No one argues about the importance of a good dental hygiene routine when it comes to protecting your teeth. This includes a thorough brushing and flossing routine at least twice a day, and most dentists will recommend an electric toothbrush to help you do this most effectively. However, it's possible to use technology to take your efforts one step further, and that's by using a device known as a sonic toothbrush.
What is a Sonic Toothbrush?
They may sound like something out of science fiction, but sonic toothbrushes are very similar to ordinary electric ones, although far more effective to use. Normal powered toothbrushes vibrate at a rate of between 2-5k brushes a second, which is plenty fast enough for dislodging plaque, tartar, and other debris from your teeth when the brush comes into contact with them.
However, sonic toothbrushes vibrate at a much higher speed. Their frequencies can reach well into the audible range, which gives them their "sonic" description. It's not unusual for sonic brushes to work five to seven times faster than standard types, pulsing at a rate of 15,000 times a second or even more. This has two highly beneficial effects
How Sonic Brushes Outperform Traditional Electric Models
Firstly, this extra vibration speed means the toothbrush bristles move faster across the surface of your teeth, increasing efficiency and removing more material for the same time spent brushing. However, it's the second benefit that's more interesting, and really sets sonic brushes apart from their less-advanced cousins.
The high-speed vibrations of the toothbrush head cause matching pressure waves in the air immediately around it. These waves are basically sound waves, but at a higher frequency than the usual buzzing of an ordinary electric brush. These waves rapidly shake the surrounding plaque without actually touching it, loosening it from the tooth enamel, and making it much easier to dislodge and brush off. The pressure waves also disrupt and slow down the growth of bacteria living on your teeth, helping to keep their levels under control far more efficiently than ordinary brushing.
Importantly, these effects also reach down into the cracks and crevices between your teeth, which ordinary brushing can often skim over rather than cleaning deeply.
Why Better Brushing Matters
The enhanced brushing and cleaning abilities of sonic toothbrushes offer the following benefits.
- Lower levels of plaque and tartar.
- Slower bacteria growth, meaning less decay.
- Reduced chances of excess bacteria causing gum disease.
- A cleaner-feeling mouth, and sweeter-smelling breath.
- Reduced speed and depth of staining.
A sonic toothbrush is no silver bullet for dental health, and it's definitely not a replacement for a proper brushing and flossing routine. However, as an extra string to your dental-care bow, most experts agree that sonic brushes are well worth the slightly higher cost compared to ordinary electric models.