Power toothbrushes are popular and have been shown to reduce gingivitis and plaque better than manual toothbrushes, but could their long-term use damage teeth?
Dentin Wear and Tear
A team of researchers examined this issue with four types of toothbrushes:
- a rotating-oscillating power toothbrush
- a side-to-side sonic power toothbrush
- and two manual ones.
They found that the amount of dentin abrasion was greatest with the power toothbrushes when used with abrasive tooth-whitening toothpaste.
Researchers say the mechanical interaction between a power toothbrush, toothpaste, and tooth can cause lesions in a tooth’s dentin — or center of the tooth. While frictional forces are increased by small particles in toothpaste, researchers say the abrasivity could be less severe depending on the type of toothbrush used, and the force applied by the person brushing.
Should You Toss Your Power Toothbrush?
If you have dexterity problems, or need some fun motivation to brush your teeth – then perhaps electric or sonic toothbrushes may be good choice for you for the short term. Otherwise, I recommend sticking with standard – inexpensive – toothbrushes with soft bristles.
No matter which toothbrush you choose, aim to brush effectively. Brush twice a day – morning and night – for at least two minutes each time. And always supplement tooth brushing with flossing and bi-annual dental hygiene cleanings.
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