Choosing a Toothbrush: Comparing Manual and Electric Options

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Choosing a Toothbrush: Comparing Manual and Electric Options

With the lightening-speed advances in technology, it can be hard to keep up.  You want to take care of your teeth and gums the very best way you can, but find yourself confused by all the products promising to deliver “THE” best results.  So which is better? Electric, manual or sonic toothbrushes for keeping your mouth happy? Do you know? Proper oral hygiene skills and top-notch dental care is something that all Broomfield and Denver, Colorado, residents should have access to. Learn what oral hygiene tools and habits can best help you with your oral health goals.

A Case for a Manual Toothbrush

There are basically two types of toothbrushes: manual and powered. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you buy the one that you will use and one that displays the ADA Seal of Acceptance.  In the technology era that we live in, many may be quick to abandon the manual toothbrush for fancier options, but consider the following before deciding to spend more money on a more expensive alternative.

Manual toothbrushes offer you a low-cost, accessible option for taking care of your teeth. The size and portability of manual toothbrushes make it a great travel option. Manual toothbrushes also put less pressure on the tissues, gums and teeth which safeguards your tooth enamel and prevents pain, sensitivity and risk of tooth decay.  Manual toothbrushes are also a great option for kids. They can be used safely, are almost impossible to break and if they do fall or get lost they aren’t expensive to replace. When choosing a manual toothbrush, examine the brush bristles and make sure they are rounded at the tip. Rounded bristles are softer on the gums and tooth enamel of the teeth.  When choosing a toothbrush, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) approved seal. This seal will give you the assurance that the toothbrush has been evaluated and tested for safety and efficacy by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

A Case for a Powered Toothbrush

The ADA affirms that both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean your teeth.  There are times when powered (electric) toothbrushes may be a better option for you. Some older individuals, or individuals who have challenges with their manual dexterity or arthritis may find it easier to use a powered toothbrush for cleaning their teeth.  Children may find that brushing with a powered toothbrush is fun and be more obliged to brush regularly and for the necessary duration with a powered toothbrush vs. a manual alternative. Electric toothbrushes are also a great choice for individuals with braces on their teeth.  They can clean in and around the metal parts more easily than manual brushing.

Kinds of Electric Toothbrushes

When it comes to choosing an electric toothbrush, there are a few options for you to consider. No one has really proven which of these options is more effective, but for marketing purposes, they will all claim to be ‘the best electric option.’ The main difference is in how the brush moves on your teeth.

  • Rotary: The head moves in a circular motion at 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute. A toothbrush where the head alternates directions has what’s called rotation oscillation.
  • Sonic: These use a side-to-side motion at a speed at about 10 times that of a rotary brush — about 31,000 brush strokes per minute.
  • Ultrasonic: The fast side-to-side motion creates vibrations that dislodge plaque.
  • Ionic: The brush head doesn’t move. A low electric current in the bristles attracts plaque.

Dr. Berry and our Mountain Aire Dentistry team can discuss with you the pros and cons of the different electronic toothbrush options and help you narrow down which you should use for your oral health needs.

Choose an Option You Will Use

When it comes down to it, whether you decide on a manual or powered toothbrush, choose a toothbrush that you like and find easy to use, so that you’ll use it at least twice a day to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth.  Good oral hygiene is a result of commitment to good habits and regular tooth maintenance.

Call for a Consultation

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you visit your family dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.  During this appointment, Dr. Berry can discuss with you which toothbrush will be best for you and your needs. Dr. Berry is a family dentist in Broomfield, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Thornton, Broomfield, Northglenn and Westminster.  Mountain Aire Dentistry offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Call for your appointment today at  (303) 731-7755. We look forward to meeting you and your family!