Everyone knows they must brush their teeth, but sometimes patients are unsure of the best way to brush their teeth. When it comes to choosing between an electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush, some people feel overwhelmed by the choice.
We hope this guide will help you make the best decision for yourself and your family. This article isn’t intended to replace professional dental care. The choice between an electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush depends largely on your preferences, budget, lifestyle, and oral hygiene needs.
Whichever option you choose, we urge all of our patients to brush their teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste containing fluoride. Please change your toothbrush every two to three months. We also urge you to floss daily. Finally, visit your dentist as recommended for a thorough examination and professional cleaning. Once you have the basics down, most of the other options are just details.
Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush
The American Dental Association found that either a manual or electric toothbrush effectively removes plaque from the teeth when used correctly. As you may know, plaque causes tooth decay and other oral health problems, including gum disease. Here’s a guide on electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush.
Why Choose a Manual Toothbrush
Even if you prefer an electric toothbrush, chances are you also want to have a manual toothbrush. It is easier to travel with a manual toothbrush. If you are going on an overnight trip, simply put your toothbrush in your travel bag along with a travel-size tube of toothpaste. It is hard to beat the low-tech convenience of a traditional manual toothbrush. Given the low price point, most patients who own an electric toothbrush also own a manual toothbrush.
However, a manual toothbrush is not just a consolation prize. Manual toothbrushes are available in a range of sizes. You can find small, medium or larger-sized toothbrush heads to accommodate any size of the mouth.
Some people feel like they can better control the speed and pressure of their brushing. Some people who have sensitive teeth or a sensitive gag reflex may appreciate a manual toothbrush.
In conclusion, manual toothbrushes are portable, low-tech, and inexpensive. With good brushing techniques, they are very effective at cleaning the teeth. However, some people find their teeth get even cleaner when they use an electric toothbrush.
Why Choose an Electric Toothbrush
Some people, especially children, think an electric toothbrush is easier and more fun to use. The toothbrush does some of the work for you. The faster brush speed means that each tooth receives more gentle cleaning action in a shorter time due to the vibrations and micromovements.
Some brushes even have a built-in timer to remind the user to spend the recommended period of time brushing within each quadrant in the mouth. Of course, a timer or smartphone app can provide similar prompts to manual toothbrush users.
People who suffer from mobility hindering conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome may find an electric toothbrush more pleasant as well as more effective. They also may brush their teeth more consistently since brushing with an electric toothbrush may be less painful.
Healthline reported that people who used electric toothbrushes regularly for three-months reduced their plaque build-up by 21% and gum disease by 11%. They reported that the oscillating electric toothbrushes appeared to be more effective than those that simply use vibration.
The biggest cons associated with electric toothbrushes is the cost. Users should replace the brush heads every two or three months, just like they would a manual toothbrush. The bathroom must have a safe and reliable power supply, making electric toothbrushes more difficult to use in some older homes.
When selecting a toothbrush, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This indicates the manufacturer submitted the brush to testing to ensure it works according to the claims. It also offers the consumer some sense of quality. By now you should have a clear understanding about electric toothbrush vs manual toothbrush.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Whichever method you choose, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and don’t push too hard on the teeth. Overly vigorous brushing can damage tooth enamel. Circular motions generally work best, if you have questions, ask your dentist or your dental hygienist for tips on the best brushing technique. It never hurts to have a refresher course and coaching session during your next cleaning or exam.
Pick a brush head that is appropriately sized for your mouth. Multi-level and angled bristles tend to be more effective, according to the ADA. The ADA also recommends holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle while brushing.
As mentioned, always use a toothpaste containing fluoride as it helps strengthen the tooth enamel. Use just a pea-sized amount of toothpaste twice a day when you brush. Since brushing, even with an electric toothbrush, can’t reach between the teeth and below the gum line, you still need to floss daily. Some also find a mouthwash helps keep their mouth fresh and healthy.
The Importance of Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene
If all this sounds familiar, it is because we are passionate about promoting oral hygiene and oral health! Home care is your first line of defense against tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues that may impact your wellbeing and quality of life.
Finally, be sure to visit your dentist according to your recommended schedule, whether it is every three, six, or 12 months. During your visit, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums, and you will receive a professional cleaning. Professional cleaning is important because, over time, plaque may build up and form tartar, which can only be removed by a professional. Think of your cleaning as a reset and spa day for your mouth.
Your dental visit is also the perfect time to discuss any dental products you use or are considering including electric toothbrushes, tooth whitening systems, mouthwash, and toothpaste. By discussing these products with your dentist, you ensure you are not using a product that may damage your teeth or just isn’t appropriate for your needs.
If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area and need a new dentist, please give us a call. Patients have entrusted their smiles to Southview Dentistry for over ten years.