Electric toothbrushes versus manual toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes versus manual toothbrushes

We are often asked about which toothbrush is best, either electric toothbrushes or manual toothbrushes. Both will do a good job but an electric toothbrush can be a bit easier to use.

An electric toothbrush is a more foolproof way of brushing your teeth because unless you are really concentrating on your technique when brushing manually it is likely you may not move the brush head quickly enough or at the angles needed to really clean well. An electric brush is just a bit less work, so they can be a good purchase.

Electric toothbrushes can be a bit more aggressive on enamel as it is easy to hold them in one spot while they clean very thoroughly. So take care not to push too hard against the teeth and also to look for brush heads with soft bristles or a sensitive rating. Some of the electric toothbrushes available have timers that beep and remind you to move to the next quadrant of your mouth. This can be helpful to avoid the staying in one place too long problem. As with any toothbrush the heads should be replaced 3 monthly or earlier if very worn.

Manual toothbrushes are effective too. If you are unsure about technique do ask at your cleaning appointment. It is important to brush right over the gums also not just near them. Look for soft toothbrushes and replace them three monthly.

If you have very sensitive teeth a good option can be to use the manual toothbrush once per day and the electric once per day.

The downside of electric toothbrushes is the cost, they do not last indefinitely because the rechargeable battery eventually will not charge. Very cheap electric toothbrushes seem to have a rougher action which doesn’t agree with sensitive teeth so it’s probably wise to spend a bit more on a quality product.

For information on which toothbrush is suitable for you please ask at your next exam and clean.