Manual vs. Electric Toothbrush: Which is the Best Choice?

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The modern dental patient has more choices than they did 15 years ago. Braces or Invisalign? At-home or in-office whitening treatment? And, finally, electric or manual toothbrush? With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging for the health-conscious individual to know the best choice for their smile.

Keep reading to find out the differences between using an electric or manual brush.

Electric Toothbrush


Rotadent Electric ToothbrushPros

Easier to Use: Simply hold the brush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and let it do the work. This makes it an especially beneficial option for those who suffer from arthritis or other dexterity problems.

May Remove More Plaque: During 2014 a study of 56 subjects, electric brushes were found to remove 21% more plaque than manual brushes. After 3 months, they were found to reduce gingivitis by 11% more than manual brushes.

At Alrez Family Dentistry, the Rotadent electric toothbrush is available for purchase. This brush can only be purchased at a professional dentist’s office. In the video below, you can view a demonstration that shows just how effective the Rotadent brush is at removing plaque.

Cons

Expensive: These may range in price from $20-$200. Electric models are a great deal more expensive than their manual counterparts.

Fragile: Don’t drop your brush on the floor! It likely won’t be able to survive a fall. And considering the point above, a broken brush is definitely a bummer.

Clunky: Not only are electric brushes larger and heavier than manual ones, they also have accessories that can take up space. Whether you have to keep batteries on hand or plug it into a wall charger, this gadget takes up more real estate on the bathroom counter when compared with the old-fashioned brush.

Manual Toothbrush


Orange and Cyan Toothbrush HeadPros

Inexpensive: In your local drugstore or supermarket, you can buy a new toothbrush for as little as 99 cents.

Portable: With little to no accessories required, manual brushes stow away easily in your medicine cabinet, and they’re great for traveling. Simply put your brush in a plastic baggie or case, and you’re good to go.

Get the Same Results With Proper Brushing Technique: With diligence and some patience, you really can have the same result with a manual brush as with an electric one.

Cons

Requires More Effort to Use Properly: Whereas with an electric toothbrush, you simply let the brush do the work, the power comes from within with manual brushes! To get a proper clean, you need to hold your brush at a 45 degree angle and move in circular motions. Then, you need to brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth at a dead-on angle. For the backs of your pearly whites, use back and forth vertical strokes.

No Built-In Timer: Most electric brushes come with a timer that helps you brush sufficiently. With a manual brush, you have to rely on your own internal timer.

Selecting the Best Brush Can be Tricky: Since you generate the power to clean your teeth with a manual brush, it is essential that you select a brush that is easy for your particular wrist, hand, and mouth. When faced with the enormous wall of choices at the drug store, this can be an overwhelming decision.

So Which One’s Best? It’s Up to You to Decide

Electric toothbrushes are great. They’re highly effective at cleaning teeth with very little effort. However, the truth is that with proper technique and a little bit more elbow grease, manual toothbrushes can be equally effective. There are pros and cons to both brushes, and it’s up to individual patients to choose which one best fits into their lifestyle. At Alrez Family Dentistry, our office recommendation is the Rodadent electric bush.

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