Humans have been trying to keep their teeth clean for a very long time. From twigs used as chew sticks to bristled toothbrushes made with hog hair to rubbing rags rolled in soot, humans seem to understand the importance of oral hygiene! It was the invention of nylon, toothbrush bristles were transformed, and mass production was underway of this essential tool.
When choosing a toothbrush for yourself or your family, you may have wondered which is better: manual or electric toothbrushes. There have been many studies over the years asking this same question.
Research has analyzed how much plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that covers teeth) and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) was reduced using the different toothbrush types:
In 2004, Cochrane performed a systematic review of the available research findings and determined that electric-powered toothbrushes offered a greater advantage. Results showed a 21% reduction in plaque after three months of use and 11% reduction of gingivitis over the same period.
The American Dental Association believes that manual or electric toothbrushes are equally effective because preventing decay is determined by how you use your toothbrush, no matter what type it is.
Truly, brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing every day is the key to good oral health. While both types of toothbrushes are effective, some simple considerations might make the selection process easier.
Advantage of Manual Toothbrushes vs. Electric
- Taking a manual toothbrush on vacation or when traveling away from home is easier.
- Manual toothbrushes are cheaper than electric toothbrushes.
- You don’t have to remember to keep a manual toothbrush charged or have batteries handy.
- Manual toothbrushes can be more comfortable for people with sensitive teeth.
Advantages of Electric Toothbrushes vs. Manual
- While more expensive, electric toothbrushes generally last longer than manual toothbrushes.
- Most electric toothbrushes have sensors that help avoid damage to enamel and gums.
- Electric toothbrushes often have a timer installed that helps you brush for the necessary two minutes.
- Electric toothbrushes tend to have a more ergonomic design that helps those suffering from arthritis, tendonitis, or have problems holding a toothbrush.
- With rotating and oscillating bristle heads, electric toothbrushes can be more successful in cleaning teeth.
Still unsure which toothbrush type to choose? Talk to us! We understand the confusion and can give you advice based on your personal oral hygiene needs. But remember, no matter what kind of toothbrush you choose, the most powerful cleaning regime is to brush twice a day and floss every day!