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Could electric toothbrushes be damaging to the enamel?


The Daily Mail has raised concerns that many people could be unwittingly damaging their teeth by using an electric toothbrush, basing their story on several cases where patients have experienced sensitivity, gum recession, and bleeding from the gums after brushing. Some dentists have suggested that these problems could be caused by over-brushing – people brushing too hard and too fast with the electronic brush.

This may come as a surprise to many people, as electronic brushes are extremely popular and thought to be more efficient than manual brushes. However, Dr Sameer Patel, clinical director at Elleven Dental in London, suggested that it is not the actual product to blame, but the way people are using it to brush their teeth. He said that ‘hardly anyone knows how to use them correctly’ and advised people to aim their brush towards the gums at a 45 degree angle, rather than moving it ‘furiously’ across the teeth themselves, as this can cause erosion of the enamel and gum damage. These conditions will make the teeth more sensitive if the practice is continued.

Dr Patel told the paper that enamel cannot regrow and the treatment for gum recession can be ‘costly and uncomfortable’ so people should re-learn a proper brushing technique under the guidance of a dental professional or revert to a manual brush that is going to do less damage.


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