Electric or Manual Toothbrush?

For the common oral care routine, toothbrushes are a basic necessity that assists us in maintaining our oral health. However, with so many styles and brands out there, choosing the right toothbrush besides one that gives a clean, fresh mouth can be a headache.

Traditional manual toothbrushes have been used for centuries and now, there is the existence of electric toothbrushes which claim to further improve oral hygiene.

So how is an electric/ power toothbrush better?

Scientists have found that people who use an electric toothbrush have healthier gums, less tooth decay and also keep their teeth for longer, compared with those who use a manual toothbrush. Further findings from the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found that electric toothbrushes resulted in 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay over an 11-year period.

The Differences between Electric vs. Manual (sub-title)

For manual toothbrushes, you might be doing all the work, but electric toothbrushes do the cleaning for you. For that reason, many people find using power toothbrushes easier than using regular manual ones.

With that said, let us weigh out the pros and cons for the different toothbrushes to assist in your decision-making.

news and blogs

Pros of the Electric Toothbrush

The world of electric toothbrushes can be complicated but they have been popular over recent years. The simplest reason is that electric toothbrushes (or “power” toothbrushes) provide superior plaque (a sticky film containing bacteria) removal and more effectively prevent gingivitis (gum inflammation) compared to regular manual toothbrushes. This helps keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.

a) Less work and easy to use: For people with limited manual dexterity, that can be from age (young or old), disease or disability, electric toothbrushes may be easier to use than a manual toothbrush.

b) Fun for children: Electric toothbrushes can add some fun to some may consider a boring and irritable activity. Some options have a fun song or blinking lights for the timer that make it easier to get kids to brush their teeth.

c) Interesting technological features: The convenient features that some electric toothbrushes offer may enable you to improve your brushing habits. Some of these features can include:

· Oscillating/rotating technology;

· Timers to help you complete the two-minute recommended and optimum brushing duration;

· Pressure sensors to signal when and if you’re brushing too hard;

· Numerous brushing modes specialized for sensitive teeth, whitening benefits or gum-massaging action;

· Digital reminders to replace your brush head; etc.

d) More thorough tooth cleaning: The bristles on electric toothbrushes can sometimes be thinner and pointier, they can provide targeted cleaning that can aid someone with braces or dental restorations.

Cons of the Electric Toothbrush

With the common benefits, there might also be a few drawbacks for electric toothbrushes.

a) Higher in Cost: Electric toothbrushes may be consider a lavish expenditure and is still a larger investment than the manual version. Adding to that, it can be difficult to find replacement heads for the electric toothbrushes.

b) Requires charging: Most models require charging if the electric toothbrush isn’t battery-operated. However, you have to be cautious to not overcharge it. At the same time, to remember to put the toothbrush to charge can also be a difficult habit.

c) Higher Risk of Damage: The fragility of an electric toothbrush is as good as if it is not dropped on a hard surface as that can cause significant damage to the toothbrush or otherwise damage the battery. You would be spending more on replacements if that happens.

d) Bulky in size and not travel-friendly: Some models of electric toothbrushes generally have bigger handles and that makes them very heavy and not ideal if you want to minimise your carry-on space. There is also the issue of packing along additional batteries and chargers for emergency.

malaysia dental council dentist online consult

Pros of the Manual Toothbrush

We are mostly equipped with a manual toothbrush most of the time, so here are some common pros that we can relate to.

a) Does not require charging or batteries: Unlike electric toothbrushes, manual brushes can be used immediately.

b) Easily Available and Affordable: It is conveniently available in any medical or sundry store. The excitement is you can choose the color, style, and type of bristles that work best for you.

c) Travel-Friendly/ easy to bring on-the-go: Its compact and slim design allows you to stuff it together with your toiletries.

d) Effective at removing plaque: Still able to thoroughly clean your teeth with proper technique.

Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

The cons of manual toothbrushes include the various features that can be found in electric toothbrushes and their cleaning ability in comparison to their electric counterpart. However, there are a few different reasons that sometimes a manual toothbrush may not be ideal for users.

a) Improper technique can lead to ineffective cleaning: While manual toothbrushes are still able to clean your teeth, however with the wrong technique, it may bring more harm than good. Some people tend to brush too hard with manual toothbrushes which can damage the teeth and gums. Some studies also show that they remove less plaque than electric toothbrushes.

b) Tooth-brushing time must be tracked: There is no built-in timer, and therefore the two-minute optimum brushing might or might not be achieved accordingly.

c) Problematic for people with limited mobility: As manual work is required to use the toothbrush, it might be difficult for those who have limited manual dexterity.

The Deciding Point: Which one should I be getting?

Finding the right toothbrush will help you further understand the benefits of maintaining your personal oral health. It is definitely possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush with the correct technique and you are not obligated to get an electric toothbrush to ensure great oral health.

However, it may help in certain situations and used as a great alternative especially if you have arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to brush well.

Whether you choose to use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, it is more important to conduct daily brushing, flossing and practise good overall oral hygiene. 

For more dental advice and helpful tips about your oral health, you can schedule regular cleanings and dental checks with WhatsDoc on the app!

References:

1. Electric toothbrushes win the head to head against manual in record breading new study

2. Electric Vs Manual: toothbrushes whats the evidence

3. Electric toothbrush: Expert answers

4. Are electric toothbrushes better than manual? 

Teledentistry — Transforming oral health service

Teledentistry, aka virtual dental care is a forefront service introduced in this era of modern telecommunication technology and innovative healthcare.

“Every tooth in a man’s mouth is more important than a diamond,” and so virtual dental care plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy mouth and a bright smile.

Dental care: a closer look

Virtual Dental Care is an all-inclusive solution that aids patients’ oral health virtually before or after a consultation. In fact, this kind of telehealth is becoming more popular due to the rising demand for dental services in Singapore.

More and more Singaporeans are becoming aware of the importance of maintaining excellent oral health. With virtual dental care, this speeds up access to licensed dentists through virtual consultations.

How does it work?

How does Teledentistry work

During a virtual consultation, you can either video call or take a few photos of your mouth and include a brief explanation or concerns about your oral health.

For example, a patient can text or call a dentist to discuss an urgent matter. It can take place from virtually anywhere at any time. The dentist will then review and call you in for a physical consultation if needed. This not only helps patients avoid unnecessary dental visits but also save seats and time at dental practices.

Teledentistry also works well for those who have a fear of the dentist. If you’re scared, you’re not alone. With virtual dental service, you can speak to a dentist virtually that gives you a far more comfortable experience from the comforts of your home. So, when you finally decide to go in, you will know what you want and what to expect.

In a nutshell, virtual dental care opened a new realm of opportunities for patients in terms of diagnosis, treatment, transfer of dental information and education.

Meeting the demand

While the concept of virtual dental care is not a new one, it is unfolding to greater heights with new technologies. Here are some case examples that meet the demand for both patients and dentists.

In this approach, you’ll get to understand the value of teledentistry.

Patients

Doctor show prescription to patient

As previously mentioned before, patients can immediately remotely connect with a dentist in times of emergency. This not only allows the dentist to assess the problem quickly but also recommend medications for the problem. As a result, it can save you time and a stressful trip to a dental clinic.

Not to mention, some dentists are available for emergencies 24/7, which is hugely beneficial for patients. But it doesn’t stop there; teledentistry is a huge convenience for patients in less-populated locations where they have a hard time accessing oral health services. It can potentially make dental more cost-effective for the patients.

With virtual dental care, it is a chance to educate patients on excellent oral hygiene practices and oral diseases. After all, a healthy mouth is a healthy you.

It’s also a great chance to teach your children how to brush and floss properly as well as understand your child’s teeth growth patterns.

Dentists

For dentists, your consultations are virtual, and this leads to treating more patients per day. As patients don’t need to come into the clinic unless, for emergency reasons, there will be reduced chair times.

Even after an operation, check-ups won’t be necessary as you can simply connect with them remotely via a quick video call.

For more complicated issues, you can get a second opinion from a specialist or an expert at the touch of a button. You or the patient don’t have to wait for long as the entire process is seamless and efficient.

