Which Is Better – A Manual Or Electric Toothbrush?
We all do it…at least let’s hope so…but how we do it differs from person to person and household to household.
Before we get into the dental debate about toothbrushes, let’s first examine why this daily dental ritual is so important in the first place.
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities.
Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life, and the best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease hasn’t changed since the invention of the toothbrush.
Prevent gum disease and tooth decay with daily brushing and flossing…Preferably for 2 minutes at a clip, at least 2 times per day!
What Causes Gum Disease & Tooth Decay?
Periodontal disease and tooth decay are both caused by what dentists refer to as bacterial plaque.
This plaque is a colorless sticky film that clings to our teeth at the gumline. Despite our double down daily best efforts to brush and floss, this plaque constantly forms on our teeth.
With thorough daily brushing and flossing we can remove these bacteria causing germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
But when choosing our best tooth brushing tool for the job, which is best – manual or super-charged?
See Who Wins The Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush Contest
There have been multiple studies comparing the effectiveness of manual brushes as opposed to electric brushes.
Although all of the electric toothbrushes on the market are certainly not the same in either function or cost, in conclusion studies do show that it is fair to say – in general – that electric toothbrushes are more effective in controlling plaque than manual brushes.
Theoretically you could do a very efficient job brushing your teeth with a traditional hand powered toothbrush but the rotational movements of an electric brush makes the task easier and more efficient.
Also, some electric brushes (Sonicare) have sonic vibration that is difficult to mimic with a hand brush!
Other electric toothbrush models like Oral-B and Rotadent have small heads that help you reach hard to reach areas of your mouth.
We’ve found in our Frisco TX dental office that some patients prefer the DIY attributes of a manual toothbrush, while others opt for the automation of a sleek new electric model.
While the argument about which tooth tool is tops may linger on for generations, one thing is certain – we need to actually use the toothbrush at least twice a day for it to have any effect!
But, all toothbrush studies aside, which do you prefer – a shiny new school electric toothbrush or a good ‘ol tried and true manual toothbrush?
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This post originally appeared on the dental health blog of Dr. Joseph Haddad and has been republished here with permission.