The Best Electric Toothbrush

Dental Revelations Blog-4586

I have known it. I have told you about it. Now there is evidence of it (again).

The Philips Sonicare is the ultimate electric toothbrush. There’s no way going around it. I have written a post about it before as well but I had to bring it up again because there is new evidence supporting my opinion.

The Journal of Clinical Dentistry has earlier this year published a study A Comparison of the Effect of Two Power Toothbrushes on the Reduction of Gingival Inflammation and Supragingival Plaque. You can find an abstract of the study here. If you read it through, you must by now wake up from the brainwashed illusion that any other toothbrush would be better. 

There is mainly two brands that can compete in the category of the best electric toothbrush – Philips and Braun Oral-b. That is why this study is significant. Of these two best manufacturers, Oral-b gets the short end of a stick I’m afraid.

Tried It, Didn’t Like It

So you gave the Philips Sonicare a go? Did it tickle like hell? Well that’s what it does in the beginning. There is an easy-start mode to reduce the tickling sensation in the beginning but I would advice to use it in full power as soon as possible. The tickling will diminish in 1-2 weeks. Just persevere.

Did you not get a clean feeling? There is certain technique to be used with the Sonicare toothbrush. Firstly, you should use a gel-like toothpaste and soak the brush head under running tap before you start brushing. This is because the sonic vibration needs liquids to travel to hard to reach places like in between the teeth and below the gum line. The gel-like toothpaste will dissolve quicker into water than pastes. If the mouth is too dry, the sonic vibration won’t work and this will result in poor cleaning result.

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Secondly, you need to stop brushing. Let the brush slide slowly over the gum line (where the tooth and gum meets) and point the bristles where you want the sonic vibration to reach. The gum line is the most important area to brush, but once you have done this you can point the bristles directly towards the surface of the tooth. This is a brilliant way of reducing staining. The brushing like this will take about 3 minutes.

Thirdly, do not press too hard. If you press too hard, you will loose the sonic vibration.

Fourthly, change your brush head every 4-6 months.

By following these advices, you should have a squeaky clean teeth.

For the dental professionals, who have seen poor results with their patients that are using Philips Sonicare – teach your patients to use it correctly.

Hard Evidence

I’ve seen the evidence with my patients that Philips Sonicare does it’s business. I use it myself and wouldn’t change to any other toothbrush. But to convince everyone else of the greatness of Philips Sonicare, I am happy that there is new evidence of it. Here’s a quote from the study:

Conclusions: The Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Smart powered toothbrush reduced gingival inflammation, gingival bleeding, and supragingival plaque significantly more than the Oral-B Genius 8000 powered toothbrush following a 42-day home-use period.

How can you argue with that?

Read more:

Testing Oral-b Smart Phone Holder, Take 2

Testing Oral-b Smart Phone Holder, Take 1

Superiority of the Philips Sonicare Toothbrush

Recommendations, Advice, Tips You Can Rely on

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Should You Use a Mouthwash?

Dental Revelations Blog-1

Yes and no.

If you are a patient and you ask this question from two dentists there is a BIG chance that you will get two answers. The other shows you the green light and the other the red.

There is no consensus amongst the dental professionals about the recommendations. Even the professors in dentistry argue about the recommendations publicly. They give statements to the press for and against the mouthwashes after a new study about the risks of the mouthwashes is released. Some negate all the study’s conclusions.

So no wonder it leaves patients confused if us professionals are too.

Well Should You?

Generally no.

If you have a good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day and cleaning between the teeth most nights – and you use a fluoride toothpaste there’s no reason to use a mouthwash.

But there are exceptions – naturally!

If you suffer

  • from a gum disease you might be advised to use a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine (CHX) during and after a periodontal treatment. It is a very effective ingredient that kills bacteria. But remember to use it only as advised by a dental professional
  • from an extreme dryness of the mouth through an illness (e.g. Sjögren’s syndrome) you might be advised to use fluoride mouthwash regularly to prevent decay

Remember that in both of these cases you should choose the alcohol-free version.

Dangers of Using a Mouthwash

Oral cancer

If you use a mouthwash that has alcohol (ethanol, but I’m going to use the word alcohol instead) levels of 25% or higher and you have been using it since your teenage years the studies state that you have higher chances for getting an oral cancer.

One leading brand (the one that rhymes with word blistering) can have alcohol levels as high as 26% and this high level is thought to be toxic for gingival tissues when used in abusive amounts. But – and it is a big but – why do they add alcohol to the mouthwashes when it is a known fact that for alcohol to be toxic for bacteria it must be used at 40%? This means that there is no help from alcohol levels as low as 26% but it can still be harmful to the gingival tissues.

Discolorations

If you use a mouthwash containing CHX for a longer period of time it will stain your teeth. Stains can be removed but it will cost you of course.

In my professional life I have noticed that for some unknown reason the leading blistering-rhyming mouthwash stains the teeth with some patients even though it doesn’t contain the CHX. Actually the looks of the stains is different to those that build up from the CHX. After a thorough interview of the patient no other explanation was found to the stains than the mouthwash the patient had been using. The staining stopped once the patients stopped using the mouthwash.

Dry mouth and bad breath (halitosis)

Alcohol in mouthwashes can dry the mouth and the dry mouth is prone to halitosis. People often seek help from the mouthwash for the halitosis but it can actually make the matters worse.

Lichen planus

If you have been diagnosed with lichen planus you should not use any mouthwashes unless advised by a professional. But even in this case you should not use mouthwashes with alcohol.

WELL SHOULD I?

Wouldn’t it be the wisest thing to do if you DIDN’T use a mouthwash whilst us professionals argue about the health risks of the mouthwashes? It’s your health that is gravely at risk if the alcohol in mouthwashes is proven to be harmful.

I have seen patients who are going through the cancer treatments for oral cancer and I have seen the 50% of them who survived the cancer. I can tell you that it’s not a pretty sight. Not during the treatments or after surviving it.

Why would you play a Russian roulette over your health? I wouldn’t and therefore I am not using any mouthwashes.

If You Still Want to Use a Mouthwash

Always choose the alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash.

Remember

  • it can stain your teeth
  • it never replaces brushing or cleaning between the teeth
  • that in many countries the mouthwashes are considered as cosmetics by law. In some countries they are considered both cosmetics and drugs. But when considered as cosmetics they are not that highly regulated as drugs are. So what you could actually be rinsing in your mouth is a cocktail of chemicals that no-one knows (or cares) how they affect the health
  • that if you are also a heavy smoker it increases the risk of getting an oral cancer. If on top of that you are a high consumer of alcoholic drinks you are even at higher risk

Conclusion

I really don’t get it how we cannot decide if the mouthwashes containing alcohol should be recommended or not. It’s just ridiculous that even inside one dental practice opposite recommendations are given to the patients.

What all of us professionals agree is the fact that alcohol is an aldehyde and it is metabolised by the oral bacteria to acetaldehyde which is carcinogenic in humans. Carcinogens cause cancer! And yet we argue about the risks of using an alcohol containing mouthwash.

What are the reasons behind all this? Some have suggested that some of the dental professionals have financial commitments to the manufacturers of the mouthwashes. I must emphasise that this is a hearsay. But if you have read my previous post about the integrity amongst dental professional you understand that everything is possible.

If you are interested to read about groundbreaking study about the risks of using the alcohol containing mouthwashes (one that caused a mayhem amongst dental professionals) visit here.