A healthy smile offers many benefits: greater confidence, greater attractiveness, less dental problems down the road. Periodontal disease has also been linked to health problems beyond just the gums and mouth, too. Outside of your regular visit to the dentist, your toothbrush (and how you use it, of course) is the key to getting those benefits and avoiding problems with cavities, gingivitis, and more.
But the real question is what type of toothbrush should you be using? Is there a difference between electric and manual brushes? Let’s compare the two and see which makes better sense for your dental health.
While you can’t put a price on a healthy smile, you can put one on the toothbrush that helps you keep that smile. Price is one of the biggest factors when choosing between electric and manual toothbrushes. Electric models are more expensive than manual ones. A manual brush might cost you a couple of dollars but electric brushes can cost anywhere from $15 to more than $100. If your budget is tight, you might be better off with the manual toothbrush.
Manual toothbrushes don’t offer much in terms of features. You can find different types of bristles, and some come with a tongue scraper but they pretty much all work the same. That can be good because it means you’re not likely to go wrong with any brush you choose. On the other hand, electric toothbrushes can come with a wide range of features. You can find models with rechargeable batteries, pressure monitors, specialized bristles, or settings for different levels of teeth cleaning. Obviously, the more features you get the higher the price goes. Whether you go manual or electric based on features really depends on what you want during your brushing experience.
With both electric and manual brushes, performance largely comes down to how well you clean your teeth. Some of the higher end electric models help you do a better job. For example, some models give you feedback on how well you’ve brushed a particular section or times how long you brush certain areas of your teeth. If you do want an electric model proven to outperform manual brushes, choose one that has rotating-oscillating bristles. With this type of brush, the bristles move in one direction then reverse and go the other direction. Studies have shown this type of movement cleans teeth better.
A study of 16,000 patients who were asked by their dentists to use an electric toothbrush, their dentists reported improvements in the oral health of 80% of those patients. That suggests electric toothbrushes may be doing something to help users get better results compared to manual toothbrushes.
In terms of performance, electric toothbrushes appear to be the clear winner.
Best for Some People
The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends that some people use electric toothbrushes, including people who have manual dexterity difficulties. If your ability to move your arm or hand is impaired, you won’t be able to do a thorough cleaning job with a manual toothbrush so you’d really need to invest in an electric model.
Children also love electric toothbrushes because they make their gums tingle and seem more fun than brushing with a manual brush. Most parents would agree that anything that makes kids more eager to brush is a good investment.
Overall, if you can afford one an electric toothbrush seems to be the best choice. If your budget is tight though, a manual brush and some floss will still do a pretty good job for most people.
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- License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by Mike from Clarendon House Dental Centre, a leamington dentists providing cosmetic dentistry in a relaxed environment. Clarendon house also provides services to help with dental emergencies because you never know when you’ll need it.
From the web
- Scared of the dentist? This is why, say neuroscientists (theguardian.com)
- Putting off a visit to the dentist? Don’t worry: Fear of being hurt can be worse than pain itself, say scientists (dailymail.co.uk)
- Dentist’s Chair: Seeking a good electric toothbrush (readingeagle.com)