With teledentistry, the patient will receive better and more rounded care as dentists can connect with other healthcare professionals instantly.

It’s also important to note that teledentistry is not a substitute for physical dental examinations. Instead, it enhances the dentist’s consultation with in-depth care.

Moreover, teledentistry brings dental care to under-resourced communities, focusing on places where populations receive fewer health services. It allows dentist providers to reach that population and expose them to dental care and oral hygiene. This also allows your practice to engage in social responsibility and community care.

Teledentistry: Making lives easier

women showing teeth

All in all, teledentistry not only increases dental care access to patients but also provide better dental education. If implemented correctly, this can be a complete game-changer in the dental industry.

With its many advantages, for dentists and patients alike, this can change the way they look at dental health care. Teledentistry has the potential to increase general access and care regularity, reduce health disparities, and really create more reliable connections between patients and their dentists.

If you’re looking for 24/7 dental care, WhatsDoc is the teledentistry platform you need. Incorporating a team of licensed dentists, WhatDoc can assist in diagnosing your virtual dental needs and arrange appointments immediately, when required.

References:

1. Oral health center neu dental services

2. Dentophobia fear of dentists

3. Teledentistry what is virtual dental care? 

4. How COVID-19 revealed the value of teledentistry?

Dentures: Restoring Confidence and Convenience

As we age, our teeth and gums may become weak if not cared properly. It is not an inevitable situation, but there will come a time in life where we or the people around us might have to consider dentures.

Whether the reason is health-concerned, to ease our daily routine like eating or for improved aesthetic purposes and smile concerns, here is some general knowledge for you to further understand the usage of dentures.

What is a Denture?

Dentures, or also known as false teeth is a removable appliance. It acts as a replacement for missing teeth, gums and surrounding tissues. They are also often made of acrylic, nylon or even metal.

Dentures help us eat and speak better than we could without teeth, as well as improve the look of our smiles in some cases. Depending on your needs, your dentist will assist and advise you on the type of dentures that are best suited for you.

Types of Dentures

There are usually a few dentures choices available to assist in different dental cases:

a) Full/ Complete Dentures: These dentures are also known as the conventional denture and the familiar ones usually used by seniors and the golden-aged. They replace both upper and lower teeth after they are removed and gum tissues have healed.

b) Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are used when there is removal of only some but not all teeth. While you have some natural teeth remain, the partial dentures are designed to fill the spaces of the missing teeth.

c) Immediate Dentures: Immediate dentures are temporary complete dentures that protect the gums as they heal. They allow you to replace missing teeth immediately and can be inserted on the same day that your teeth are removed. This allows you to have teeth during the healing period, but may need to have the denture relined or remade after your jaw has healed.

Note: Your dentist will take measurements and models of your jaw prior to your extraction appointment. These dentures will need to be relined after a few months due to changes to your jaw and bones.

d) Overdentures: Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and provide stability and support for the denture. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth after they have been prepared by your dentist.

Why and when would you need Dentures?

There are many different reasons why one would need to have dentures. Here are the common ones:

1) Loss of Natural Teeth

Teeth loss can be caused by a few reasons like tooth decay or gum disease. While one or two lost teeth may not pose an issue, however they will affect the remaining teeth by creating excessive dependable pressure. Also, when you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag and cause you to look older. Dentures can aid to fill out the appearance of your face and profile.

2) Gaps/ Loose Teeth

While loose teeth can be an indicator that they might need to be extracted due to advanced gum disease, they could be saved with treatment. If unable, the extracted teeth can be replaced with dentures.

3) Difficulty speaking and chewing

With missing teeth, it is harder to convey certain words or speak properly and you may end up sounding slurred.

Also, our teeth are important for us to bite and chew food normally. If you experience pain in eating hard or chewing food, your teeth might have some damage. Because your teeth are not functioning properly and you face difficulties in chewing, you may not realise that you are taking larger bites and could lead to indigestion.

