Who wants to spend more time in the dental chair than they have to? That’s why preventive dental care is so important. If you don’t care for your teeth and gums now, you could pay for it later with costly restoration work. You already know the importance of brushing and flossing twice a day, and you can do it the manually by using a manual toothbrush or tap into the power of an electric toothbrush. Are there benefits to using an electric toothbrush over a manual one?
Benefits of Using an Electric Toothbrush
According to research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, electric toothbrushes outperform manual brushes. In this study, over 80% of the patients who switched to an electric toothbrush had better oral hygiene after making the switch. Not surprisingly, more dentists are recommending electric toothbrushes to their patients these days.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t do a decent job cleaning your teeth and gums with a manual toothbrush. Using an electric toothbrush offers an advantage when it comes to removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease, and it’s better able to remove plaque from those harder to reach areas.
There’s the added benefit that some people are more compliant when they use an electric toothbrush, because they don’t have to work as hard. Electric toothbrushes are also timed to clean for a full two minutes. How many people actually brush their teeth that long with a manual toothbrush?
With a manual toothbrush, some people get overly aggressive and scrub their teeth and gums with too much force. This type of pressure over time can lead to gum recession and tooth sensitivity. This usually isn’t a problem with an electric toothbrush since you need minimal pressure to get the job done.
Electric toothbrushes also work well for people who have limited use of their hands due to arthritis since less manual motion of the toothbrush is required. With an electric toothbrush, you simply move the brush from tooth to tooth. Older people also may have more success using an electric toothbrush.
Are There Disadvantages to Using an Electric Toothbrush?
The biggest disadvantage is price. Electric toothbrushes can cost anywhere from $35.00 to $100.00 or more. Not everyone can afford that kind of price tag, but when you consider the cost of restorative dental work, it’s a good investment.
The bottom line?
Using an electric toothbrush has the advantage of removing plaque more effectively, which could reduce your risk of gum disease. You can still do a thorough cleaning with a manual toothbrush, but it takes a little more elbow work. There’s also the risk of damaging the gums by being too aggressive with the brush.
If you’re a person who’s lazy about brushing your teeth and rarely brush for a full two minutes, an electric toothbrush will time the brushing for you and you won’t have to work as hard. Whichever you choose, keep brushing, flossing – and see your dentist regularly.
J. Am. Dent. Assoc. Vol. 131, N.3. 389-394.