Should I be Using an Electric Toothbrush or are the Manual Ones Fine?

Throughout your lifetime, there have been many advancements such as TVs, cars, cell phones, computers, etc. Advancements have even been made with toothbrushes, so why are you using the same old manual toothbrush that was invented thousands of years ago? Experts believe that electric toothbrushes are more efficient and better at removing plaque than manual brushes when using the correct technique and brushing for two minutes twice a day.

It is possible to brush your teeth adequately with a manual toothbrush, but if you have dexterity issues such as arthritis or other conditions that limit your movement or cause pain, an electric toothbrush would be a great alternative.

When choosing an electric toothbrush, be sure to find one that is comfortable to hold and easy to use. There are many different models of toothbrushes with different settings and gadgets to go along with them. You must determine the kind of toothbrush for you. Many dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush with a rotating-oscillating head due to better plaque removal.

Studies have concluded that the average person will brush about 300 strokes with a manual toothbrush per minute. An electric toothbrush moves much faster and is more effective at removing plaque and cleans more equally than a manual toothbrush.

Powered toothbrushes fall into one of two categories – electric and sonic. Sonic toothbrushes produce 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute while an electric toothbrush makes about 3,000 to 7,000 brushing motions per minute. Although an electric toothbrush is superior to a manual toothbrush, a manual toothbrush can also effectively clean plaque if the user follows proper technique and brushes for the right amount of time.

Using an electric toothbrush will not guarantee that you will have healthy teeth and gums. You still must brush often and correctly to get the full effects of an electric toothbrush. If you tend to be a heavy-handed brusher, be cautious with an electric toothbrush because excessive pressure can lead to damaged gums, enamel abrasion and wearing down of tooth enamel.

Remember that some electric brushes can be pricey and you can talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about what kind of toothbrush he or she recommends. Some electric toothbrushes have added features such as built-in timers, beepers and vibrations that signal how long to brush each quadrant of the mouth.

Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, the bottom line is that you are brushing your teeth. Remember to use the proper technique:

  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line
  • Use short, gentle, back-and-forth motions
  • Use a soft-bristled brush
  • Brush for two minutes

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