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Electric toothbrush--worth it?

SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today!Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I've recently realized that making the circular motion with my arm is kind of...well, irritating. At some point in the past two years, I somehow injured a nerve underneath my shoulder blade (according to a local neurologist, anyway) causing an erratic twitch in my right wrist that was noticeable to other people. That was accompanied by occasional bouts of sharp, sharp pain in my upper arm that lasted for about a year.

That's mostly gone, as is the pain, but the circular motions to brush your teeth are kind of awkward, as is trying to brush my teeth with my left hand.

Are electric toothbrushes worth it? I was really surprised to see how expensive they were at places like Target. I'm 23, and have never had a cavity or other tooth problem (except for having "sharp" canines, which I maintain was not a problem). Can anyone who has one say if they simplify brushing or help in gum care (which is something I'm more worried about as well).

Synthesis on
Orca wrote: »
Synthesis wrote:
Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.

Posts

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Yes. Don't pay more than $60.

  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Oh heck yes. I had one of the first Sonicares, until the batteries died. My gums were pretty much pristine. They actually started hurting like a bitch when I switched back to a normal one, and my mouth just doesn't feel as clean. Like, after I'd go to the dentist for a cleaning, they'd still feel clean like that for weeks or months.
    The thing you have to remember if you do choose to get one is planned obsolescence. The batteries are only made to last a couple of years, and just recently they stopped making heads for the first generation. So that's like five years down the line. But there are instructions on the internet on how to replace the batteries with ones that aren't complete suck. The one that come with it only last about a year before you need to start charging it regularly, and after two to three years the batteries are pretty much shot, and you need to leave it plugged in the whole time because otherwise they won't maintain the charge, and they won't be able to be charged back up.
    Ask me how I know all this. :D

    If I wasn't currently unemployed, I would have replaced mine as soon as it truly died. I mean, I took it off of the charger for like an hour, and it can't get charged back up. And that's when I found out they pretty much stopped making the heads for them.

    All that aside, I'd say it's definitely worth it.

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  • MrOlettaMrOletta Registered User
    edited May 2010
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Nope, not worth it. Regular brushing and flossing does the job just fine.

  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Nope, not worth it. Regular brushing and flossing does the job just fine.

    Done correctly this is probably true, but a Sonicare sure makes it easier.

  • LachrymiteLachrymite Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Switching to an electric toothbrush and occasionally using a water pick has made a huge difference in the health of my gums.

  • DidgeridooDidgeridoo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I've had both, and honestly much prefer a regular toothbrush. Much like yourself, I've never had any real tooth issues (well, I had braces as a child but that's tangential) using the regular brush and some floss. I just was not a big fan of the way it felt, how heavy it was, and how expensive it was.

    That having been said, I don't have any physical issues with the circular motion involved with brushing. If you do, then that might be reason enough to go electric.


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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's more a case of it being a hassle, really. The pain in my arm is virtually gone, and I'm sure that if I stick to it, I could get used to it.

    Of course, I'm still curious about the possibilities that an electric tooth brush might mean for my gums. I don't think I'm going to get my teeth any whiter without resort to methods that might hurt, but I would like to have healthier gums.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Floss. Even using an electric toothbrush is no substitute for flossing.

  • Synthetic OrangeSynthetic Orange Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    In my case sure. I've got crowded teeth and weird gumlines at the back and it's nearly impossible to clean properly with a regular brush.

    Death to PA.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I already floss. Especially since it's not an awkward motion for me.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's a waste for most people, but it's worth it if you find it sufficiently difficult to do manually.

  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    If you're having trouble brushing normally then it's probably worth it, but for me the electric kind was too hard on my gums, so I just switched back.

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    ceres wrote: »
    If you're having trouble brushing normally then it's probably worth it, but for me the electric kind was too hard on my gums, so I just switched back.

    That is how most people will feel at first, but after a month of use your gums will toughen up.

    It's the same deal with flossing. If you don't floss regularly, flossing will hurt and make you bleed. Keep at it, and it won't any more.

    I say grab an electric. You can get one for like $25-$30. You don't need the crazy expensive ones that claim to send secret x-ray vibrations through your mouth to loosen bacteria. You just want one that wiggles effectively. You're still going to need to move it around in a circular motion, but not as vigorously as a regular brush.

    As for the batteries dying... you shouldn't be leaving your brush off the charger anyway. Leave the brush on its charger in your bathroom and only take it off to brush your teeth. It will last a long, long time. I've had two in the past six years. The first one was still usable, but I wanted to spring for one with a more interesting head.

