When it comes to picking the right toothbrush, the question is often asked: do I go manual or electric?
Professionals to and fro have argued this question in recent years and yet the answer seems rather skewed. Though the electric toothbrush has gained traction over the past decade or so, some people genuinely still prefer to use their run-of-the-mill manually handheld toothbrush.
However, if your question is which of these toothbrush options provides me with the best dental care? The answer is actually and truly both.
“The idea of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums,” explains John Ictech-Cassis, DDS, DMD, clinical associate professor at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. “Most toothbrushes will keep the teeth clean if you know how to use them.”
So it would seem that as long as the brush you are using does the job in removing plaque and stimulating the gums, you’re using the ‘right’ one.
But maybe it’s not that cut and dry, maybe we need to dig deeper.
For the manual option, you know exactly what your going to get, and is considered to be a classic solution for good dental care.
“There are many advantages to the manual toothbrush,” says Dr. Ictech-Cassis. “We’ve been using this toothbrush for many years. It has a good track record.”
Some of the advantages of manual brushes over electronic ones are:
Cost and availability, due to the fact that they are so abundant in all of your local drug and grocery stores.
They are easy to maneuver and travel with, meaning you will not have to account for accessories, chargers, or batteries when you want to carry your toothbrush elsewhere.
Also, manual brushes put less pressure on teeth and gums. “You can feel [how much pressure you’re using] as you grasp the toothbrush,” according to Ictech-Cassis . “This helps you to avoid putting too much pressure on your teeth. With an electrical model, you can’t feel that as well.”
For electric toothbrushes, the recommendation from dental professionals is only in certain scenarios. Those who are out to get the deepest clean possible, in many cases, the manual toothbrush is the tool for you. For those suffering from arthritis or with limited dexterity, electric toothbrushes may be the best fit.
The electric toothbrushes offer a wide variety of features all designed to reach the same ultimate goal. Some of these features include pressure sensors that will actually indicate when you’re applying too much pressure to your gums.
So basically, whether you go with manual or electric, just know: functionality over fashion.
A fancy electric brush will set you back a little more, and may impress some of your houseguests snooping around your bathroom sink. However, if this same brush fails to do the job of removing plaque and stimulating gums, it is not worth the effort.