Are the best toothbrushes manual or electric toothbrushes?

Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes every morning and before you go to bed is the most critical step you take for your best oral health and best toothbrushes. This is important to remember, above all other rules of home oral hygiene. Of course, you also need to visit your dentist twice yearly or as they recommend, to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

best toothbrushesOne question many patients ask their dentist is, “Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?” There is no one answer for all patients, when it comes to choosing one of the best tooth brush. As long as you follow a good home oral hygiene routine, brush for two minutes or more, use fluoride toothpaste and floss daily, you are on a good track. You also should hold any manual or electric toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from your teeth, to get the best results.

Still, patients want to know whether they need a manual or electric toothbrush. To answer this burning question, we consider a recent study and expert opinions, below:

A New Study Focuses on Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush

According to a recent study examined by the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) of the United Kingdom, electric toothbrushes provide the best results. This leads the OHF to consider “electric” the best toothbrushes, particularly for adults. The ODF is actually the UK’s equivalent of the American Dental Association (ADA). Here in America, the ADA provides some guidance of their own regarding the best toothbrushes.

Scientists in the 11 year toothbrush study found that people using electric toothbrushes have fewer cavities and healthier gums than those using non-mechanical ones. They also maintain their natural teeth for longer in life, than people using manual toothbrushes. Because the study lasted longer than any other before it, health experts find the results worth noting.

The best toothbrush powered by batteries or electrically is those with rotating heads that go in both directions. These oscillating heads remove plaque more effectively than rectangular heads or those going in only one direction. If you want an electric toothbrush, this means your best option is one with the bi-directional round heads to better prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Electric Toothbrushes Cost More

Of course, many buyers avoid electric toothbrushes because they cost more. Replacement brush heads also take a deeper bite out of your wallet than simply buying a new manual toothbrush. This is likely why only about half of adults in the UK currently use electric models. Surprisingly, many people think of Americans as having better oral hygiene than British residents. But only 37 percent of people in the U.S. use a powered toothbrush.

An electric or battery-operated toothbrush can cost anywhere from under $10 each to well over $200. For the more costly and most effective powered models, replacement heads typically cost about $30 each. What patients must decide for themselves is whether the higher cost of a toothbrush is made worthwhile. Benefits become clear through better oral health, fewer restorative dental procedures and keeping your natural teeth longer in life.

Each year, more patients make the switch from manual to electric. About 63 percent do so for better teeth cleaning and plaque removal, according to the OHF-reviewed study. About 34 percent do so at their dentist’s recommendation. Another 13 percent start using an electric toothbrush when they are given one as a gift.

Good Dental Health Means Using All Toothbrushes the Same Way

Regardless of whether you choose a manual toothbrush or an electric one, you must use it the same way, according to the American Dental Association. The ADA’s recommendations for brushing your teeth include:

  • Two minutes of brushing twice daily
  • Use soft bristles
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Hold the brush head at a 45-degree angle to your teeth
  • Replace bristles or brush every three to four months
  • Replace bristles when frayed or matted
  • Properly care for and store your toothbrush

Ask Your Dentist about the Best Ways to Improve Your Dental Health

Whether for yourself or your children, talk to your dentist about the best toothbrushes. They can make a recommendation according to your specific dental health needs and oral hygiene practices. The best time to ask this question is during your next dental health visit at Carolina Dental Arts in Raleigh or Goldsboro, North Carolina. Schedule your appointment by calling 919-670-4944 for Glenwood South in Raleigh, (984) 242-0568 for New Bern Avenue in Raleigh, or 919-778-0098 for the Goldsboro location.