You are currently viewing Manual or Electric Toothbrushes: Is One Really Better Than the Other?

Are you on the fence about purchasing a manual or electric toothbrush?  Which is better for your dental health? Hopefully the following information can clear this up for you and help you decide on the right brush for your teeth and comfort.


Manual Toothbrushes

History tells us that manual toothbrushes have been around in some form since 3000-3500 B.C., but it wasn’t until the 15th Century when natural bristle brushes were first made (believed to have been created by the Chinese out of a pig’s course neck hair). The newly engineered designs of current-style manual toothbrushes have not evolved much since the 1930s, except for some embedded tongue scrapers and change from natural to artificial substances.  A downside of manual toothbrushes is when patients brush too aggressively causing gum recession and tooth wear. This can lead to sensitivity and an increased risk for cavities. You are probably brushing too hard if you see overly bent bristles on the brush. With proper use, manual toothbrushes can do an adequate job maintaining oral hygiene.


Electric Toothbrushes (Powered Brushes)

Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, have only recently gained popularity – more particularly in the 21st Century. While powered brushes have been around in some form since the 1960s, they have become more affordable and more commonplace in the last decade. Brushing manually only has an output of 250-300 strokes per minute, while a powered electric toothbrush can have from 3,000 to 30,000 strokes per minute. In addition to increased strokes per minute, electric toothbrushes are easy to use, require less manual effort, and some even have pressure-sensing systems.


Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes: The Whole Truth

Independent research has shown that electric toothbrushes consistently demonstrated a significant benefit over manual toothbrushes. Research has also shown that manual toothbrushes may be adequate, that is of course, if they are used properly. Unfortunately, it is estimated that approximately 90% of those who brush their teeth regularly don’t use proper brushing techniques. Thus validating the argument that an electric toothbrush is a better option. Regardless of the potential effectiveness of either toothbrush, the bottom line is that unless you employ the proper brushing techniques recommended by your dentist, your teeth are not being properly cleaned. This means cleaning all your teeth, and taking the time to do it.


Which is Right for You?

Are you confident in your brushing techniques? If you have the proper technique then you might be ok getting away with a manual toothbrush. But if you are looking to invest in your oral hygiene care then consider the value of an electric toothbrush.


Our experienced dentists at Lifetime Smiles can help you decide on the right toothbrush, and we don’t mind giving you a demonstration on the best techniques for your favorite type of brush. Call us at 760-747-1811 to schedule an appointment with dentists Dr. Rabee McDonald or Dr. Christo Mallakis today!  Don’t forget to check out our new patient promotions.


Dr. Christo Mallakis

I earned my dental degree at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Arizona, a school that concentrated on comprehensive patient care with the newest techniques and materials. While there I was honored with an award from the American College of Prosthodontists. I am passionate about dentistry, and learning is a never ending journey in my career. Staying up to date allows me to provide the best care for my patients and contribute to a more positive perception of dentistry. I have attended countless hours of continuing education, including courses at Spear Education, the most innovative and respected dental education provider in the country. I love educating patients and helping them understand how to improve their oral health. I believe in always having a positive exchange with people and providing my patients with the same quality of dentistry I would give myself and my family. I look forward to seeing you at our office.