There are billions of bacteria living inside our mouths at any given time. Many of these bacteria build up as plaque, causing tooth decay (cavities) and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease.
Oral hygiene can be the root to additional problems (unrelated to the mouth) later down the road if not properly cared for and that is why brushing your teeth is the foundation of good oral care and prevention. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease.
Electric and manual toothbrushes each have their own benefits. The ADA puts a Seal of Acceptance on any toothbrush, electric or manual, that’s proven safe and effective.
So, let’s talk about the pros of each type of toothbrush and let you decide which you prefer.
Pros of Electric Toothbrush
Most electric toothbrushes have a built-in 2-minute timer – the amount of time recommended to brush your teeth. Without an electric toothbrush it’s easy to get distracted and not remember how long you have been brushing. The timer is a great addition to a toothbrush to hold us all accountable.
Easier for those with Limited Mobility
An electric toothbrush essentially does the work for you, which is why this may be the best toothbrush for those with limited mobility in their hands and wrists. An electric toothbrush can be either rotating-oscillating or sonic.
Rotating-oscillating uses a back-and forth rotating motion to cup each tooth and can be as fast as up to 8,000 strokes per minute.
A sonic toothbrush does not rotate, however it vibrates at about 24,000 – 40,000 strokes per minute and it cleans the surface of your teeth by breaking up the plaque then sweeping it away, but also the hard to reach areas of your mouth.
Fun for Kids
Teeth brushing is not always a kids first choice for fun – however, if they have a toothbrush that is ‘moving’, it’s likely to intrigue their interest. This will lead to better oral hygiene all around if a kid enjoys the mundane task.
Pros of Manual Toothbrush
We all at some point, now or in the past, have used a manual toothbrush – that’s because it’s easy and accessible. You will likely find a manual toothbrush at the gas station. It’s easy to find and use which is why most people still use a manual toothbrush and you don’t need to charge it unlike an electric toothbrush. Accessibility is always a good thing.
Maybe the most common reason for using a manual toothbrush is its affordability – which is anywhere from $1 to maybe $5. That is a bargain compared to electric toothbrushes that will could up to a couple hundred dollars.
Just as mentioned with accessibility, a manual toothbrush is very travel effective. It can fit in anywhere and there’s no bringing along the charger with it if going on vacation or to your parents for the weekend.
Neither an electric or manual toothbrush is the right or wrong choice – it’s quite frankly up to preference and what you’re comfortable with. We wanted to share the pros of each to help you make the decision best for you. As long as you’re brushing twice a day and for 2-minutes per session, that’s all a dentist could ask for!