I love battery operated devices. In this modern age, everything is getting smaller, easier to use, mobile and more convenient. From handphones to cameras, things are not what they were ten years ago and ten years from now, they will probably be even better.

Toothbrush

The Evolution Of A Toothbrush

The same can be said about toothbrushes. Early man used twigs and branches to clean their teeth. Nowadays we have electric toothbrushes, which can be adjusted to varying speeds and tell us when we are brushing with too much force. One manufacturer even boasts that their toothbrush has been calibrated to create sonic movements that vibrate plaque off the surface of the teeth. Maybe ten years from now there will be toothbrushes that fix cavities and treat gum disease! I worry for my future employment!

It’s How You Use It

Coming back to today, manual toothbrushes are still in regular production and are just as good as electric toothbrushes. It all depends on the user. If he or she has been taught the correct technique to brush their teeth and is able to hold the toothbrush and move it in the right way, their teeth will be just as clean as using a fancy schmancy electric toothbrush.

Conversely, if someone uses an electric toothbrush the wrong way, their teeth will never be as squeaky clean as someone who uses a manual toothbrush the correct way. It’s all about motivation and yes, hard work.

Expensive ≠ The Best

So fear not… Investing in the most expensive electric toothbrush with the highest specs does not automatically mean your tooth will be cleaner. One must also take note that the replacement toothbrush heads are also pricey. Ask your dentist to teach you how to brush your teeth correctly and a manual toothbrush is just as good, if not better.

Having said that, we sometimes recommend electric toothbrushes to patients with special needs or limited manual dexterity due to a physical disability, so there is a place for all types of toothbrushes.

By Dr Chin Shou King, Dental Surgeon, Director, T32 Junior Marketing Director

This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine