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Is it Better to Use a Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

Increasingly, patients are asking dentists in Newcastle whether they should be using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual toothbrush. There are a plethora of different electric toothbrushes on the market, but they can be quite the investment. Most people who have made the change to using an electric toothbrush are happy with the outcome, feeling they do a better job at cleaning their teeth compared to an ordinary toothbrush.

However, if you have an excellent brushing technique and are great at flossing your teeth regularly, then there may be no reason to dump your manual toothbrush in favour of an electric toothbrush. It can be a different story for people with limited dexterity, for example, someone with arthritis. If this applies to you, then an electric toothbrush which will do much of the work for you. Additionally, an electric toothbrush can be great for kids because they are more fun to use. Anything that encourages children to brush their teeth more regularly has to be a good thing!

Ultimately, your choice of toothbrush does come down to individual preference, but we’ve made a quick comparison between manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes to highlight some of the differences.

Manual Toothbrushes
The pros of using a manual toothbrush include:

  • They cost just a few dollars
  • You can buy them with a variety of different sized heads, bristles and styles
  • Manual toothbrushes are easy to take on vacation because you don’t need to worry about charging them or replacing batteries
  • If you lose a manual toothbrush, then it’s no big deal because it’s cheap to replace

The cons of using a manual toothbrush include:

  • Manual toothbrushes require excellent brushing techniques
  • They can be more difficult to manipulate
  • Manual toothbrushes don’t have timers so you either need to guess when your two minutes brushing time is up or keep a small timer in your bathroom

Electric Toothbrushes
The pros of using an electric toothbrush include:

  • They are easy to use, and most have built-in timers
  • Children and the elderly, and people with dexterity problems find it easier to brush with an electric toothbrush
  • The more expensive electric toothbrushes offer a variety of different programs designed to whiten your teeth or massage your gums
  • Some models can prevent you from brushing your teeth and gums too hard

The cons of using an electric toothbrush include:

  • They are more expensive
  • If you drop an electric toothbrush, it’s likely to break or become damaged
  • Whenever you go away, you must remember to take the charger

Making Sure You Choose the Right Toothbrush
Regardless of whether you prefer to use an electric or manual toothbrush, it’s important to make sure you choose a toothbrush with the right kind of bristles. Ideally, it should have soft to medium bristles because anything harder could damage your teeth and gums. When choosing your toothbrush, make sure its head is small enough to reach right to the back of your mouth. Electric toothbrush heads are generally quite small, but if you prefer a manual toothbrush and have a little mouth, it’s perfectly okay to use a child-sized toothbrush. Finally, make sure you change your toothbrush regularly. Dentists in Clarington recommend getting a new toothbrush every three months, or more frequently if it begins to look worn.

If you feel your toothbrushing techniques could do with a little help, then please don’t hesitate to ask our dentist in Courtice, next time you visit us here at West Bowmanville Family Dental.


Jul 27, 2018 by
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