    One annoyance with these is that they get really grimy and dirty fast. You need to clean them regularly--the handle, bottom of the handle, etc.

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  • SixSix Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    No way I'd want to use anything but a Sonicare.

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  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    If you're having trouble brushing normally then it's probably worth it, but for me the electric kind was too hard on my gums, so I just switched back.

    That is how most people will feel at first, but after a month of use your gums will toughen up.

    It's the same deal with flossing. If you don't floss regularly, flossing will hurt and make you bleed. Keep at it, and it won't any more.

    Well, I think it's more about the fact that you learn to not make yourself bleed when you floss, rather than your gums becoming bleed-proof.

  • ceresceres Humming hallelujah in the dark Lost with a compass in the fogSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    If you're having trouble brushing normally then it's probably worth it, but for me the electric kind was too hard on my gums, so I just switched back.

    That is how most people will feel at first, but after a month of use your gums will toughen up.

    It's the same deal with flossing. If you don't floss regularly, flossing will hurt and make you bleed. Keep at it, and it won't any more.

    Well, I think it's more about the fact that you learn to not make yourself bleed when you floss, rather than your gums becoming bleed-proof.

    Actually, I'd been using one for about a year. It could just be something funny with my gums, or the fact that I tend to push pretty hard left to my own devices, but I've just switched back to a soft-bristled, regular brush and become more vigilant with my flossing, and my teeth feel better than they have in a while.

    I'm not exactly gentle, which is more likely my problem than the toothbrush, honestly.

    It'll be just as quiet when I leave as it was when I first got here
    I don't expect anything.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • LachrymiteLachrymite Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    That's interesting that you had gum problems from the electric, we had the exact opposite problem. My wife and I both had a habit of brushing very hard with normal toothbrushes, to the point where we were damaging our gums, and we couldn't seem to break the habit. After switching to the electrics at the recommendation of our dentist it fixed the problem, as we let the electrics do the proper amount of scrubbing work without really going overboard with our own effort.

    There have been a few times we've been traveling and decided to just pick up some normal toothbrushes so we didn't have to worry about charging the electrics or anything, and we always feel like our mouths don't feel nearly as clean and can't wait to get back and use the electrics again.

    Getting a water pick has helped me personally a lot as well, since I was never that great about flossing.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    While I personally never liked my electric toothbrush, I LOVE my water pick (as opposed to flossing). I have a high gag reflex or something that makes using dental floss a pain in the ass. I love the water pick cause 1: it doesn't make me want to puke, and 2: you put about 2/3 water and 1/3 mouthwash and run it through, you have the freshest breath ever.

  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    The only difference in actual cleanliness is that electrics are very slightly more pleasant, so you'll brush longer. Other than that, there are only the benefits that come with not having to move it, such as brushing with braces or near sensitive gums.

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  • PerpetualPerpetual Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Scalfin wrote: »
    The only difference in actual cleanliness is that electrics are very slightly more pleasant, so you'll brush longer. Other than that, there are only the benefits that come with not having to move it, such as brushing with braces or near sensitive gums.

    Yeah, Sonicare is at least 2 mins, or even 2.5 mins depending on the mode.

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    or you could try a $6 electric disposable... honestly, i use one and it does a great job.

  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino legally competent Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    i had an Oral B electric brush for the longest time, and my dentist would consistently comment about the great shape of my teeth. the Oral B started wearing away at my gums though. my dentist ended up recommending i get a Sonicare as a replacement.

    i got one around the start of this year and LOVE it. i would say it IS recommended, particularly because you have less chance of wearing away your gums than with regular brushing. you need to floss no matter what kind of brushing you do, but i really really like my Sonicare.

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  • Penguin_OtakuPenguin_Otaku Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Is this really about brushing your teeth over working you? Holy shit.

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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Xaquin wrote: »
    While I personally never liked my electric toothbrush, I LOVE my water pick (as opposed to flossing). I have a high gag reflex or something that makes using dental floss a pain in the ass. I love the water pick cause 1: it doesn't make me want to puke, and 2: you put about 2/3 water and 1/3 mouthwash and run it through, you have the freshest breath ever.

    I had never thought about that. I use whitening Listerine...is there any chance that might mess up a Water Pic brand Water Pick?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I have no idea. I just use mint scope (the impossible shade of green kind)

    I can't imagine it would hurt it much though as you should run through a batch of regular water afterwords to clean it out.

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