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This or That: Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes these days can do it all, or at least that’s what their manufacturers would have you believe. Really, though, is an electric toothbrush any better or more effective than a good old-fashioned toothbrush? Does one remove more plaque or stimulate the gums more than the other? Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and both are ideal complements to your twice-a-year dental exam and teeth cleaning.

Pros and Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

Most people will use a manual toothbrush every day of their life with excellent results. After all, we’ve been using them for decades. Cost is a major advantage here; you can purchase an ADA-approved manual toothbrush for less than $10. However, the sheer volume of available choices can be overwhelming.

What to look for: The ADA advises that you should choose toothbrushes that have soft bristles. Never brush your teeth with hard or medium bristles, as they can damage your tooth enamel and harm your gums. Pay attention the size of the toothbrush head. A too-large brush head could trigger a sensitive gag reflex or make it difficult to reach all of your teeth.

Pros and Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

Do you need a toothbrush that has all the bells and whistles? Not necessarily, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one if it helps you clean your teeth. Cost is the major drawback here. Not only will you have to pay for the toothbrush; replacing the heads can be costly. Remember, replacing worn toothbrush heads is essential to thorough cleaning.

What to look for: The choices can be overwhelming, so choose only the features you think you’ll use. For example, some models have a built-in timer that tells you how long you should brush (2 minutes total). Others use sonic waves or special rotating bristles to gently break up plaque and leave teeth polished and clean.

What’s the Verdict?

Honestly, the best toothbrush for you is the one that you use. It’s really that simple. The perfect toothbrush, whether manual or electric, motivates you to brush your teeth two times a day, if not more, for two minutes each time. It reminds you to brush all of your teeth, not just the ones in front or on the top.

About Your Shrewsbury General Dentists

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-8838 today.