Electric Vs Manual Toothbrushes: Which Is Better?

Or: why maintaining optimal oral hygiene can be achieved with the right tooth brush and brushing technique

Many consumers use electric toothbrushes to better care for their teeth, but are those devices actually better? Dentists in Calgary recommend electric toothbrushes over manual ones for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. If you are not sure which toothbrush is right for your teeth, stay tuned. We put Electric Vs Manual Toothbrushes against each other.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have been around much longer than electric ones. They allow you to thoroughly clean your teeth, come in a variety of colors, bristle styles and are inexpensive to replace compared to electric models (and if you do use a manual toothbrush you should be replacing it every 3 to 4 months or after you’ve been ill).

However, manual toothbrushes require more work and diligence on your part, ensuring you are cleaning thoroughly. Also, there is no timer on a manual toothbrush, so it is up to you to ensure you get a full two minutes of solid brushing in. And don’t forget to gently brush your gums as well.

Electric Toothbrushes

While they have only been around a few years, electric toothbrushes now come in a variety of styles. From battery-powered to rechargeable, you can find a variety of electric toothbrushes with all of the features you want. While they cost considerably more than a manual toothbrush, they offer numerous benefits, including:

  • More Thorough Clean: When compared to a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes have better cleaning ability. They remove plaque better and faster. With advanced designs, they are able to reach hard-to-clean spots (like molars) and prevent cavities and gingivitis. At your next teeth cleaning in Calgary, you may even receive compliments for excellent care of your teeth.
  • They Prevent You from Brushing Too Hard: It is easy to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush, but with an electric toothbrush it is almost impossible, because the brush is doing the work, not you. You position the brush where you want, and it does the rest. Some models come with built-in sensors so if you are pressing too hard, they decrease power to prevent damaging the gums.
  • They Have Timers: Manual toothbrushes require you to monitor the clock and brush the full two minutes. With an electric toothbrush, the built-in timer does the work for you. Some models even have reminders so that you switch quadrants inside your mouth to thoroughly clean each area.
  • Better Cleaning for Children: Children tend to clean their teeth better with electric toothbrushes because it is less work and the timer lets them know when to stop brushing. Some even have a song that plays for the length they need to brush for.

The importance of oral hygiene

The benefits of an electric toothbrush do outweigh those of a manual one, and while Dentrix Dental Care does recommend them, what it comes down to is maintaining good oral hygiene at home.

Brushing your teeth (gums and tongue) twice a day and flossing at least once a day are vital to good tooth and gum health. Doing this every morning and before bed is the best way to remove bacteria, strengthen your gums and protect against oral disease. And whether you use a manual toothbrush (it’s general best to purchase a soft bristled manual toothbrush) or an electric toothbrush, you must brush for at least two minutes—and you must floss every tooth. Because when you don’t: 30% of your tooth is left uncleaned, and this is how gum disease can get a foothold in your mouth.

You will hear dentists harp on a lot about gum disease, and how it’s so easy to prevent. There is a good reason for this.

Gum disease: one of the easiest diseases to prevent

Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It results in tooth loss because the bacteria will cause pockets to form between the gum and tooth, and eventually the bone starts to deteriorate and causes tooth loss.

Untreated tooth loss can cause further tooth loss, because bone deterioration doesn’t stop. And bone loss starts as soon as you lose a tooth. This is known as bone atrophy and is why people with missing teeth have a sunken, aged appearance.

Gum disease has also been linked with serious problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart attacks
  • cancer

Why gum disease is the easiest disease to prevent

Gum disease is the easiest disease to prevent because you only need to do five things:

  1. Brush your teeth, gums and tongue twice a day
  2. Floss (at least) once a day
  3. Eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water
  4. Chew sugar-free gum after lunch or snacks
  5. Visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup, clean and scale.

By following these simple steps, you can go a long way to prevent gum disease. And step six is how you know if you have any dental issues which need treatment.

Gingivitis, is the precursor to gum disease, and can be treated by your dentist. If gingivitis progress to gum disease it cannot be treated: only managed. This is another reason why it’s so important to take care of your oral health at home, as well as have regular dental appointments.

The importance of a proper at-home oral hygiene routine

An entire blog on toothbrushes, even from a dentist, may seem strange. But once you release how important brushing and flossing is to your overall health, it starts to make sense. After all, dentists are obviously going to expound the many and varied benefits of taking care of your oral health at home.

And yes. Regular dental checkups are important—but they are important because of the benefit they have to you. If you visit the dentist once or twice a year, this gives your dentist a chance to assess your oral health, as well as scale and clean your teeth.

A scale and clean cleans your teeth in a way you can’t, and it helps your teeth stay healthy. A regular checkup also allows your dentist to catch any symptoms and prevent problems from becoming severe.

To put it another way, if you have a choice of a checkup, scale and clean (which won’t take more than half an hour) or repeatedly returning to the dentist for serious dental work like root canal therapy or a dental crown—what would you pick?

Choosing the right toothbrush for you and your family

You use a toothbrush every day, and it can make all the difference in your oral health. This is just one of the reasons why Dentrix Dental Care in Calgary recommend electric toothbrushes. Even though, you may turn up your nose at the idea of spending more than a few dollars on a toothbrush—wouldn’t you rather one that lasts a long time, and provides you with a better, easier and more convenient way to brush your teeth?

You can also find a brand to suit the whole family, with many offering different ones for children that play a song while they brush their teeth, making it more fun and so encouraging kids to brush their teeth for the right amount of time.

Electric vs manual toothbrushes: which is better?

When it comes to Electric Vs Manual Toothbrushes our dentists in Northwest Calgary recommend electric toothbrushes. They offer a better clean and deliver better results for the whole family.

And to compliment the invest of an electric toothbrush you should visit your dentist regularly—at least once or twice a year. Dentrix Dental Care is now accepting new patients. Schedule your appointment at one of our two convenient locations today.