How Does an Ultrasonic Toothbrush Work?

ultrasonic toothbrushThis is an electric toothbrush that makes use of ultrasound for effectiveness. The brush has got a minuscule head with specially designed bristles. The head can move in 2 possible motions. It may move in a vibration motion in the head; in a sideways motion or up-down motion. It may also move in a rotational oscillation movement; the head repeatedly rotates in half arcs.

This toothbrush works at 1.6 MHz frequency. That translates into 1,600,000 complete cycles (to and fro) in one second.

How to use an ultrasonic tooth brush

The way in which an ultrasonic toothbrush works depends on the motion type that one employs. There are 2 ways of using this toothbrush type: When the motion used is the rotational oscillation, the toothbrush moves from one tooth to the next. With this motion type, one does not have to move the brush in to and fro or up-down movements. When the motion is vibration, the toothbrush works just like an ordinary toothbrush. That means that one has to move it to and fro, up and down when brushing.

What is the effectiveness of an ultrasonic toothbrush?

Ultrasonic toothbrushes that use the rotational oscillation motion are said to be way better than the ordinary toothbrushes. A study carried out on people with gingival inflammation showed that the use of ultrasonic toothbrushes brought about a reduction in the inflammation. The inflammation reduced by 11 percent to 16 percent in one to three months of use. Gingival inflammation causes gums to bleed. However, there are some other factors that influenced the effectiveness of using the ultrasonic toothbrush. These include:

The amount of time spent when brushing. The longer one brushed, the greater the benefits.

Regular head replacement – Regularly replacing the toothbrush head enabled the brush to remain optimally efficient.

The brushing technique used – The patients that employed regular brushing techniques when using the ultrasonic toothbrush got better results. The gingival inflammation reduced greatly.

Ultrasonic toothbrushes get their prowess from the fact that they are able to break up dental plaque at a high degree. They do this by breaking down the chains that carcinogenic streptococcus mutant bacteria form.

These toothbrushes are also said to destroy these bacteria’s cell walls by loosening their means of attachment to the enamel.

Are the ultrasonic toothbrushes safe?

Ultrasound between 1.0 and 3.0 MHz has been employed in therapeutic procedures. These procedures include increasing the rate at which wounds heal, plaque removal, treating aphthous stomatitis, treating gingival inflammation and bleeding.


That is why in 1992, US Food and Drug Authority approved the use of a 1.6 MHz ultrasound in toothbrushes.

Then National Electrical Manufacturers Association introduced rules that ensured that ultrasonic toothbrushes were safe for use. The rules formulated were put in place to curtail the use of higher ultrasonic frequencies in these toothbrushes. That is because higher ultrasonic frequencies have the ability to raise the temperature of nearby dental tissue.

The limit is set at frequencies that do not have the ability of raising tissue temperature by 1 degree Celsius strictly.

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