Which is better, a manual or an electric toothbrush?

November 9th, 2017

OK, so it’s time to invest in a new toothbrush, but which do you go for? The trusty manual which has always done a decent job or a new electric (or battery-operated) one with the potential for improved brushing power?

Firstly, our recommendation would be to avoid battery-operated toothbrushes, particularly the cheaper ones. They are generally less effective than either electric models or manual brushing.

Manual or electric?

Certainly a manual toothbrush combined with the correct brushing technique is the simplest and least expensive option. A good quality brush shouldn’t cost you more than £3 – £4. Look at replacing this every 3 months. Typically, manual brushes are available in a broad range of shapes and sizes with a choice of soft, medium or hard bristles. Electric toothbrushes don’t offer this variety. Choose a brush with a smaller head and medium bristles for the best results.

There is published evidence to suggest that electric toothbrushes can do more to reduce plaque than manual ones, dependent on the model that’s used. If you decide to invest in an electric brush, the Braun Oral B PRO models are a great place to start. The head on this model rotates in a circular motion as well as moving to and fro which gives the most comprehensive clean. Note that the head will need to be changed every 3 months.

The bells and whistles

Some electric toothbrushes come with a range of extras including a tooth whitening function, a timer and a sensor that tells you when you’re brushing too hard. As ever, it’s personal preference as to which is right for a particular individual.

Which is right for me?

Another aspect to consider is your physical ability. Those people with limited arm movement or arthritis may find an electric brush to be beneficial as it does a lot of the arm work for you.

The bottom line is that brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes (with a fluoride toothpaste), combined with interdental cleaning, is key to your oral health, regardless of the type of toothbrush you use. Ask your dentist if you’re unsure – they’ll be able to advise what’s best for you.

Mike

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