It’s the time of year when dental suppliers are releasing new product lines, and for the past few years, manufacturers have been interested in integrating home oral hygiene with smart devices. At Dr. Suzanne Haeri’s office, we’re always glad to help patients understand oral hygiene better, so we thought we’d describe how toothbrushes are getting smarter.
There are a number of apps aimed at children or adults, but one thing they have in common is the ability to provide feedback about the user’s brushing habits. Electrical toothbrushes don’t have much of an advantage over manual toothbrushes when used properly, but proper use of a manual toothbrush requires that the user brush for at least two full minutes during each session and thoroughly cover every tooth surface. Electrical toothbrushes obviously cut down on the time commitment, but patients previously may have still skipped over several teeth. New apps point out where patients need to brush more, whether they need to adjust the toothbrush’s settings, and whether the patient is improving.
For children, motivation is often more of a problem than knowledge or physical ability. Several manufacturers now include mobile games with their toothbrushes in which children are rewarded for improving their technique with story progression, bonuses, and so forth. Electric toothbrushes are still expensive and probably unnecessary for people who properly brush the old-fashioned way, but the new features may make them useful to patients who are struggling with home oral hygiene.
Suzanne Haeri, DDS, of Cosmetic & General Dentistry, is located at 1100 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, California, 90035. To set up an appointment, call 310-647-2200 or visit SuzanneHaeriDDS.com and fill out a request.