Are Electric Toothbrushes Effective?
Has your dentist recommended that you use an electric toothbrush? It is widely understood that these devices can be very effective at removing plaque and preventing tooth decay. If you choose to use one, however, it is important that you exercise caution while doing so.
Problems have been reported with some electric toothbrushes. Toothbrush parts have been known to break off and cause injury. When parts break off during use, the loose parts are released at great speed and can fly into the mouth and chip teeth or get caught in the throat and become a choking hazard. Cases have even been reported where parts have flown into the eyes.
While using electric toothbrushes is considered safe, if you do use one, you should take some precautions to ensure your safety. The FDA regulates both manual and electric toothbrushes, and makes the following recommendations to consumers:
• Inspect the toothbrush head for loose parts or damage before each use, and if damage is detected, replace it immediately.
• Replace the brush head at least every three months even if it appears normal. Some manufacturers have added bristles that change color when it is time to replace the head.
• Supervise children at all times while they are using an electric toothbrush.
Though they are effective at helping to maintain good oral hygiene, electric toothbrushes are not a substitute for a professional cleaning at a dental office. So even if you use one, be sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for a professional dental cleaning.
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