Manual vs Electric Toothbrushes

Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Brushes?

When it comes to using an electric toothbrush or a manual one, which one is better? For some people there is no debate because they have never owned an electric toothbrush. Most children now days start out playing with an electric toothbrush because it’s a fun and entertaining way to brush their teeth. But it is much more than that, don’t you think?

Electric toothbrushes are rapidly growing in popularity. It’s not that a manual toothbrush can’t do the job of cleaning teeth sufficiently; it’s actually become part of our culture to have some type of hand-held device that makes electric toothbrushes seem part of the norm. So when you ask a child which toothbrush they prefer, they always go for the electric ones.

Kids aren’t the only ones that like electric toothbrushes. According to the Cochrane Collaborations Oral Health Group, their review of identifying, evaluating, and analyzing the data of electric and manual toothbrushes distinguished characteristics of their clinical trials. Their results indicated that all types of power toothbrushes worked as well as manual toothbrushes in the removal of plaque. However, only the rotating oscillating toothbrush consistently provided a statistically significant benefit over manual toothbrushes by 7 % in reducing plaque and 17 % for reducing gingivitis.

Of course there are pros and cons to both types of toothbrushes. One of the first things to be discussed between the two is price. Manual toothbrushes are very inexpensive compared to an electric one. You can toss out a manual toothbrush every 3 months where the cost of a set of heads for an electric toothbrush is more costly. There are all kinds of models that range in price with extra features that some people prefer.

But if both toothbrushes can pretty much do the same type of work, then why go to the extra cost? What matters most here is that you brush your teeth every day, twice a day, for at least 2 minutes to keep plaque from forming on the surface of your teeth. But most dentists do prefer that their patients own an electric toothbrush. The biggest advantage here is that electric brushes will do most of the work for you. Dentists believe that this is half the battle won if people will pick up a toothbrush and use it. So if you or one of your family members struggles to brush their teeth, choose an electric brush and just get started brushing.

One of the most important things to discuss here is not whether you buy an electric or manual toothbrush. What matters most is that you brush your teeth correctly. The rules haven’t changed about keeping your oral health in check. It is important to brush your teeth adequately to remove the built-up plaque before it goes below the gum line.

Here are some brushing tips to remember:

  • Always place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently brush your teeth using small circular motions.
  • Be sure to brush the outer surfaces, move to the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • For fresh breath, brush your tongue daily.

Whether you decide to use an electric or manual toothbrush it is your preference. Always inspect your bristles and replace them when they start to bend away from the normal structure of the toothbrush. If they are too stiff, they can hurt your gums, so choose one with soft bristles. Always remember to brush your teeth as recommended by the American Dental Association, and visit your dentist twice a year.