Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush: Which Works Better?

Achieving and maintaining good oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth regularly. As such, it’s natural to want nothing but the best toothbrush available to help keep your smile as beautiful and healthy as possible. 

The American Dental Association says that both electric and manual toothbrushes are safe and effective at cleaning teeth. However, people have varying dental needs, and depending on your specific situation, one toothbrush may offer more benefits than the other. 

If you can’t decide which toothbrush you need, don’t fret. In this article, we’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of electric vs. manual toothbrushes.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush: Should I Switch to an Electric Toothbrush From a Manual One?

“Should I switch to an electric toothbrush from a manual one?” This is a question that many people find themselves asking. Before you take that leap, learn about the differences between a manual and an electric toothbrush and see which one works better for you.

Control

For people who like having more control over their brushing process, a manual toothbrush can be the better choice. An electric toothbrush has rotating brush heads, quick-vibrating bristles, and built-in timers, which may make some feel as though they are giving up control over how much pressure to use or how long they wish to keep brushing a particular area of their mouth.

Additionally, an electric brush only has a few set cleaning powers, and some may need to use less pressure than the minimum available setting. So, using a manual toothbrush can be better for those with sensitive teeth because they can quickly stop or apply less pressure whenever they feel a twinge of discomfort while brushing.

Which Works Better? MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH

Ease of Use

One of the main advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that it does most of the work for you and can be much easier to use. With its built-in timer and rotating brush heads, an automatic toothbrush can make the experience of brushing less of a hassle for people with limited mobility, such as those with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or developmental disabilities.

A research study from the National Institutes of Health also found that people with orthodontic appliances, such as braces, may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush than a manual one. Orthodontic patients with initially poor oral hygiene, primarily, benefited most from using electric toothbrushes.

Which Works Better? ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

Better for Seniors

If you’re looking to buy a new toothbrush for your elderly parent or grandparent, a manual brush may be the better choice. In a clinical trial about the effect of manual and electric toothbrushes on the dental hygiene of folks from nursing homes, more than half (54%) of the seniors reported preferring non-electric toothbrushes. There was also no significant difference between the plaque score of those who used manual brushes and those who used electric.

However, bear in mind that this still depends on the capabilities of the senior. The ADA cites that older adults with mobility issues or cognitive impairments may find it easier to use an electric toothbrush.

Which Works Better? MANUAL OR ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH (DEPENDING ON THE SENIOR)

More Fun for Kids

Although children can use manual and electric toothbrushes, many kids find it more fun to use an automatic brush. If you’re struggling to get your little ones invested in their dental hygiene, buying them an electric toothbrush can help get them excited about brushing.

Which Works Better? ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

Improved Focus

Some people have difficulty focusing while brushing their teeth, leading to areas of their mouth becoming neglected. To avoid this, using an automatic toothbrush can be the ideal solution. Since an electric toothbrush comes with a built-in timer, you can quickly know when it’s time to cease brushing one area of your mouth and move on to the next, ensuring a more thorough clean.

A study by the NIH confirms these benefits, citing that electric toothbrush users were found to brush in a more concentrated and focused pattern than those who used manual brushes.

Which Works Better? ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

Accessibility

One of the most notable advantages that a manual toothbrush has over an electric one is that it is more accessible. Unlike an automatic brush, which needs to be charged to function, a non-electric toothbrush can be used anywhere and at any time. Also, manual toothbrushes are typically available in convenience stores and other shops, making them easier to find and purchase during an emergency.

Which Works Better? MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH

Cost

The price of a manual toothbrush is significantly more affordable for the average person. An electric toothbrush not only has a higher price but also requires batteries and multiple replacement brush heads (the head will need to be changed every 3 months), which are an additional cost to consider when shopping for your ideal brush.

Which Works Better? MANUAL TOOTHBRUSH

Stay on Top of Your Oral Health, No Matter the Brush!

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of manual and electric toothbrushes, it’s time to assess which brush is right for you. Whether you’re a person with sensitive teeth who prefers a non-electric brush or an orthodontic patient in need of an automatic toothbrush, PRO-SYS can offer just what you need. Learn more about our various dentist-recommended products!

Achieving and maintaining good oral hygiene starts with brushing your teeth regularly. As such, it’s natural to want nothing but the best toothbrush available to help keep your smile as beautiful and healthy as possible.  The American Dental Association says that both electric and manual toothbrushes are safe and effective at cleaning teeth. However, people […]

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