The foundation of good oral care is brushing well. Dental plaque is directly associated with gum disease and cavities, which makes plaque removal a key to eliminating the possibility of dental problems. Naturally, as we as a human race have focused on oral care for many decades, we’ve seen the evolution of the toothbrush develop from using frayed twigs in ancient times to fully automated advanced electric brushes today. But, the debate still remains on which is more effective: the manual toothbrush or an electric version? While both offer their own benefits and some drawbacks, it is generally a personal preference as to which toothbrush type you choose.
Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
Here are some helpful tips for determining which toothbrush option to consider:
Electric toothbrushes: These devices allow the brush to vibrate or rotate, which facilitates in cleaning of the teeth and gums. Electric toothbrushes can be standard oscillating or rotatory motion, sonic or ultrasonic. Whichever type you may choose, they all are manufactured to provide consistent and effective brushing. This is a great option for people with limited or compromised dexterity. Powered toothbrushes come with built-in times and different forces to allow an individual to customize their oral care routine.
While it has been shown in some studies that electric brushes are more effective than their manual counterparts, they have some drawbacks too. The expense attached to an electric brush is over ten times more than a manual brush. As they are rechargeable, they’re either battery or plug-in cord-dependent, which can be an inconvenience at times.
Manual toothbrushes: Conversely, when it comes to manual toothbrushes, a soft bristle brush is a solid choice. These are usually more cost-effective, and easily portable and available to use anywhere. If used correctly, a manual toothbrush is as effective as an electric toothbrush in regard to removing plaque from the surface of the teeth. However, brushing too hard is commonly seen in patients using manual brushes.
Ultimately, the best toothbrush option is always the one that best caters to the needs and lifestyle of an individual patient.
Pro Tip: If you find it difficult to decide, why not alternate between using both types? Consider using an electric brush at night before sleeping to remove all of the plaque and food debris deposited on the teeth throughout the day, and a manual toothbrush in the morning to give you that fresh breath feeling.
Here are some tips for effective brushing:
- Brush your teeth (just a friendly reminder!).
- Always use a soft bristle brush as they are gentle on the gums and effective in removing plaque.
- Brush twice daily and wait 30 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth.
- Align your brush at a 45-degree angle and sweep from the surface of your gums to the edge of your tooth.
Have questions about which toothbrush option may be best for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss this or to explore any other oral health-related matters!