Most people realize they should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, but a common question that gets asked at dental appointments is whether an electric toothbrush or manual toothbrush is better. The answer: either will provide excellent results, as long as the user makes it a priority to use it properly.
What’s Right for Me--Electric Toothbrush or Manual Toothbrush?
The right toothbrush for you is a matter of personal preference. Some people find they can more effectively clean their teeth with an electric toothbrush, while others can easily do the job with a regular, manual brush.
Patients who struggle to brush thoroughly and effectively – for example, patients who have arthritis – can greatly benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush may also be a good choice for very young children who have not yet developed the dexterity to brush their teeth sufficiently.
What Makes a Good Toothbrush?
Whether you choose electric or manual, here are some qualities your toothbrush should have:
Choose a toothbrush with softer bristles to gently clean your teeth and gums.
Make sure the size of the head is appropriate for the size of your mouth. You need to be able to access even the very back of your mouth with ease, so make sure the head is not too large.
Make sure your toothbrush carries the American Dental Association seal of approval.
Always make sure the toothbrush you are using is in good shape. According to the ADA, you should change your toothbrush (or brush head on an electric toothbrush) every 3-4 months, or as soon as the bristles are worn and frayed.
In short, feel free to choose between an electric or manual toothbrush. Really, the better option is the one that you will use more and the one you can use the most effectively.
As long as you are thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums and using a toothpaste with fluoride, the type of toothbrush you use isn’t overly important.