Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Brushing your teeth is a quintessential part of your daily dental hygiene routine, and we receive frequent questions from our patients regarding their best options when it comes to a toothbrush.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), as long as one brushes twice a day for the recommended two minutes at a time, both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque. You can find many brushes of each kind stamped with the ADA seal of approval, indicating the toothbrush efficiently combats plaque and gingivitis. Both can be used adequately in your day-to-day dental hygiene routine – however, there are still a few factors that give the electric toothbrush a slight edge.

Other than obvious advantages like comfort and convenience, recent studies have revealed more concrete proof that an electric toothbrush may be a worthwhile expense. According to a Cochrane review, after just three months of using an electric toothbrush, researchers found a 21% reduction in plaque and an 11% reduction in gingivitis. However, it is to be noted that in the conclusion of this review they state that there is no long-term research on these effects.

Electric toothbrushes have the upper hand when it comes to technology. Some have pressure sensors that can signal when you’re brushing too hard which is beneficial for those with sensitive gums. And some have timers that can track how long you’ve been brushing.  Another benefit of the electric toothbrush is that they do most of the work for you which is helpful for people living with limited mobility.

Whatever your toothbrush of choice, brushing regularly is the key to healthy teeth and gums. We also recommend flossing at least once per day, and of course, maintain your professional cleanings twice per year to prevent more serious problems.

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