You know the routine – brush and floss your teeth daily for improved oral health. But, do you know which toothbrush to use or which is better for your needs?
Manual and electric or power toothbrushes are readily available at dental offices and in stores. For years, dentists have handed out manual toothbrushes following each dental exam. This served as a reminder to change your toothbrush to ensure you are getting the most effective clean. Now, many offices are recommending electric brushes.
So which is better, a manual or electric toothbrush? Let’s find out.
Why is oral health important?
Protecting your oral health is a daily job that you will have for the rest of your life. Why is it important?
Well, if you like enjoying your favorite foods and speaking naturally, you need to keep those teeth strong. Your teeth have an important role in digestion and pronunciation. Without healthy teeth in place, these natural activities would vastly change.
Let’s not forget that strong pearly whites add to your beautiful smile and boost your self-confidence. Keep your teeth looking and functioning their best by using good oral habits.
How does brushing affect your oral health?
Regular brushing and flossing are crucial steps in your oral hygiene regimen. Dentists recommend brushing morning and night with a fluoride toothpaste. Then, floss daily to remove food particles lurking between the teeth and along the gum line. For a deeper clean, you may use a water flosser to gently wiggle debris out from hard-to-reach areas.
Electric toothbrush vs. manual
The type of toothbrush you use may affect the level of clean you achieve. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of each type of toothbrush.
Electric or power toothbrushes are the new “it” thing in dental care. While they are not actually a new invention, power toothbrushes were originally designed for dental offices. It has only been in recent years that they have become available for at-home use. However, once you make the switch, you may not go back.
Electric toothbrushes have various details, speed and pressure sensors, and settings. There are various brands or types such as Sonic toothbrushes or Oral B. Some available over-the-counter in grocery stores and drug stores. Others have professional brands and are only available through a dentist. Your dental team can recommend the best electric toothbrush for your needs.
The frills of an electric toothbrush are attractive. The benefits include:
- Minute timers – We all know to brush for two minutes at a time, but without that built-in timer, it is easy to lose track of time. Most power brushes have a built-in timer. This may include a pause every thirty seconds to signal switching to focus on a different quadrant in the mouth.
- Different cleaning modes – The pressure and speed can often be customized with power toothbrushes. This allows the user to control the pressure applied by the brush and reduces discomfort for patients with sensitive teeth or gums.
- More thorough clean – With the different brushing modes, studies have shown that patients are able to better clean their teeth. Patients who use electric toothbrushes are more likely to have healthy gums and less tooth decay.
The cons of a power toothbrush include the following:
- Needs to be charged – The automatic cleansing power of an electric toothbrush diminishes when the toothbrush needs to be charged. These brushes are powered via a battery that must be replaced or a rechargeable battery pack. Simply place the brush on the charger and plug into the wall to boost the battery life. This makes the brush less convenient in terms of portability and traveling.
- More expensive – A basic electric toothbrush from the grocery store will cost less money to start. However, some professional models may cost $100. Plus, the toothbrush heads must be replaced every few months like a regular toothbrush, adding to the cost.
For years, a manual brush was the only way to brush your teeth. This simple brush requires the user to move in small circular motions at a 45-degree angle to the gums. This motion mimics that of your dental hygienist’s tools to provide an adequate cleaning at home. When used properly, they get the job done.
While manual brushes may not have all of the bells and whistles of a powered toothbrush, there are different types. Some have angled bristles or bristles of different lengths or sizes to get deeper between the teeth. Some have a tongue scraper to clean bacteria and particles from the tongue, helping to prevent bad breath.
The head of the toothbrush comes in different shapes and sizes too. This ensures there is an appropriately sized brush for children and adults of all ages. Usually a soft-bristled brush is recommended to prevent brushing too hard and damaging the gums or enamel.
The benefits of manual toothbrushes include the following:
- Affordable – They are readily available in stores.
- Portable – Since they do not require charging or batteries, manual toothbrushes are easy to travel with and to take on the go.
- Lightweight, yet sturdy – The simple design means the brush feels light rather than bulky in your hand. It is strong and would be difficult to break.
However, there are also downsides to the simplicity of a manual toothbrush.
- Harsh brushing – Many people do not realize how hard they are pressing when they brush. The speed and pressure used when cleaning the teeth depends on the user. Patients may inadvertently overbrush and damage the enamel or gums.
- Difficult to handle – Patients with dexterity issues may have trouble maneuvering a regular toothbrush. This is especially true toward the back of the mouth or in hard-to-reach areas.
- No timer – Without the built-in timer of an electric toothbrush, patients may not brush for the recommended two minute session.
Improve your oral hygiene with tooth brushing tips from Dental Bliss Hermitage
Embrace your oral health this year. Let Dental Bliss Hermitage provide you with tips and education on how to achieve a deep clean with your toothbrush. We will help you decide if a manual or electric toothbrush is right for you.