Electric Toothbrush Vs. The Manual Toothbrush On Dental Health

For anyone looking to take good care of their teeth today, the choice is between an electric and a manual toothbrush. Some people prefer to have the sensation of a manual toothbrush and others like the efficiency of brushing teeth with an electric toothbrush. If you’re trying to make the decision between whether to have a manual or electric toothbrush then these are some of the essentials pros and cons of both.

Electric toothbrush pros and cons

There are lots of great pros to owning an electric toothbrush, including:

  • A consistent cleaning experience for your teeth.
  • Electric toothbrushes are a lot more efficient – in fact they can remove up to 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.
  • A powered toothbrush does most of the hard work for you – all you have to do is hold the toothbrush in the right position.
  • If you have kids who don’t like brushing their teeth, an electric toothbrush will feel more fun to use.
  • You can avoid overbrushing with an electric toothbrush – many electric models today have automatic pressure sensors built in and will warn if you if you start pressing too hard.
  • Variable speed settings on an electric toothbrush can make brushing a more pleasant experience if you have sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Mobility issues. If you have problems with mobility in your wrists, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll find it much easier to use an electric toothbrush than a manual one.
  • If you have any orthodontics – such as braces – then brushing with an electric toothbrush may be more effective than a manual option.

The cons of an electric toothbrush include:

  • The up front cost – an electric toothbrush will cost more to buy than a manual toothbrush.
  • Portability – although electric toothbrushes are portable, if you want to take them away with you then you’ll also need to take the charger and potentially an adapter so that you can recharge the battery..

Manual toothbrush pros and cons

Using a manual toothbrush also has pros and cons depending on your preferences and how you like to brush. The pros include:

  • A wider range of different brush options and brush head sizes.
  • You don’t have to charge your toothbrush before you use it and it won’t run out of power.
  • Manual brushes often have a handy tongue cleaning tool on the back of the head.
  • You should change your brush or brush head every three months – if you’re using a manual toothbrush then the cost to you is going to be much less than with an electric toothbrush.
  • If you’re often travelling then a manual toothbrush is much easier to pack and take with you.

The cons of a manual toothbrush include:

  • You might end up brushing too hard with a manual toothbrush and this can seriously damage your gums.
  • Manual brushes don’t have timers so you’re unlikely to be consistently brushing your teeth for the same amount of time each day.
  • If you have a manual toothbrush then you’re just not getting as efficient an experience as with an electric toothbrush when it comes to bacteria and plaque removal.
  • Manual toothbrushes are always thrown out and are not recyclable. If you’re frequently replacing your manual toothbrush then you’re going to be responsible for a lot of landfill.

Although there are pros and cons to both manual and electric toothbrushes, as a dentist we would always recommend that you opt for electric. This will ensure that every time you brush, your teeth are getting the best possible clean and that your technique and timing are exactly right for the needs of your mouth.


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