What can go wrong with electric toothbrushes?

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

October 20, 2020

Electric toothbrushes have changed the dental hygiene game. They can be effective, time-saving, and leave your mouth refreshed and clean. But electric brushes are technique sensitive and so one must also know how to use them correctly as they could go wrong too.

Electric toothbrushes might cause tooth sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common problems related to using electric toothbrushes. These brushes are supposed to be placed at a 45° angle to your teeth. If not there could be damaging effects like wearing off the enamel and exposing your nerves. These exposed nerves cause sensitivity and even pain if a major part of your tooth is lost. So place your brush at the correct angle.

You might get Bleeding gums

Gums are soft delicate tissues which unlike our teeth can’t stand a lot of wear and tear. If you’re using excessive pressure while using an electric toothbrush, then its bristles spread out and could damage your gums. With long-term use, it could lead to gum diseases like gingivitis or even periodontitis. So if you see blood when you spit out your paste, change your brushing method or you might need to switch to a soft-bristled manual toothbrush.

Take it easy with electric toothbrushes

Toothbrush abrasion is caused by overzealous use of a brush in the cervical ( junction of gums and teeth) region of the teeth. If you keep brushing hard with your electric brush in this region you risk losing both your gums and teeth. This loss is permanent and needs dental fillings to correct.

So use a mirror while brushing your teeth to see where you are holding the electric brush. Hence using the right technique to brush your teeth is very important. Make sure the bristles of the electric toothbrush are soft enough and comfortable for you to use to prevent tooth abrasions.

Your fillings might get loose

Dental fillings if taken care of properly can last a good 10-15 years or even more. Electric toothbrushes rotate very fast, some even as fast as 50,000 strokes per minute. If you use such a brush incorrectly on your fillings, then with prolonged use, you might end up damaging them. Fillings might get looses, chip off, or even come out completely. So be careful while using an electric brush on your fillings.

Remember that electric brushes need their heads to be changed every 3-4 months just like normal brushes. Using the same head for more than 6 months will not clean your teeth properly.

An electric brush can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you use it. So ask your dentist to not just recommend the best brush for you but also to show you the correct method to use it.

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Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.
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