Electric Toothbrushes or Manual - which is better?

Most of us are taught from a young age that brushing your teeth is an essential part of our daily routine. In fact, looking after our teeth in the right way can even help our overall health and wellbeing, with many studies linking our oral health to an array of other health conditions. 

As we brush our teeth every single day - hopefully, twice a day - it’s important to consider which kind of toothbrush is the best suited for your teeth in order to further improve your oral health and prevent future problems. 

The question is, which toothbrush is better - manual or electric? 

Deep cleaning and plaque removal

Whilst a manual toothbrush is really effective if used correctly to remove plaque and clean right down close to the gum line, electric toothbrushes can actually clean slightly more effectively as their vibrations and/or extra rotation of the toothbrush head ensures more micro-movements each time you brush your teeth. 

Studies show that electric toothbrushes decrease plaque buildup and gingivitis more effectively than a manual toothbrush, with a 21 percent reduction in plaque and 11 percent reduction in gingivitis after 3 months of continual use. 

Easier for those with limited mobility 

Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you, making them ideal for those with arthritis, other mobility issues or those who find it difficult to reach certain areas of their mouth when brushing. 

Timers and pressure indicators built-in

Another benefit of electric toothbrushes is that they often have timers built in which can help you to brush your teeth for the full recommended two minutes. You can also find models with lights or other indicators that alert you when you are brushing too hard. This can help to avoid damaging your tooth enamel by abrasion. 

Sustainability & cost 

You should change your toothbrush (or toothbrush head) whenever you see the bristles start to have frayed edges - usually around the 3-month mark. Electric toothbrushes are of course more expensive than manual toothbrushes, however, if you are using a manual toothbrush, you will have to change the entire toothbrush each time, whilst with an electric toothbrush, you only need to replace the head. However, electric toothbrushes are not so eco friendly to produce and of course, require electricity to charge them. It’s very important to ensure that whichever type of toothbrush you have, you recycle it well. That’s why at Bite Dental Studios we are proud partners of Terracycle - you can simply drop your toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes into the Terracycle box at Bite Dental next time you are ready to purchase a new one. If you are using a manual toothbrush, there are now some great eco-friendly options made of materials such as bamboo which are much more sustainable than traditional plastic toothbrushes. 

Fun for kids

Whilst kids are more likely to want to copy whichever toothbrush they see you using as a parent, there are many anecdotal reports that kids find electric toothbrushes more fun due to the novelty factor and them appearing toy-like. You can get many lighter electric toothbrushes made specifically for kids that can help them improve their brushing habits early in life. 

Both are good for seniors  

A lot of deciding which toothbrush is best comes down to how you use it and what tool you are most likely to use in the more correct way. Two studies among seniors, electric toothbrushes did not significantly reduce plaque more than manual toothbrushes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that either one is better but could indicate that electric toothbrushes are not worth the extra cost for some. 

Conclusion

So, which is best? It’s really up to you to decide whether you prefer using a manual or electric toothbrush but we recommend trying out both to see which is best. Even our dentists at Bite Dental use both manual and electric toothbrushes, depending on the most convenient option for them as individuals - some people don’t like the vibrations of electric toothbrushes and some love how they can focus on each tooth with an electric toothbrush. It really all comes down to personal preference - as long as you are using the correct method of brushing, a good quality toothpaste and regular flossing, your teeth and gums should remain in good condition. 

Do you have more questions about tooth brushing or your oral health, or are you simply in need of a check-up? You can book an appointment here or call our team on 07 3221 5399.