Electric toothbrush versus manual toothbrush: How much difference does it make?

Are you one of those people who pick up the cheapest toothbrush at the supermarket and throw it into your basket without considering other options? It might be worth considering that most dental professionals agree that electric toothbrushes offer several advantages over regular manual brushes, including greater reduction of plaque which can lead to gum disease.

Electric toothbrushes do the work for you

Using a manual toothbrush requires some dexterity to manoeuvre the brush around the mouth and ensure that you clean all the hard-to-reach areas at the back of the teeth and around the gums. An electric toothbrush does this for you, making it particularly useful for people with hard to reach back teeth, crowded teeth, teeth prone to staining and those with limited hand coordination.

Electric toothbrushes clean more thoroughly

The whirring bristles of an electric brush remove plaque faster and more effectively than manual versions. In a 2014 analysis of 56 studies, research organisation  Cochrane found that compared with manual toothbrushes, electric brushes reduced dental plaque and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) by 21% and 11% more respectively after three months of use.

Electric toothbrushes help you regulate your cleaning time

An effective cleaning should last for a full 2 minutes; however, many people overestimate the amount of time they spend brushing their teeth.The average time for brushing using a manual toothbrush is about 45 seconds which is not enough time to thoroughly clean all the surfaces necessary. Fortunately, most electric brushes come with built-in timers that let you know when it’s time to stop brushing. Some even emit a beep after every 30 seconds so you know that it’s time to switch to a different area within your mouth.

Electric toothbrushes can prevent you from brushing too hard

The misapprehension that the harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be can be very damaging to oral health. Over-brushing can result in gum recession and the loss of tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity and discolouration. Electric toothbrushes help control the amount of pressure you apply because you simply hold the brush and let the moving bristles do their job as you reposition it around your mouth. Some types of electric toothbrushes will even reduce the power automatically if you start brushing too hard.

Whether you use a manual or an electric toothbrush, visiting your dental hygienist once every 6 months to keep your mouth healthy and in top condition is strongly recommended. To book your next hygienist appointment, contact one of our friendly team members at Exeter Advanced Dentistry today.


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