When you go to any grocery store, pharmacy, or discount “big box” store in Hendricks County, and you walk down the dental care aisle, you’ll likely see a huge variety of toothbrushes. You’ll find everything from a 99-cent bargain toothbrush to an almost-$200, rechargeable, powered toothbrush.
Powered toothbrushes — also known as mechanical, electric or automated toothbrushes — are different from manual toothbrushes since they use either batteries or rechargeable electric power to move the brush heads. The different types of brushing action utilized by powered toothbrushes are:

  • Vibrating or oscillating action (moves bristles back and forth).
  • Oscillating-rotating action (moves bristles back and forth and revolves them).
  • Oscillating-rotating-pulsating action (moves bristles back and forth, revolves them, and moves them in and out).
  • Sonic/ultrasonic technology (uses sound waves to activate bristle movement at high speed).

Powered toothbrushes can provide Hendricks County residents with a variety of advantages. Mechanical toothbrushes:

  • Have larger, more ergonomic handles that make it easier for the elderly, children or people with disabilities or limited mobility to hold the toothbrush. Also, the powered brushing action helps them clean their teeth better since it does most of the work for them.
  • Make it easier for people with braces or other orthodontic appliances to clean their teeth properly since they can get into the hard-to-reach areas better.
  • Make brushing more “fun,” so people will brush longer and more frequently.
  • Remove plaque better than manual toothbrushes since the bristle heads move faster than your hand can.
  • Can prevent damage to your gums and soft tissues, especially if they have a built-in pressure sensor.
  • Remove tooth stains better than manual toothbrushes for a whiter smile.

Although powered toothbrushes offer many advantages, they’re not for everyone. Here are some of the disadvantages associated with them.

  • They cost more than manual toothbrushes. Also, if you have a battery-operated toothbrush, you’ll need to replace the batteries regularly.
  • Some people think powered toothbrushes are too noisy, or they are uncomfortable with the vibration feeling when they’re brushing their teeth.
  • Powered toothbrushes are not good for people with sensitive teeth, especially since it may be hard to find soft bristle heads. And the vibration can cause sensitivity issues.
  • They require extra care since they must be rinsed and cleaned after each use.

If you’re thinking about getting a powered toothbrush, talk with Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry first. He can offer recommendations on the type of powered toothbrush you should use based on your oral health conditions and individual needs.
Remember, brushing with a powered toothbrush doesn’t replace regular dental cleanings! You still need to schedule an appointment with our Hendricks County office every six months for a checkup.