One question I often get asked is: “Which toothbrush is best: manual or electric?” My short answer is always Electric. Comparing 30,000 brush strokes per minute to 200 doesn’t even make it a competition. But there’s more to it than that.
Brushing twice a day is essential to having a healthy mouth. It can help prevent gingivitis, periodontal disease, excessive tartar and cavities. But you need to make sure that you’re using the proper technique. You want to gently move the brush up and down at a 45 degree angle to the teeth. Don’t brush quickly across the teeth from side to side. In addition, be sure to brush your tongue to help additional remove bacteria, and keep your breath fresh
First of all, get the right toothbrush, no matter the type. Make sure it is the right size for your mouth, and also make sure it has soft bristles. Hard bristles will only abrade your gums, and help to wear away the enamel on your teeth. Also, make sure it has a grip that’s the right size so that it feels comfortable in your hand.
So, which is better? While the obvious answer is electric. The question should be: “Which is better for YOU?”
There are some definite benefits to manual toothbrushes. They’re cheaper, easy to travel with, and easy to replace (I recommend every three months). But you need to make sure that you’re brushing for two full minutes – 30 seconds per quadrant (top and bottom, left and right sides). And you should use the proper technique of small circles with the head at a 45 degree angle. For more info watch this video
Electric tooth brushes are more expensive and can range from $50 to $200. But they are really helpful if you wear braces or have dexterity issues. This is especially true if you’re elderly, or have a medical condition that makes those fine movements with your hand just a little too difficult to make. Also, some of these brushes have timers that let you know when it’s time to switch teeth; perfect for those of you who normally do a very quick brushing. These brushes are also very efficient at removing the bio-film from your teeth and some stains. But also, since they are mechanical, if you use too much pressure, they can damage your teeth – so be sure you’re careful not to brush too hard.
So, when making this decision, it mostly depends on what you’ll actually use. Electric toothbrushes can make 30,000 brush strokes per minute. But that won’t do much good if you don’t use it.
If you’re unsure what type of toothbrush works best for you, make an appointment to see your dentist. And if you’re one of our patients, we’ll be happy to discuss your options and help you determine which works best for you.
Just remember, the best toothbrush is the one that you’ll use twice a day.
– Dr. Taj