Toothbrush Wars: Electric Vs. Manual

Written by Amy Fry

Toothbrush technology has come on leaps and bounds since the days when we used horsehair to brush our teeth (thank goodness!). Modern advances in technology have expanded the variety of toothbrush options we have exponentially. With this comes an array of benefits in being able to find the perfect toothbrush for each individual. But at the same time it can be a very confusing area with the amount of choice sometimes suffocating us. Which one is best for me – manual or electric?

For some time now, consumers and dentists alike have been singing the praises of electric toothbrushes. But are they actually any better than a manual toothbrush?

A 2004 independent study (Forrest JL and Miller SA) found that electric oscillating toothbrushes removed more plaque and reduced gum problems more effectively than manual toothbrushes in the long-term, however this was only moderately.

Electric toothbrush

When choosing your toothbrush, consider the following for both manual and electric options:

Benefits of electric

  • Improve brushing technique – by having timers to let you know how long you should brush your teeth.
  • Massaging action, which is good for the gums.
  • Easy to use – place the brush at a 45° angle and let the toothbrush do all the work.
  • Pressure sensors to alert you when you are brushing too hard.
  • Ideal for those suffering from any painful or movement-restricting conditions such as arthritis, as the toothbrush dos all of the work for you.

Cons of electric

  • Electric toothbrushes require constant charging or replacement batteries.
  • Not ideal when travelling as they are often bulkier and require a charger as well.
  • Although good value for money, the upfront cost can be quite expensive. Prices can range from anywhere from £15 – £125+.

Manual toothbrush

Benefits of manual

  • Bristle technology has improved – criss-crossed bristle, multi-level bristles, textured, polished and rounded bristles
  • Manual toothbrushes perform better when cleaning your tongue and the inside of your cheeks
  • Flexibility – manual toothbrushes are much more flexible as they bend at the head so can reach those stubborn teeth at the back of the mouth easier.
  • When choosing manual toothbrushes your options are much wider – soft, medium or hard bristles.

Cons of manual

  • More effort. Put simply using a manual toothbrush is a lot more effort than using an electric toothbrush.
  • With manual toothbrushes you have to guess how long you have been brushing your teeth for (unless you set a 2-minute timer). This can be less convenient than using an electric toothbrush.

Regardless of which option you choose, the most important factor when brushing your teeth is making sure you get a good full 2-minute cycle at least once every day.

To find out more about the best dental care practices and which toothbrush options would work best for you book a dentist appointment online today with Zesty. We have a many highly skilled and professional dental practices that are just a click away!




About the author

Amy Fry

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