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Toothbrushes of different types lined up on a shelf

So, Are You Using The Best Toothbrush?

May 15, 2020 · Filed under Education

After an 11-year study, we have the answer: Electric toothbrushes clean your teeth and gums much better than a manual toothbrush. During this study (the longest of its kind!), researchers kept up with a group of people who recorded their dental hygiene routines with either a manual or electric toothbrush. They took dental and medical checkups into account, as well as their habits, to figure out which was better: Electric or Manual toothbrushes.

Before you choose for yourself and your family, there are pros and cons to both, and it’s important to consider your lifestyle as well!

Electric Toothbrushes

Over the past few years, electric toothbrushes have become more and more popular. Here are a few of the reasons why:

1. They Effectively Remove Plaque

In the study we mentioned earlier, people who used an electric toothbrush saw 22% less gum recession and 18% less tooth decay compared to those using a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are really good at getting in between your teeth, especially the ones with heads that move in multiple directions. (Of course, this isn’t a substitution for flossing, nothing is as good at getting in-between your teeth as floss!)

2. They Help People With Limited Mobility

If you or someone you love is older or has a disability, electric toothbrushes make it so much easier to get a clean smile. With a manual toothbrush, you have to physically brush your teeth, while an electric one does all the work for you!

3. Many Have Built-In Timers 

We know that sometimes it’s hard to brush for a full 2 minutes, and with many electric toothbrushes, you don’t have to set a timer or brush for too short or too long. They make it that much easier to start or end the day with clean teeth and gums.

4. They’re Great For Orthodontic Appliances

Getting behind braces or between brackets can be difficult when brushing your teeth, but a moving/vibrating electric toothbrush has an easier time dislodging particles and removing plaque than a manual toothbrush.

5. They’re Great For The Whole Family

While small children may need supervision, any member of the family can use an electric toothbrush. With fun colors and buttons, they can be fun for kids, and help them keep up good dental hygiene.

Of course, there are some downsides to electric toothbrushes. Chargers can clutter your bathroom sink, replacement heads can be hard to source depending on the brand, and they’re more expensive than a basic manual toothbrush. However, as technology advances, electric toothbrushes are more affordable than ever starting around $30, and battery-powered toothbrushes can be even easier on the wallet.

Manual Toothbrushes

We understand, most likely, you’ve been brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush all your life! They’re great tools to clean your teeth and fight tooth decay. There are a few reasons why manual toothbrushes are so popular:

1. They’re Easy to Find

If it’s time to replace your toothbrush, you can find them at almost any grocery store alongside all the other things you need to live comfortably. A quick trip to the dollar store, pharmacy, or even gas station allows you to grab a manual toothbrush, while you can only find electric toothbrushes in big-box stores or online.

2. They’re Affordable

Manual toothbrushes are the most cost-effective way to make sure you have a healthy smile. You can usually find one for $1-$3, and for a large family or those who are conscious of their spending habits, it’s the simplest choice to make.

3. They’re Familiar

Manual toothbrushes have been around for a long time; after all, using them helps make sure your smile is bright and clean. If you’re more comfortable with a manual toothbrush, don’t feel pushed to make a change, especially if you already keep up a great dental hygiene routine.

These are all perfectly good reasons to choose a manual toothbrush. However, it’s important to be mindful of how hard or soft you brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush. A few of our patients have found that brushing too hard can hurt gums and teeth, and while electric toothbrushes can make things easier, you can absolutely learn the best way to brush your teeth. In fact, we may know some people who can help!

Dr. Kyle Carney

No matter what toothbrush you use, as long as you brush for two minutes twice a day, as well as floss, you’ll have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile! If you have questions about the best toothbrush for you, ask us during your next appointment.

Dr. Kyle Carney

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