If you Spend More on a High-Tech Toothbrush, Will You Get Cleaner Teeth?

Since the introduction of the ultrasonic toothbrush a few years ago, three main categories of toothbrushes exist on the market. What many people wonder is whether the big extra chunk of change they spend really gets them cleaner teeth. The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Traditional and Electric
For quite a while now, the traditional compact and most economical toothbrush has been the standard for modern society. Dentists give them out by the boxes. Electric toothbrushes offer a little bit more cleaning for a little bit more money. To compare the pros and cons of these two against each other, check out our article “Which is Better: Electric Toothbrushes or Manual Brushes?

UltraSonic Impulse Brushes Add Expensive Alternative
In 2011-2012, approximately $1.43 billion worth of oral care products were sold in the United States (Statista) and that number has steadily increased over the last three years due to the third more expensive option on the market. Ultrasonic Impulse brushes such as the Emmi-dent or Ultreo offer a bacteria-targeting, low effort option for those with a higher budget. These brushes cost upwards of $150 dollars, but may be worth it for those that want or need the ultimate tool for overall oral health.

The bristles or head of these toothbrushes work with their specialty toothpaste to form super small sonic bubbles that act as a bomb against the structures of bacteria. These super small bubbles can reach places floss and typical brushes can’t such as under the gum line next to the tooth. Even in extreme cases of plaque build-up, use of these brushes has been show to break it down within months. For this reason, people hereditarily prone to gingivitis or tooth decay can especially benefit from them.

So Which Cleans the Best?
It would be easy to associate the price you pay with how clean your mouth will be from using it. However, dentists don’t look at it that way. “…if you use it properly, you can do an excellent job with a manual,” Dr. Vladimir Spolsky, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry told the LA Times in November 2012.

In addition to the often repeated brushing and flossing instructions of twice a day and two minutes total time, there are a few things you can consider when brushing to maximize the cleaning power of your oral maintenance routine.

Manual Brushes – Use small circular motions as you brush, angling the bristles at about 45 degrees to get further into the spaces between teeth and gums. Replace your brush every 3 to 4 months or after any infection or cold you may get.

Electronic Brushes – Have patience as you use an electric brush. Allow the bristles time on each tooth surface and don’t move it in any fast or circular motions. Let the heads motions do their job.

Ultra-Sonic Brushes – Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Check out this video for a great visual lesson on how they work. Simply hold the brush directly over or beside each area of the mouth, and resist the habitual urge to press or scrub with the bristles.

It’s Up to You
Your oral health is entirely in your own hands, whether or not you opt for a more expensive version of oral hygiene products. Regular oral cavity cleaning and visiting your dentist annually will be the deciding factor on the condition of your teeth, gums, and tongue. If you have questions about the different types of brushes, feel free to ask our staff questions at your next dental visit. We’d be happy to help you make an educated choice on your oral cleaning tools.

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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