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Manual or Electric? Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Manual or Electric? Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Choosing a toothbrush these days can be somewhat overwhelming. You may find yourself wondering whether that hi-tech electric toothbrush on the shelf is better than the manual kind you’ve always used. Here we break down the basics for you.

What a Brush Actually Does:

Essentially, the purpose of a toothbrush is to remove plaque, stimulate gums and maintain good oral hygiene. But the effectiveness isn’t solely based on the type of toothbrush you use. There are a number of other factors that are equally important, including your brushing technique, how often you brush and the length of time you spend brushing. And this is where the features of manual and electric toothbrushes come into play. While manual toothbrushes are portable, inexpensive and easy to use, they require the user to provide all of the brushing action. Electric toothbrushes, while considerably more expensive and complex to use, only require the user to guide the brush along the surface, while the brush itself uses electric power to vibrate, pulsate and oscillate, getting hard-to reach places.

However, electric brushes do not offer a clinically significant advantage compared with manual brushes. Considerable research has failed to demonstrate any significant clinical differences in overall cleaning efficacy between the two types of brushes. The decision really comes down to each individual’s needs and motor capabilities. People with mental or physical disabilities or who require caregivers to provide oral hygiene are better served with electric or battery-powered brushes. People who tend to be lazy brushers or who don’t spend enough
time brushing can also benefit from powered brushes.


Pros of Electric and Manual Toothbrushes:

Okay, now that we have discussed the purpose of a toothbrush, it’s time to compare the pros of both types of toothbrush. Count the number of statements that applies to you, and see are you more manual or electric?

Electric features:

  • Pressure sensors to signal when brushing is too hard
  • Timers to help keep track of how long you’re brushing each quadrant of your mouth
  • Digital reminders for when to replace your brush head
  • Oscillating-rotating or sonic technology
  • Multiple brush-head compatibility, so you can choose which kind of bristle design you prefer.

Manual features:

  • Criss-crossed, extra-long or multi-level bristles
  • Textured bristles
  • Cupped bristle design for whitening benefits
  • Gum stimulators
  • Tongue-cleaner pads.

Did You Know?

Whether you choose to go electric or stay maual, here are some things you need to know:

  • Both standard toothbrushes and electric brush heads should be replaced every three months or when the bristles are no longer straight and firm.
  • The recommended brushing time with a manual toothbrush is two minutes, two to three times each day.
  • Plaque accumulates everywhere in the mouth, not just on the teeth and gums, so it’s important to buy a brush with a built-in tongue and tissue cleaner, to clean the whole mouth.
  • Some of the latest innovations for manual toothbrushes include: Ergonomically shaped handles that are more comfortable to hold and cause less muscle fatigue during routine use than regular handles.
  • Angled heads and multi-tapered bristles, which help overcome incorrect brush positioning and clean more effectively between teeth and under the gum line.
  • Many people buy a brush in which the head is too large for their mouths, especially for children.
    Brushes with smaller heads actually clean more thoroughly and reach more areas of the teeth, gums and tissues than those with larger heads.