Denture Care and Dental Hygiene

With new teeth comes greater responsibility in caring for your dentures for them to last longer. Due to its daily use, there are a few pointers in caring for your dentures.

a) Always keep your mouth clean and be mindful of the type of food you consume. Dental and oral hygiene is still just as important even when you are having dentures.

b) Constantly handle your dentures carefully and delicately over a basin of water or a cloth. They might break easily if accidentally dropped.

c) When not in use or if you are not wearing them, soak them in plain water, or a denture-cleaning solution if you have any. Never let your dentures dry out as it will cause them to go out of shape.

d) Brush your gums and dentures daily with toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush, just like how you usually brush your own teeth after meals or before going to bed. This prevents them from getting stained and will remove any food particles and plaque stuck on them.

e) Once given the green light by your dentist, it is advisable to remove your dentures when you go to sleep at night. This allows your gums to rest.

f) If an adhesive is needed to retain your dentures, do not apply too much and follow the amount as instructed. After usage, ensure that the adhesive remnants are removed and cleaned thoroughly from your dentures and mouth.

consult dentist in singapore online

New Teeth for a New You!

As we conclude, not everybody will require dentures. However, it is also still important to care for our oral health and gum health.

New dentures will take some time in getting used to. It may also feel awkward at first but with constant practice in speaking and eating with your dentures on, it will be like second nature and you do not have to worry about any other teeth problems anymore.

If you are experiencing some general tooth or gum symptoms, it may be necessary to visit your dentist! Our dentists and oral care professionals at WhatsDoc are able to help you through teledentristry with some dental challenges that you may be experiencing.

References:

1. Dental health dentures

2. Dentures (ADA)

3. What are dentures

4. Types of dentures explained and what is best for you?

5. Everything about dentures

6. Medicinenet

7. Denture (Dental Health)

8. Bridges and partial dentures 

9. Conditions of Dentures

10. Dental health in older age 

11. Dentures 

12.Dentures temporary and permanent cost: Pros and cons

13. 8 signs you need dentures

Dental Crowns: The Cosmetic Royalty for Teeth

As we get older, our teeth ages together with us. Even with proper care, decay, trauma, fillings and even the way you chew will wear out our teeth.

How do we prevent our teeth from wearing down even more? One of the treatments for this include placing a dental crown over a weaker tooth can help.

Let us discuss further on dental crowns as a potential treatment for your teeth.

What are Dental Crowns?

So, what are these crowns that are placed over our tooth/ teeth? A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” or also known as a fixed dental prosthesis which covers the whole or part of a tooth/ implant. The crown covered over the tooth either temporarily or permanently is aimed to restore its shape & size, strength, and improve its appearance.

Usually, the temporary crown or provisional crown is placed while waiting for the permanent prosthesis. The function of the cemented crown on tooth is similar with the function of normal dentition.

Crowns are also used to restore stained or misshaped teeth, as well as to shelter a tooth that has had a root canal. Most dental crown procedures take one day to complete.

Types of Dental Crowns

So, what kinds of permanent dental crowns are available in the market? Each type will have their unique advantages and disadvantages, but as of now, it is good to know that there are 4 main types:

  • All-Metal/ Gold Alloy Crowns

Metal crowns, inclusive of gold alloy and a combination of copper and other metals, such as nickel or chromium provide a number of perks over other dental crown types. The material is highly resistant to corrosion and gentle against neighbouring teeth. It will also not wear away the underlying tooth and are also biocompatible with gum tissue.

Advantages: Strong, durable and highly resistant, ideal for posterior restorations (back teeth), requires the least amount of healthy tooth to be removed prior to fitting

Disadvantages: Poor aesthetics, can affect some people & produce some side effects such as allergic reactions or swelling.

  • Ceramic/ Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns

The most common restorative material for dental crowns and bridges is a mixture of ceramic or porcelain and metal. The chemical reaction caused by mixing the two creates a durable bond and provides the patient with a natural-looking tooth that is ultra-durable.

However, a moderate amount of tooth structure must be removed for this crown to be installed.

Advantages: Durable and visually looks most like normal teeth due to their natural colour and texture, can be a good choice for front/ back teeth & long bridges

Disadvantages: Cause more wearing to the opposing teeth, risk of the porcelain portion of the crown being chipped or break off, and sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line; not well suited for molars and pre-molars, as ceramic can become brittle when exposed to heavy biting forces.

  • Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are typically a temporary solution used to protect a tooth or filling while a permanent crown (made from a different material) is being prepared.

They are often used to restore primary (baby) teeth for children to protect the teeth from additional decay. When the permanent tooth arrives, the crown comes out naturally with it.

Advantages: Cost-effective

Disadvantages: Only used as a temporary measure before a permanent crown arrives

  • All-Resin Crowns

All-resin crowns are also referred to as ‘composite resin’ crowns as they are made from composite resin material, which is a combination of plastic type materials that are colour matched to the natural teeth. Resin is a thinner and more fragile material than other dental restorations, such as metal and porcelain.

Resin restorations are only used as a temporary measure on decayed baby teeth, rather than permanent teeth.

Advantages: Less expensive than other crown types

Disadvantages: Wear down over time and do not last as long, more prone to fractures wear and tear

How and When Do I Need a Dental Crown?

There are a few situations where a dental crown may be required as a choice of treatment:

  • Failure of Restoration

A huge restoration can easily fracture the tooth itself and the restoration alone is unable to hold the tooth and may cause it to crack or fracture. The dental crown is to protect the tooth so that the tooth can function well and last longer.

  • Cracked Tooth/ Worn Dentition

Your teeth may crack based on several reasons and can involve chewing on ice or nuts. A cracked tooth is likely in cases of repeated filling, trauma, caries and grinding at night.

A worn tooth on the other hand has sharp, irregular, short and sensitive surface.

The dental crown will help to save the tooth from getting worse, otherwise, the crack will become worse and the tooth needs to be extracted.

  • Aesthetics/ Cosmetic Modification

If an individual is concerned with their teeth-related appearance like teeth alignment, shape and shade, a dental crown can be a choice of aesthetic restoration.

  • Root Canal Treatment

When a tooth’s physical structure is weakened caused by tooth decay, a root canal might be needed. A dental crown in this case is used to restore the tooth to optimise oral function. However, not all root canal treated tooth is indicated for crown.

  • Dental Caries/ Tooth Decay

Caused by bacterial infection that weakens the tooth structure and creates cavity on the tooth surface. The dental crown will protect the remaining healthy tooth structure after the direct filling is done with the affected tooth.

Besides adults, children may need crowns as well on their baby teeth should there be damage or decay due to poor oral hygiene.

Dental Crowns: Cost & Complications

According to the Ministry of Health Singapore, different public institutions will quote and charge differently, ranging from SGD700 to SGD1300. This price may vary according to private institutions as well.

After the procedure, some may experience some soreness and slight pain when biting down or chewing. The change in temperatures may also cause sensitivity for a few days.

Please consult your dentist if the complications persist.

Dental Crown Care

A dental crown may not last forever, and may need to be replaced if it has faulty or worn down. However, on average dental crowns last between 5 and 15 years. The lifespan of the crown is based on several factors:

  • Resources used to create the crown
  • How well you maintain your oral hygiene
  • The condition of the surrounding teeth and gums
  • The food and drinks you consume

However, just because a tooth has a crown also doesn’t mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease.

It is important to continue your best oral care and hygiene practices, paying more attention around the crown area and where the gum meets the tooth.

Do you think your teeth needs a dental crown?

Schedule an appointment with your preferred dentist(s) on WhatsDoc to find out more about dental crowns and whether they are necessary for your pearly whites!

References:

1. Dental Treatments

2. Are dental crowns painful?

3. Do I really need a crown?

4. Why do I need a crown? 

5. Oral health guide to a dental crown

6. Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Dental Crown

7. Indications of Dental crown 

8. TYPES OF DENTAL CROWNS AND COST: A COMPLETE GUIDE (2020)

9. Dental Crown 

10. Dental crown pictures

11. Advantages and disadvantages of dental crown

12. 5 types of dental crowns

13. Different types of dental crowns 

14. Types of Dental crown and their advantages

15. Bridges and Crowns 

16. Base metal alloys used for dental restorations and implants 

17. Base Metal alloy crown