While flying cars have yet to be invented, technology has still advanced at a rapid pace over the last few decades. One common household item that many Americans have not yet upgraded, however, is their toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association, both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective tools for cleaning your teeth – but how do they compare? A dentist in Potomac is here to weigh the pros and cons.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES?
Here are a few of the primary benefits of electric toothbrushes:
- Automatic timers – Timers built into an electric toothbrush help ensure users brush for the recommended full two minutes
- Easier to hold – Because electric toothbrushes are slightly bigger in size and rotate automatically, they are easier to use for individuals with arthritis or carpal tunnel
- More fun – Electric toothbrushes can encourage children to practice good oral health habits by making brushing their teeth seem more fun. Today’s electric brushes come in all shapes, colors and even characters
- Better for braces – One study found electric toothbrushes are particularly helpful for people with braces to maintain their oral health since they make brushing easier
CONS OF ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES
Many people may hesitate to choose electric toothbrushes for two reasons: cost and convenience. Electric toothbrushes range in price but can cost considerably more than the traditional plastic toothbrushes. In addition, finding a replacement head for an electric toothbrush may require a little extra effort. While almost any local supermarket is sure to carry a suitable manual toothbrush, they may not have the exact type or brand of electric toothbrush head needed.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF MANUAL TOOTHBRUSHES?
While not as fancy or high-tech as electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes are still an effective tool for cleaning teeth. Primary advantages of manual toothbrushes include:
- Cost – Typically sold for $1 to $3, manual toothbrushes are quite cost-effective
- Accessibility – Manual toothbrushes are sold at almost any pharmacy, grocery store, dollar store and even some gas stations, meaning they are easy to find when it comes time to buy a new one
- Simplicity – Because a manual toothbrush does not need to be charged, they can be used anywhere, anytime
CONS OF MANUAL TOOTHBRUSHES
One study found that people were more likely to brush with too much pressure if they used a manual toothbrush versus an electric one, which can hurt gums and teeth.
In addition, it is easy to get distracted or lose track of time when brushing with a manual toothbrush. Without the automatic timer of an electric toothbrush, one may stop brushing before completely cleaning their teeth.
In the end, the most important factor in keeping teeth clean is not which toothbrush one uses, but how one uses it. Brushing every day for the full two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day is the best way to maintain good oral health. In addition, be sure to visit a dentist in Potomac every six months for a routine checkup!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A proud graduate of the Georgetown University School of Dentistry, Dr. Sam Osseiran is passionate about helping patients achieve a healthy smile. For this reason, he has completed over 5,000 hours of continuing education since receiving his degree. For more oral health advice, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Osseiran via his website or by calling the office at 301-979-7914.