Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes
It’s often difficult for consumers to decide whether to buy a manual toothbrush or invest in an electric toothbrush. In recent years and in our office, electric toothbrushes are becoming more and more popular. Here are some facts about electric toothbrushes that may help you decide what’s best for you.
- Electric toothbrushes move at 3,000 – 7,500 motions each minute, electric toothbrushes are designed to imitate the way your hand moves, saving you the extra effort.
- Sonic toothbrushes move at approximately 30,000 – 40,000 strokes per minute. This fast back and forth movement is more of a vibrating motion than an imitation of manual brushing.
- If you brush manually, you’ll hit only about 300 strokes per minute.
- For people with arthritis, or other conditions and disabilities that inhibit the movement required for brushing, the motion of an electric toothbrush can help clean teeth properly even with little hand and arm movement from the user.
- Some studies indicate that electric toothbrushes, especially those that utilize rotational-oscillation action, result in less plaque and fewer instances of gingivitis than manual brushing.
- The same study found that when used properly, manual and powered brushes can be equally effective.
- However, it is thought that people are more likely to use an electric toothbrush in the correct form than to use a manual toothbrush in the correct form.
- Electric toothbrushes can be priced at fifteen dollars up to over one hundred dollars.
- With both electric and manual brushes, you should be brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, ideally every morning and before bed to avoid residue staying on teeth and gums for long periods.
- There are electric toothbrushes designed specifically for children. The toothbrushes have colorful pictures, music, and timers in order to incentivize brushing.
- Because electric toothbrushes vibrate at a much high frequency, people with sensitive teeth need to be particularly careful about which brush they buy. Just like manual brushes, electric toothbrushes also have models with soft bristles, which are better for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
- Electric toothbrushes do not supplant the benefits of floss.
- Brushing too hard with a manual toothbrush can cause gum recession, where an electric toothbrush is less likely to do so.
Finding the right toothbrush for you may be a hard thing to do, but remember that the important thing is to make sure you have the tools that allow you, and encourage you, to brush properly–twice a day, for two minutes each time.