Electric vs. manual toothbrush
We cannot emphasise enough on the multiple benefits of brushing your teeth twice regularly, for goof oral care and prevention. According to the American Dental Association or the ADA, both electric and manual toothbrushes are sufficiently effective at getting rid of oral plaque that leads to decay and disease.
However, both of these tools have their own set of benefits. The ADA endorses or puts a Seal of Acceptance on any toothbrush, electric or manual , that proves itself to be safe and effective. Let us elucidate this for you to help you understand better.
Electric toothbrush benefits
The bristles of an electric toothbrush vibrate and rotate, which helps you get rid of all the plaque and tartar build up from the surface of the teeth and the gums. These vibrations cause for some more micromovements with every movement of your toothbrush inside the mouth.
More effective at removing plaque
A few of the research work shows that electric brushes, in general does play an important role in decreasing the amount of plaque and gingivitis , comparatively more than manual toothbrushes. After an observation period of about 3 months, it was found that there was a notable decrease in the accumulation of plaque by 21% and gingivitis by 11%. Oscillating or rotating toothbrushes seem to work slightly better than the vibrating ones.
Easier for people with limited mobility
Your electric toothbrush is designed to do most of the hard work for you, that concerns your dental health. This might prove beneficial for people with limited mobility or people with certain other problems including:
- Carpal tunnel
- Developmental disabilities
An electric toothbrush is designed to have a built-in timer that will enable you to brush your teeth for the appropriate and necessary amount of time to help you get rid of all the plaque and other build-up from your teeth and gums.
May cause less waste
What do you do with an old plastic toothbrush? you throw it away! In case of an electric toothbrush, when you seem to require a new brush, you just have to get a new toothbrush head, which leads to a comparatively lesser amount of waste generation, and is also better for the environment as a whole. A single use toothbrush, when discarded generates comparatively more waste than the ones that run on electricity.
May improve your focus while brushing
Some of the studies have also proven that people were found to be more focused while brushing their teeth with an electric tooth brush. This is known to improve the overall experience of the people, and could potentially your regimen to get your teeth cleaned.
May improve oral health in people with orthodontic appliances
It was also found out that electric toothbrushes proved to be particularly helpful for people with orthodontic appliances such as braces, because it made it easier for them to brush their teeth without much hassle.
For people with appliances, who already had a good oral health condition, there was no significant or noticeable reduction in the plaque levels, with or without the electric toothbrush. But if you are struggling to clean your mouth and maintain a healthy dental hygiene regimen while being under an orthodontic therapy of any kind, you might choose electric toothbrush over the manual ones for the sake of improving your oral health conditions.
Exciting for kids
Kids can be very difficult when it comes to brushing their teeth. An electric toothbrush might be slightly more engaging for your child than a manual one, it can help accomplish a good oral hygiene regimen for your child, and save him tonnes of troubles in the future.
Safe for gums
When used properly, electric toothbrushes are designed to protect your enamel and gums from all kinds of decay causing germs and promote a good oral health, without hurting your gums and teeth.
Electric toothbrush cons
The price points of any electric toothbrush are slightly higher than the manual ones. Prices range anywhere from $15 to $250 per brush. New replacement brush heads usually come in packs of multiples and cost between $10 and $45. Totally disposable electric toothbrushes cost $5 to $8 plus the cost of batteries.
Finding the right replacement brush head for your electric toothbrush might give you a headache since all stores have the ones that fits your brush. Should that happen, you are going to have to look for it online, which isn’t convenient for everyone either, especially if you happen to need a new one right away. You can add to your stock as and when you find the ones that you need for about one year, but that only adds to your upfront expenses.
When tested among senior citizens, electric toothbrushes didn’t work wonders in removing the plaque, when compared to the manual ones. This doesn’t mean electric toothbrushes don’t work, but it might mean they aren’t worth the extra cost.
Plug in version of the electric toothbrush might add to the hassle if you happen to travel internationally, because you are possibly going to nee back up in cases like these. Electric toothbrushes generate lesser waste than the manual ones, but with all the consumption of electricity or batteries, they seem to be at least as harmful for the environment as the manual ones , if not more.
Lastly, not everyone like the feeling that comes with the vibrations produced by the electric toothbrushes while brushing your teeth. Also, electric toothbrushes create a bit more movement of saliva in your mouth, which might get a little messy for some people.
Benefits of using a Manual Toothbrush
Manual toothbrushes have been around for a long time, for a reason. While they don’t seem as fancy with the arrival of the electric toothbrushes in the market of dental hygiene, they are still successful in removing the plaque build-up, clean your teeth , and prevent gingivitis with the maintenance of a proper dental hygiene regimen.
If you are comfortable using your good old manual tooth brush, and if it is serving your purpose, then there is absolutely no need for you to switch to the electric ones. But you have to use it least twice a day, properly to make it keep serving your purpose.
You can easily find a tooth brush literally at any grocery store, gas station, dollar store and even a pharmacy located near you. They don’t need to be recharged at regular intervals to brush your teeth, which makes it even easy and convenient for everybody to use, even when you are on the go!
Manual toothbrushes are comparatively more cost-effective. You can easily get one for a dollar or two.
Downsides of using a manual toothbrush
It was revealed in research that people are more likely to brush their teeth too hard and tend to move the brush in harsh ways while using a manual tooth brush, which does more harm than good. Brushing too hard and in vigorous motions can have adverse effects on your gums and teeth.
Brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush can also make it difficult for us to fathom if we are brushing our teeth long enough to get rid of all the plaque and bacteria, since there is no built-in timer like the electric ones. You can set a timer on your phone or your kitchen, if you need to track the time for your brushing sessions.
For toddlers and young children
We would like to repeat, children can be difficult when it comes to brushing their teeth. So, for them, it best to use the ones that sails their boat. Use the ones they would like to use to take care of their dental health. However, dentists recommend tooth brushes with softer bristles and child sized brush heads for children. The pros and cons of each kind of toothbrush still apply.
Children and toddlers can safely use electric toothbrushes on their own, with or without parental supervision. Parental supervision is always recommended however, to ensure the safety of your children. It is also important that you ensure that your children are spitting it our after they are done brushing , and not swallowing the toothpaste, because children tend to do that, a lot.
When to replace your toothbrush?
It is important that you replace your toothbrushes every three to four months, as recommended by the ADA. You should also consider replacing your toothbrush if they start getting frayed or if you have used it when you were sick. Manual toothbrush needs to be changed as a whole, and not the head alone. For electric toothbrushes however, replacing only the brush head, does the job.
How to brush your teeth?
We are so glad you asked! The most significant thing about brushing your teeth is the technique that you follow to do it. And if you are doing it twice a day, every day. The best way to brush your teeth is to:
Pick a toothbrush that’s the right size for your mouth.
Don’t use toothbrush with bristles are that too hard, they can irritate your gums. The ADA, too recommends you to use brushes with soft bristles. You can also look for brushes with multi-level or angles bristles, because they cover more area and help you reach the unreachable corners in your mouth. These brushes also prove to be more effective and beneficial than the ones with flat or one level bristles.
People might sometimes struggle with bleeding gums when they’ve gone too long without brushing and flossing, and the plaque starts to build up. It might also occur, if you are too harsh with your tooth brush or your floss string while cleaning your mouth and injuring the gums in the due process. As long as you are gentle, brushing and flossing every day, your gums should not be bleeding and you should be good to go!