Electric vs. manual toothbrush: What should I use?

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Electric vs. manual toothbrush: What should I use?

What is an Electric Toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush, also known as a powered toothbrush, is a battery-powered device that uses vibrating or rotating bristles to clean your teeth.

Types of Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are typically classified into three types, but the lines are blurring as newer models include multiple features. These are some of the categories:

  • Oscillating rotary toothbrushes: To clean each tooth, these toothbrushes have small circular heads that rotate back and forth. To help dislodge more plaque, some models combine this rotating feature with vibrating and pulsing.
  • Sonic toothbrushes: Sonic toothbrushes have vibrating brush heads that rapidly move bristles side to side. The vibration must be fast enough to produce an audible hum in order to be classified as a sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes on the market today have frequencies ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 movements per minute.
  • Ultrasonic toothbrushes: Ultrasonic toothbrushes, rather than relying on physical motion to clean your teeth, use a high frequency of vibration known as ultrasound to remove plaque and food debris. Ultrasound generates waves at a frequency beyond human hearing, and existing ultrasonic toothbrushes, according to BeDental, use working frequencies ranging from 20 kHz to 10 MHz. That equates to more than 1.2 billion movements per minute! Though ultrasonic brushes can break up plaque without moving, most models also include a sonic vibration to help remove any remaining plaque or food debris.
Electric Toothbrushes
Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrush benefits

Electric toothbrush bristles vibrate or rotate to aid in the removal of plaque from your teeth and gums. Every time you move your toothbrush across your teeth, the vibration allows for more micro-movements.

Electric toothbrush benefits: More effective at removing plaque

According to a review of studies, electric toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Plaque was reduced by 21% and gingivitis by 11% after three months of use. Oscillating (rotating) toothbrushes appear to be more effective than vibrating toothbrushes.

Electric toothbrush benefits: Easier for people with limited mobility

Electric toothbrushes do the majority of the work. They may be useful for anyone with limited mobility, such as those suffering from:

  • Carpal tunnel
  • Arthritis
  • Developmental disabilities

Electric toothbrush benefits: Built-in timers

A timer built into an electric toothbrush can assist you in brushing your teeth for long enough to remove plaque from your teeth and gums.

Electric toothbrush benefits: May cause less waste

When it’s time for a new toothbrush, in many cases, you only need to replace the head of an electric toothbrush, which may be less wasteful than throwing away an entire manual toothbrush.

However, if you use a single-use electric toothbrush, you will need to replace it completely when the time comes.

Electric toothbrush benefits: May improve your focus while brushing

At least one study discovered that when people used an electric toothbrush to brush their teeth, they were more focused. This improves people’s overall brushing experiences and may improve how well you clean your teeth.

Electric toothbrush benefits

Electric toothbrush benefits: May improve oral health in people with orthodontic appliances

According to one study, electric toothbrushes were especially beneficial for people who had orthodontic appliances, such as braces, because they made brushing easier.

Plaque levels were roughly the same among people with appliances who already had good oral health, whether they used an electric toothbrush or not. However, if you find it difficult to clean your teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment, an electric toothbrush may help.

Electric toothbrush benefits: Fun for kids

Not all children enjoy brushing their teeth. If your child finds an electric toothbrush more appealing, it can aid in good oral hygiene and the establishment of healthy habits.

Electric toothbrush benefits: Safe for gums

Used properly, an electric toothbrush should not hurt your gums or enamel but instead promote overall oral health.

Electric toothbrush cons

Electric toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes. Brushes range in price from $15 to $250. Replacement brush heads are typically sold in packs of multiples and range in price from $10 to $45. Electric toothbrushes that are completely disposable cost $5 to $8 plus the cost of batteries.

Finding the right replacement brush heads isn’t always easy or convenient, either, because not all stores carry them, and your local stores may not carry the right brand. You can buy them online, but this isn’t always convenient, and it’s not a good option if you need a new head right away. You can stock up and have enough for a year or more, but this adds to the initial cost.

Electric toothbrushes did not remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes in two studies of seniors. This is not to say that electric toothbrushes do not work; however, they may not be worth the extra cost.

If you travel internationally, plug-in versions may not be a good option because you’ll need a backup travel toothbrush. Even though electric toothbrushes produce less waste, they are less eco-friendly than manual toothbrushes because they require electricity or batteries.

Not everyone enjoys the vibrating sensation. Furthermore, electric toothbrushes cause more saliva movement in your mouth, which can be messy.

Electric vs. manual toothbrush
Electric vs. manual toothbrush

Manual toothbrush benefits

Brushes with manual bristles have been around for a long time. While they lack the frills found in many electric toothbrushes, they are still an effective tool for cleaning your teeth and preventing gingivitis.

Best Manual Toothbrush ~ 7 Best Toothbrushes That Are Manual In 2023
Manual toothbrush benefits

If you’re more comfortable with a manual toothbrush, stick with it as long as you brush twice a day, every day.

Manual toothbrush benefits: Accessible

A manual toothbrush can be purchased at almost any grocery store, supermarket, or pharmacy. They also do not require charging, so you can use a manual toothbrush anywhere and at any time.

Manual toothbrush benefits: Affordable

Manual toothbrushes are cost-effective. You can usually buy one for $1 to $3.

Manual toothbrush cons

According to one study, using a manual toothbrush instead of an electric toothbrush increased the likelihood of brushing too hard. Brushing too hard can cause gum and tooth damage.

Because there is no built-in timer, using a manual toothbrush may make it more difficult to know if you are brushing for enough time at each session. Consider putting a kitchen timer in your bathroom to help you keep track of how long you brush your teeth.

For toddlers and young children

The best toothbrush for your child is the one he or she is most likely to use. Soft bristles and a child-sized toothbrush head are recommended by experts for children. For young children, neither a manual nor an electric toothbrush is necessarily preferable. The same advantages and disadvantages of each type still apply.

Toddlers and children can use an electric toothbrush safely on their own. It is recommended, however, that you supervise your children while they brush their teeth to ensure that they spit out their toothpaste and do not swallow it.

PERFCT® Manual Toothbrush | Types Of Toothbrush Manufacturer/Supplier/Factory | PERFECT GROUP

How to brush your teeth?

The most important parts of brushing your teeth are using proper technique, and doing it twice per day, every day. The best way to brush your teeth is to:

  • Pick a toothbrush that’s the right size for your mouth.
  • Avoid hard bristles that can irritate your gums. The ADA recommends soft-bristle brushes. Also, look for brushes with multi-level or angled bristles. One study found this type of bristle to be more effective than flat, one-level bristles.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums.
  • Gently brush all tooth surfaces (front, back, chewing) for two minutes.
  • Rinse your toothbrush and store it upright to air dry — and keep it out of range of the toilet which can spray germs when flushing.
  • Floss once per day, either after or brushing.
  • Mouth rinses are optional and shouldn’t replace flossing or brushing.

If you experience any bleeding, talk with your dentist. A number of things can cause bleeding when you brush and floss, such as:

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