If all dentists agree on one thing, it’s that brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is one of the most important steps in your oral health care routine.
Brushing your teeth helps remove both food and plaque, a sticky white substance that forms a layer on your teeth and contains bacteria. When plaque builds up it can cause a break down in tooth enamel, cavities, and can lead to gum disease.
One of the biggest questions when it comes to brushing your teeth is the electric toothbrush vs. regular debate. Are electric toothbrushes better?
If you’re not sure which type of toothbrush you should be using, don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons from dental clinics like Luma Dental to consider when deciding on your next toothbrush.
Electric Toothbrush vs. Regular: Pros and Cons
Personal preference, age, and overall health all influence which type of toothbrush you should use. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences to take into account to make sure you’re using the toothbrush that is right for you.
1. Cleaning Power
Electric toothbrushes are proven to eliminate 21% more plaque than regular brushes. Also, they reduce gum disease by 11%. Even the most thorough brusher can’t get the same results with a regular toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes with round heads that oscillate, or rotate, are proven to be more effective than those that just vibrate. But either way, electric toothbrushes are undoubtedly far more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes.
Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than regular ones, but how much are electric toothbrushes? The price varies depending on the type of toothbrush and the different features it has.
A basic battery-operated vibrating toothbrush will cost between $5 and $25. A rechargeable power toothbrush can range anywhere from $20 to $250. Replacement brush heads for electric toothbrushes are usually sold as a pack of multiples and cost between $10 and $45.
The cost can add up quickly. You can look at these dentist-recommended toothbrushes to get a feel for the different options and price points.
Manual toothbrushes range anywhere from $1 to $4 and you can find them at almost any grocery store, gas station, or pharmacy. Your dentist is also likely to give you one at your 6-month cleaning, so you only have to buy two a year!
Electric toothbrushes are easy to use and make brushing your teeth less of a chore since they do the work for you. You just need to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and methodically move the brush around to each section of your mouth. Some models even vibrate or chime when it’s time to move the brush to the next section.
The ease of use may be particularly helpful for people with limited mobility, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel. Kids may also find electric toothbrushes more fun and be more inclined to brush their teeth.
A regular toothbrush takes a bit more work. In addition to holding it at the right angle, you need to generate the circular and back and forth motion to clean your teeth properly.
Check out these effective brushing techniques for the best results with either type of toothbrush.
4. Brushing for 2 Minutes
Two minutes can seem like a long time, and it may be hard to remember to set a timer every time you brush your teeth. When using a manual toothbrush, you may be inclined to stop brushing too soon.
If you often find yourself rushing through your brushing routine, it may help to leave a kitchen timer on your bathroom sink. Alternatively, you may want to consider switching to an electric toothbrush.
Most electric toothbrushes have a timer built in that goes off after two minutes. With an electric toothbrush, you won’t be left guessing if you’ve brushed long enough to successfully remove plaque from your teeth and gums.
5. Gum Safety
When used properly, electric toothbrushes shouldn’t hurt your gums or tooth enamel. Just guide the brush along the path of your teeth and let it do its thing.
A study showed that people using a manual toothbrush are more likely to brush too hard. Brushing too hard can hurt your teeth and gums. if you have severe tooth wear, you should consider using an electric toothbrush to help prevent further wear from brushing too hard.
Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, brushing too hard or often can wear down tooth enamel and hurt your gums. Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day is ideal, any more than that can be harmful.
6. Waste Production
1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the U.S. That equals 50 million pounds of waste.
Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 3 months. For manual toothbrushes, the entire thing has to be thrown away which may produce more plastic waste.
When you use an electric toothbrush, in most cases you just need to change the head. However, if you use a battery-operated toothbrush you also need to change the batteries periodically.
Manual toothbrushes take up minimal space on your bathroom counter. They are easy to pack for trips and won’t take up much space in your suitcase.
On the other hand, electric toothbrushes can take up valuable space on the counter, and rechargeable ones need to be near an outlet. They can be cumbersome to pack and are difficult to bring on international travel since you may need an adapter to plug it in.
Which Type of Toothbrush is Best for You?
Are you ready to take your stance in the electric toothbrush vs. regular toothbrush debate?
Regardless of which you choose, remember that what’s most important is brushing your teeth two times a day for two minutes! That means the right toothbrush for you is the one you’re most likely to use.
Need more information on how to improve your oral hygiene? Check out Dental Health and Care’s Healthy Teeth content that will have you smiling in no time!