Mann Family Dental
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Should I Get an Electric Toothbrush?

January 23, 2015
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Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann

According to research, 90% of us do not brush properly with a manual toothbrush. When a patient could be doing a better job of caring for their teeth in between visits, we recommend using an electric toothbrush. But as with anything, there are always pros and cons.

Manual Toothbrush

Pros:

  • It’s inexpensive. The average cost of a manual toothbrush at the grocery store is under $5. Even if you’re replacing it every three months, it’s still very affordable.
  • It’s small and easy to travel with. It’s easy to put your toothbrush in your overnight bag when there are no chargers and cords involved. You could even store one at work without anyone really noticing.
  • It’s easy to control. When you use a manual toothbrush you can control the amount of pressure you’re putting on your teeth and gums more easily than you can with an electric toothbrush. If you feel like your gums are sensitive, you can adjust the pressure instantly.

Cons:

  • It takes more work to properly clean your teeth and gums. On the days when you’re in a rush or just being a bit lazy, you can miss a good portion of what needs to be brushed.
  • There’s no timer - everything is on you with a manual toothbrush. You have to make sure you’re doing a good job and you’re doing it for long enough. If you handle that responsibility well every time you brush, a manual toothbrush is just fine. But if not, your dental visits may not be as pleasant as you’d hoped.

Electric Toothbrush

Pros:

  • Better results with less work.This is by far the biggest pro. You have to do less work with an electric toothbrush, and they do a better job of cleaning your entire mouth.
  • They usually have a timer. Most electric toothbrushes have a timer. So when you’ve brushed for long enough, it’ll tell you by turning off.
  • They’re fun for kids. When young kids are having trouble getting excited about brushing their teeth, a toothbrush with a motor might help with their motivation. Electric toothbrushes are often just more fun for kids.

Cons:

  • They cost more. An electric toothbrush can run from $50 all the way up to $300. You’re not replacing the entire unit every three months (just the brushes), but the cost is still significantly higher.
  • They need to be charged. You have to make sure you charge your electric toothbrush. If you forget and it dies, it’s the same as using a manual one.
  • They’re breakable. Since there are moving parts in an electric toothbrush, they are breakable.

We generally recommend an electric toothbrush for anyone who thinks they can do a better job removing the plaque from their teeth on a day to day basis. It just so happens that this is most people. If you’re having trouble deciding if it’s worth it, talk to your dentist and I’m sure they’ll have some great recommendations.

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