September 29, 2020
You know that brushing your teeth twice a day is crucial if you want to maintain optimal oral health, but do you ever put much thought into the type of toothbrush that you are using? There are two main categories of toothbrushes: manual and electric. Both are great at cleaning your teeth when used properly, but which one is better? Should you make the switch to electric? Your dentist weighs the pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes so that you can make an educated decision about how to take care of your smile.
Manual Toothbrush Pros
This classic toothbrush design has been around for many years. Here are some of the benefits of choosing this type of brush.
- Accessible: If you haven’t already gotten one from your dentist at your regular checkup, then you can easily find one at any of your local grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, and even gas stations. If you forgot to bring your toothbrush while traveling, you can also find them in airports and hotel lobbies.
- Affordable: For the most part, manual toothbrushes are affordable. Most of the time, you can find one between $1 to $3. This isn’t a price range you normally encounter when looking for electric toothbrushes.
- More Control: For people who have highly sensitive gums or teeth, a manual toothbrush can give you more control over both the speed and pressure in which you are brushing.
Manual Toothbrush Cons
Even though they are effective tools, manual toothbrushes do have a few downsides.
- Relies on Technique: Many people who use manual toothbrushes have a tendency to brush too hard. This can lead to damaged tooth enamel, gum irritation, and even gum recession.
- No Timer: Manual toothbrushes don’t come with a built-in timer so it can be difficult to know if you are brushing for long enough.
Electric Toothbrush Pros
You have probably noticed that many people swear by electric toothbrushes. Here are a few reasons why so many prefer them:
- Better at Cleaning: Generally, electric toothbrushes make it easier to clean your teeth thoroughly and properly. Oscillating electric toothbrushes do the best job at removing plaque and preventing gingivitis from occurring.
- Easier: If you have limited mobility due to carpal tunnel, arthritis, developmental disabilities, or another condition, electric toothbrushes can make it easier to brush your teeth because they do most of the work for you.
- Less Wasteful: Instead of having to throw away the entire toothbrush after three months, often times you only have to replace the head. This results in less overall waste.
Electric Toothbrush Cons
- Pricier: Electric toothbrushes can be significantly more expensive than manual ones, and you also need to purchase replacement heads.
- Not Travel-Friendly: Because they are larger than manual brushes, electric toothbrushes are more difficult to travel with. If you travel frequently, they may not be the most ideal option.
Overall, electric brushes are superior in the sense that they are easier to use and do a better job of cleaning away plaque. However, if you opt for a manual brush and use proper technique, they will be just as sufficient.
About the Author
Dr. Benjamin Naylor provides a wide variety of services at his practice, Mountain Stream Dental, in Springfield, OR. He attended the Roseman University College of Dental Medicine in South Jordan, Utah and has pursued more advanced training through groups like The Spear Institute and the Osteoready Institute. For more information on proper oral hygiene or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Naylor, visit his website or call (541) 345-5363.
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