Manual vs. Powered Toothbrushes: Which is Best?

A good, quality toothbrush is one tool that is at the heart of any effective dental hygiene program. This fact is as basic as you can get. However, with the advent of the electric toothbrush – first invented by Dr. Phillippe Guy Woog in 1954 – the question of what kind of toothbrush to use has expanded beyond bristle type, shape etc. In fact, one of the most common questions dentists find the public asking is which kind of toothbrush is best manual or electric. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.


Manual toothbrushes


Invented back in 15th century China, the first toothbrush bore little resemblance to the kind that most of us use today. Instead of a sleek plastic implement that comes in a variety of colors and designs and was filled with soft to firm bristles, this early invention was made of coarse boar hair attached to bamboo or bone.




  • There are a variety of bristles, heads and styles to choose from.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.
  • No charging is needed.




  • They require more physical effort to use than electric toothbrushes.
  • They can be difficult to use for people with dexterity problems like arthritis, etc.


Electric toothbrushes


Although the electric toothbrush was first invented in the mid Twentieth Century, they only became popular in the 1990s. Like manual toothbrushes there are advantages and disadvantages to their use.




  • They are easy to use.
  • They are better at removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • Kids find them fun and easy to use.




  • They must be charged.
  • They cost more than a manual toothbrush.
  • They can be easy to break.


Finally, whichever kind of toothbrush you use be sure that it is ADA approved. Our low-income dental plans can put you in contact with a dental provider who will happily
answer any question you may have about the differences between the two kinds of brushes. Moreover, our Ameriplan Dental plan can save you up to 80% on some procedures.

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Strategies for Making Dental Hygiene fun for Kids

Make even the most mundane of life’s daily tasks seem like fun and you’ll have kids hooked. One of the most important of those daily rituals is tooth-brushing and oral care in general. The goal here is to make oral hygiene – which should be a part of all of our daily routines – a habit that will grow to become a lifelong practice in our children’s lives. Another motivation for finding ways to make oral hygiene more fun is that it reduces anxiety inducing trips to the dentist. At Family Health Dental Plans, where we have competitive discount dentist plans available, we would like to offer these helpful tips for making oral hygiene more fun for your kids.brush

  • Let your child pick their own dental tools: Nowadays, there are a variety of character-themed toothbrushes, holders and even flavored toothpastes on the market. Let your child pick his favorite and he/she will be more likely to use these tools regularly. Just make sure they are American Dental Association (A.D.A) approved before purchasing.
  • Brush and floss together: Small children in particular love mimicking their parents and spending time with them as well. Add further excitement to tooth-brushing and flossing by making up rhymes and songs about oral hygiene.
  • Create a fun reward system: Use gold stars on poster board to indicate your child’s adherence to their daily tooth brushing routine. You can supplement the gold stars with healthy snacks like apples, etc.
  • Read books and watch videos about teeth with your child: There are all kinds of profusely illustrated books available online and at local book stores written for kids on the topic of dental hygiene with titles like ‘Melvin the Magnificent Molar’ and ‘Clarabella’s Teeth’.

Yes, with a little ingenuity you can help your child see that brushing his or her teeth doesn’t have to be a chore. What will help you is the fact that our plans – which are the equivalent of having cheap dental insurance – will help you save money as well.

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Low Income Dental Care

Most people from time to time have been frustrated by the rising cost of most dental procedures.  Yet, many of us, realizing how important dental care is, simply gather together our resources and simply endure the costs.  However, for people with limited financial resources these costs can actually be the cause of them avoiding trips to the dentist altogether.  People who are on limited incomes are therefore susceptible to tooth decay and other problems that can arise as a result of poor dental care.  For these people there are resources that can help them handle the costs of visiting the dentists.  One of those alternatives is dental health plans.  By using a dental health plan, patients can pay an annual fee which grants them access to a nationwide network of qualified dental professionals whose services they can use at a reduced rate.  Access to these professionals thus adds affordability and convenience to what would otherwise be an arduous effort to seek out dental

With the use of dental plans, members have access to procedures as routine as cleanings and x-rays to more complicated procedures such as crowns, root canal surgery, dental implants and various dental emergency services.  In other words, every procedure that insurance would cover, plan participants also enjoy.  Finally, while dental plan coverage is not the same as dental insurance, it does help low income patients with the rising cost of visiting the dentist.  At Family Dental Health Plans we are proud to help patients who are income limited gain access to high quality dental care at prices that aren’t prohibitive.

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How Early should You start Teaching Kids to Brush?

One of the most daunting challenges parent face in raising their children is instilling in them good habits while trying to make sure that they do not develop bad ones. brush This is especially true of habits that affect their health.  But many of the tools parents need are already there as young children are often eager to learn and can’t help but imitate us.  Because of this, parents should take advantage of every opportunity they can to teach their children healthy dental habits.  But when exactly should you introduce your child to dental hygiene?  What is the right age to teach your child to brush and when should he or she be allowed to brush his/her own teeth?

Naturally, from the time a child’s first teeth begin emerge many dentist recommend that parents should begin to clean their children’s teeth themselves.  Some dentists recommend that parents should wait until three teeth in a row have come out.  The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (ADP) recommend using a rice-sized amount of tooth paste for on a baby’s first teeth and a pea-sized amount on a 2 or 3 year-old’s teeth.  In either case, you should brush your child’s teeth twice a day so that he/she can learn to brush.  Dentists do not recommend that children brush their own teeth until after the age of 6 or 7 as they lack the coordination to do so properly.  Finally, impress upon your child the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and your child may develop habits that will last a lifetime.  Family Dental Health Plans help you reach Ameriplan dental providers who can give you more tips on developing health dental habits in your child.  Not only that, but Ameriplan providers are affordable as well.

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Dry Mouth and its Effects on Dental Health

One of the natural mechanisms the body has to protect teeth and the mouth in general is saliva.  Besides making food much easier to digest, saliva protects the teeth against decay by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth. dry mouth Moreover, saliva contains important elements that neutralize plaque acids and help repair early tooth damage.  For these reasons, and others, it is important that the body be able to produce sufficient amounts of this lubricant and digestive aid.  Unfortunately, there are times when not enough of this vital lubricant and digestive aid is produced by the body.  At times like these, some people suffer from a condition called xerostomia or “dry mouth” as it is commonly called.

There are several causes of dry mouth including certain medications, nerve damage, smoking or tobacco chewing and dehydration.  The symptoms of dry mouth – apart from a parched mouth – are frequent thirst, sores in the mouth, bad breath and hoarseness.  The main thing for people to remember who suffer from this condition that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease is that it can be treated by a number of methods. dry mouth remediesTreatment methods include chewing sugar-free gum, regular brushing, over-the-counter medications and drinking copiousness amounts of water.  Of course, the first step to treatment is diagnosis and here is where consulting with a dental professional is critical.  If you believe you have chronic dry mouth you should talk to your dentist so that he or she can find a cause to your condition and from there determine a course of treatment.  Family Dental Health Plans has a network of dentists that can help you with this condition and we have affordable dental plans to help you as well.  Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you.

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