We’ve come to believe that brushing our teeth with a rechargeable electric toothbrush ensures cleaner teeth, but could that information be horribly incorrect?
Natasha Vigille shared her story of how years of diligently brushing her teeth with an electric toothbrush has actually left her teeth in worse shape. According to the Daily Mail, that brushing has worn away her protective tooth enamel and exposed the sensitive root, leaving her in agony.
“I was caring for a lady with cerebral palsy at the time and used to watch her clean her teeth, and it looked amazing,” Vigille said. “An electric toothbrush seemed to clean her teeth thoroughly with hardly any effort.”
However, after a year of using her electric toothbrush, Vigille learned her teeth were actually in worse condition than before.
“On my bottom front teeth, my gums were noticeably receding,” she says. “This was when the sensitivity started, too. Whenever I drank anything very hot or cold, it hurt so much my eyes would water.”
Vigille, who once thought she had perfect teeth, paid a trip to the dentist, where she was told something surprising.
“She blamed my electric toothbrush,” Vigille says. “I am a fastidious brusher, and the dentist said it was likely I was over brushing — using the brush too vigorously or brushing for longer than two minutes.”
But is Vigille’s incident an isolated one? According to Dr. Beeta Salek-Haddadi, a cosmetic dentist at Smile Solutions in London, it’s not.
“I’m seeing an increasing number of patients with abrasion cavities and gum problems after using these powerful electric gadgets in the wrong way,” Salek-Haddadi told the Daily Mail. “People are brushing too hard and fast with them, and it’s causing damage.”
If you brush too hard or too often — for longer than two minutes twice a day — then your teeth are at risk of damage.
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According to WebMD’s Richard H. Price, the consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, if you’re using an electric toothbrush, you should “let the bristles do the work and just guide the toothbrush…Be gentle. It doesn’t take a lot of force to remove plaque.”