and used hog hair as the bristles. Even more recent was the introduction of nylon toothbrushes in 1938. And now we have the electric toothbrush!
It is no surprise that some people prefer the standard manual toothbrush, but both the electric and manual have their ups and downs.
What is the purpose of a toothbrush?
Toothbrushes assist with the physical removal of food debris and microbes from the teeth and the gum line. This cleansing prevents dental problems, and keeps our oral system healthy. A two-minute brushing of your teeth, twice a day, is recommended by the American Dental Association.
Types of toothbrush
1. Manual: This is the most common type of toothbrush. It consists of a long plastic handle with nylon bristles on its head. The toothbrush comes in many varieties with:
• Ergonomic handles having special grip
• Angled or tapered brush head, with hard, medium or soft bristles
• Tongue cleaner pads • Gum stimulators
The pros and cons of a manual toothbrush
• A manual toothbrush is inexpensive and easy to handle. It can be carried along easily during travel.
• People with dexterity issues and arthritis find a manual toothbrush not that easy to hold on to. It also lacks a timer to indicate the completion of two minutes.
2. Electric: The electric or power toothbrush comes with hi-tech features, and has a rechargeable battery case. The features of the electric toothbrush are:
• Selection of brushing modes • Timers to time the length of brushing
• Pressure signals to indicate when brushing too hard
• Reminders to alert when the brush head needs to be replaced
The pros and cons of an electric toothbrush
• An electric toothbrush has a larger handle that is comfortable to hold on to. The built-in timer that buzzes after two minutes indicates the completion of a healthy brushing cycle. People with dexterity issues and arthritis find it easy to use an electric toothbrush over a manual one.
• The electric toothbrush is quite expensive, and could cost anywhere from $25 to $200. Since it requires charging or battery replacement, electric toothbrushes are not ideal for traveling.
Both manual and electric toothbrushes have pros and cons. It is not the toothbrush that decides our oral hygiene; rather our choice to brush teeth wisely and regularly, using the toothbrush that we are most comfortable with. Still confused about which toothbrush to use? Ask your dentist the next time you visit him.