Your Choice – Electric or Manual

No, I’m not talking about can openers. The choice of electric or manual toothbrushes often comes up when talking prevention with  patients. Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a manual one?

Here’s a secret – it is really your brushing technique, not the toothbrush, that makes the difference.

Electric toothbrushes have been around since 1960. They’ve come a long way since then and there are lots of choices but they all land in two groups, electric or sonic. Is there really a difference?

Electric toothbrushes do the muscle work of brushing for you. These brushes rotate 3,000 to 7,500 times per minute. They may rotate or the head may wiggle back and forth in order to remove plaque from the teeth.

Sonic toothbrushes are speed demons. They give you 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute in a vibrating motion. The manufacturers claim this rapid motion provides more effective cleaning.

A really big difference between the two types is price. When shopping for an electric toothbrush (or sonic) you not only want to take into account all the wonderful things the brush does (times your brushing for 2 minutes, makes your coffee), but you also want to look at the cost of replacement heads. The cost on heads can be very high.

People who have mobility problems or dexterity issues, like people with arthritis, may find an electric or sonic toothbrush easier to use. Because of the wide range of health issues linked to gum disease keeping gums healthy is especially important for these patients. Several studies do suggest that sonic and electric toothbrushes are more effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis. Other studies have shown that, used properly, manual toothbrushes can be equally effective.

Please contact Clyde, NC cosmetic dentist Dr. John Highsmith today at 828-627-9282 to schedule your next visit. No matter how great your toothbrush, you still need to see your dental hygienist!

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