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Dental Showdown:  Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush

toothbrush-vs-electricWhile using an electric toothbrush is not the only way to maintain dental health, it will clean your teeth better than a manual brush. However, that does not mean you need to rush right out and purchase an electric brush.  It is possible to keep your teeth clean and healthy by using a manual brush.  In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of both methods. Manual Brush

Since a manual toothbrush comes in many different sizes and shapes, it is important to find one that is a good fit for your hand and wrist, because they are your only power source.

Manual toothbrush pros include:

  • They are cheaper to purchase than an electric brush and are free at many dental offices.
  • There are a wide variety of sizes, styles, and bristle types to choose from.
  • They are easy to pack for travel.
  • No batteries are required.

Manual toothbrush cons include:

  • You are the power source.
  • It doesn't have a timer.
  • It doesn't clean as effectively as an electric brush.

Electric Brush

There are also two different types of electric toothbrushes available, Sonic and Oscillating.

Sonic

Sonic toothbrush heads are shaped like manual toothbrush heads, and they vibrate from side to side at 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute.  Manufacturers state that the vibrations push water, toothpaste, and saliva into the areas where the bristles don't reach that results in better cleaning.

Oscillating

These electric toothbrushes are equipped with smaller, round brush heads that turn quickly in two different directions at anywhere from 2,500 to 7,000 strokes per minute.  Research shows that oscillating bristles are better at preventing gum disease and removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, but there is no research comparing them against Sonic brushes.

Electric toothbrush pros include:

  • They are easier to use and great for people with disabilities involving their hands or arms.
  • They are more fun to use.
  • Most of them come with a built-in timer.
  • They are more effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease.

Electric toothbrush cons include:

  • They have to be charged.
  • They cost more.
  • Replacement heads are expensive.
  • There are less brush head and style options.
  • They are more breakable.

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which pros and cons are more important to you when it comes to tooth brushing. If you are undecided about which toothbrush to purchase, your dentist can guide you based on your specific dental needs. Also, remember to schedule a dentist visit once every six months to maintain good oral health.