Manual vs. Electrical Toothbrushes

Many people assume electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning your teeth. However, dentists agree the most important feature of a toothbrush is how you use it. As long as you brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day, a manual toothbrush is likely to do just as much good as an electric one.

Knowing that, you can decide whether you prefer an electric or manual toothbrush on your own. Here are a few pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes:

Manual Toothbrushes: Pros

  • Low cost - Manual toothbrushes only cost a couple of dollars, so you can buy replacements every three months (like your dentist suggests) without busting your budget.

  • Lots of choices - You can easily find a manual toothbrush that fits your mouth. If you have a small mouth, choose a toothbrush with a small brush head. If you have sensitive gums, choose soft bristles.

  • Effectiveness - As long as you brush the recommended 2 minutes per day, brush all surfaces of your teeth, and follow up with a thorough flossing, you should have pretty good oral health.


Manual Toothbrushes: Cons

  • Easy to misuse - Most people only brush their teeth for 30-45 seconds. That means they are not really cleaning their teeth. Manual brushes are not the most effective when used only for a short amount of time. This can result in decreased oral health: cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay, not to mention the higher bills at the dentist.


Electric Toothbrushes: Pros

  • Deep clean - Electric toothbrushes oscillate much quicker than manual toothbrushes can, so they clean the surface of the tooth faster and more effectively. Studies show electric toothbrushes remove 11% more plaque than manual toothbrushes because they do most of the work for you.

  • Bells and whistles - Most electric toothbrushes come with settings to increase and decrease brushing speed, so you can customize your brushing experience. They also usually have timers, so you actually brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes.

  • Easy to use - If you have children that haven’t quite grasped the concept of brushing or you have older relatives with decreased manual dexterity or arthritis, electric toothbrushes are a great tool for maintaining oral health. Since electric toothbrushes clean your teeth on their own, they don’t require a lot of effort to use correctly.


Electric Toothbrushes: Cons

  • Remove enamel - With the power of an electric toothbrush, it’s easy to over brush your teeth. This can result in receding gums, worn enamel, and other oral health issues that can lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. And these problems will lead to higher bills at the dentist.

  • Higher price - Electric toothbrushes can cost up to hundreds of dollars, which is a significant investment.


So, to review, manual toothbrushes are just as effective as electric toothbrushes when used properly, but they are often used improperly. Electric toothbrushes are more efficient at cleaning your teeth, but they are more expensive.

You need to decide which is more important to you: saving money or saving time and peace of mind. Only then you can choose between a manual and electric toothbrush. You may even want to discuss the decision with your dentist. To schedule a checkup, call Forest Lawn Dental at 403-248-7778 today!
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