Dental Technology at Home

How useful are dental gadgets for use at home?

At Arthur House Dental Care we are continuously assessing the facilities and equipment at our Sutton Coldfield practice to make sure that we are as up to date as we can be and hence providing our dental patients with the best treatment experience that we can. We thought then, that it might be interesting to take a look at a few of the gadgets and gizmos that can now be purchased for use at home and how effective these are for taking care of your dental health.

Electric Toothbrushes

It is very common to find electric toothbrushes in people’s bathrooms these days. In fact, at the more affordable end, these are likely to be a popular stocking filler at Christmas. Of course, you can spend a small fortune on one of these devices, though most of the lower priced ones are adequate for the job if used diligently.

Are they better than a standard toothbrush though?  The key really is how they are used. Whilst a toothbrush should be changed approximately every 3 months or so, many people don’t bother, or simply forget, to change the heads of their electric toothbrushes rendering them fairly ineffective. Without reasonably new, firm bristles, no toothbrush will be able to remove the plaque which is a major factor in gum disease.

There is a valid argument that, because you don’t have to physically ‘brush’ with an electric toothbrush, there is less wear and tear on the enamel on the teeth and the ‘comfort’ factor means that the gum line does get more attention.

Overall though, the choice is personal and provided that a standard toothbrush is of a decent quality, is changed regularly and that the teeth are brushed for 2 minutes each time, there probably is little to choose between them.

Water Flossers

Flossing is an important, but often neglected, part of our oral hygiene regime. By flossing, we can remove small pieces of food which may have become stuck between our teeth. If left, this debris will rot and eventually cause decay of the enamel, leading to a filling at the very least.

The reality though is that many people do struggle to floss and some even find interdental brushes difficult to use.  Water flossers (or waterpiks) may be especially useful for those that have problems with standard flossing methods.

By shooting powerful thin jets of water between the teeth, these water flossers can be just as effective at removing food particles as standard flossing or interdental tools. The main downside to this new procedure though does seem to be that people find it a bit of a messy process with jets of water going everywhere. Like most things though, practise makes perfect and this could be a very useful tool to keep your teeth in good shape.

Phone Apps

Phone apps for dental care are in their infancy but one that may be of interest is the one which claims to detect bad breath! Whilst this can be caused by a number of factors such as garlic or coffee, it could also be the first signs of gum disease and may, at the very least, help to raise a person’s awareness that it might just be time to visit the dentist. Our professional advice would be to avoid anything that, like ‘phone apps, seem a bit “gimmicky” and appear to have little technical evidence to back them up.