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The difference between a manual and electric toothbrush

This is a question we get asked about quite often. It doesn’t help either that there are lots of different manual and electric toothbrushes for sale all claiming to do different things or focus on specific areas. In this blog post we look to try and give you the answer to this question. Before we look a little closer at this, let’s look at what the aim of a toothbrush is generally. The aim is to clean the teeth thoroughly ensuring that as much plaque as possible is removed thus contributing to a sound oral health routine.

Electric Toothbrush

When electric toothbrushes first came out onto the market, many agreed that there didn’t seem to be much difference between the two. However, as time and science has evolved, we are finding that electric toothbrushes are becoming more expert and the precision to give a better clean has advanced greatly.

Brushing your teeth isn’t a difficult task (although there is a technique to it.) An advantage that electric toothbrushes have over manual ones is that the brush heads are much smaller allowing you to reach all areas of the mouth, including hard to reach parts. Many power toothbrushes have different ‘functions’ which use technology to clean the teeth in different ways. Vibrating or oscillating are examples of this. A potential downside to an electric toothbrush could be over zealous use from owner. Remember that electric toothbrushes work faster and better than manual ones, yet as humans we still have a tendency to scrub our teeth. This practice can cause damage and users of electric toothbrushes should be aware of this.

Manual toothbrushes are very easy to use (they are what they are.) Electric toothbrushes are also to a certain extent but some people find difficulty. The sensation can be quite different between using a manual and electric model and it because of this that some people do not like using a power toothbrush. One advantage that manual toothbrushes certainly have over electric is the price. A good manual toothbrush costs hardly anything and there are even ‘value’ ranges which are even cheaper. Due to the technology, electric toothbrushes can cost more, although considering we only get one set of adult teeth it is a sound investment to look after them. Remember that all toothbrushes need to be changed regularly and this applies to manual and electric. Cost can factor into this too.

Generally as dentists, we recommend electric toothbrushes as the ability to provide a targeted clean to all areas of the mouth and teeth is second to none. Individual choice will obviously vary but the key point is to ensure that you brush regularly and thoroughly whichever version you opt for.

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