Many people feel strongly about their toothbrush and their oral hygiene routine. Maybe you’re a “floss, brush, mouthwash” person. Perhaps you fancy yourself more of a “brush, mouthwash, floss”-er. Maybe you’ve bought the same brand of manual toothbrush for decades. Or possibly you’re the type to try the latest gadget in oral healthcare technology. Wherever your habits fall, you’ve certainly asked yourself the question, “Should I be using a manual or an electric toothbrush?” at some point in your life. Maybe you’ve even gotten into a friendly debate about the matter with a friend or significant other. Today, we’re putting the debate to rest and getting to the bottom of the age old question, and the findings may surprise you!
Tried and True…
Manual toothbrushes have been around for centuries in one way or another. Five hundred years ago, they were made out of bone and hog hair, and were so expensive that it was common for one family to share a single brush for their home! Thankfully, advances have been made in cost and technology since those days. Today’s manual toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles to fit different ages, preferences, and oral health needs.
… Or Something New!
Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, have been around for a few decades and seem to change daily, with new technologies and brands always entering the market. They range from basic to advanced, with some even including self-timers, pressure gauges, and different modes for different forms of brushing. Some people find them easier to use because they are less tiresome on the hands, and they are often a great way to get kids enthused about brushing.
So Who’s the Winner?
While electric toothbrushes may seem like they would clearly offer more to consumers, research does not entirely back this assumption up. Generally speaking, research has found time and time again that a manual toothbrush, when coupled with regular flossing and a robust oral healthcare regimen, is as effective as most electric toothbrushes are at keeping your mouth clean and healthy!
A Price for Perfection
However, there is a line that manual toothbrushes and even some electric toothbrushes cannot reach. Certain electric toothbrushes utilize rotational oscillation and small pulses to help reach a new dimension of cleanliness and plaque removal. While studies have found these toothbrushes to be most effective at cleaning teeth, they are often very expensive. And even while these toothbrushes offer a superior clean to manual toothbrushes or other, more cost-effective electric toothbrushes, they do not obliterate the competition entirely. As stated before, a regimented oral healthcare routine will be enough to keep your mouth healthy, whether with a manual or standard electric toothbrush.
The type of toothbrush you use is just one component of your overall oral health. Even the most advanced electric toothbrush in the world can’t prevent cavities if you neglect to use it. That’s why, regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, it’s important to maintain a regimented oral healthcare routine that involves flossing, mouthwash, and regular checkups with your dentist.
If you have questions about your toothbrush or brushing technique, or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today!