Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual

According to the American Dental Association, if used correctly, both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing harmful plaque that may lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

However, many studies showed that electric toothbrushes decrease the amount of plaque buildup when compared to a manual toothbrush.

In fact, one study showed that plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent after only 3 months of use.

In my professional opinion, I have never seen a manual toothbrush that can compete with the results of an electric toothbrush. If you’re considering making the switch from a manual toothbrush, I can promise you that after a few days of using an electric toothbrush, you’ll never look back and both your gums and your Dental Hygienist will thank you!

Aside from being more effective, there are many reasons to consider making the switch to an electric toothbrush.

For starters, electric toothbrushes do all the work for you. This can make brushing much easier for people with limited mobility, such as individuals with carpal tunnel, arthritis, and developmental disabilities. Orthodontic appliances are very difficult to clean around. An electric toothbrush may help improve your oral health if you’re struggling to clean around those hard-to-reach brackets. In general, kids and teenagers don’t do a great job in the brushing department. If an electric toothbrush offers a more engaging brushing experience, you may see an overall improvement in your child’s oral health habits. Finally, using an electric toothbrush can cut down on waste, especially since you’re only replacing the brush heads every 3 months versus the entire toothbrush.

Now that you’re ready to make the change to an electric toothbrush, the difficult task may be finding the right one for you.

I will always support a product that has the ADA seal of acceptance. This means that the product has been proven safe and effective for use.

However, when it comes to electric toothbrushes, I do have some personal favorites.

In our practice, we are big supporters of the Phillip’s Sonicare and the Oral-B brands.

Both brands have been around for a long time and have a lot of research behind their products. The nice thing about both of these brands is that the newer models have two minute timers and a brake on the toothbrush if you’re applying too much pressure. This ensures that you’re brushing for the correct amount of time without applying too much pressure on the gums. If you’re wondering what model might be right for you, it really boils down to how much you want to pay and personal preference. A middle of the road model in terms of price may not have all the bells and whistles of a higher end model, but chances are, it will do just as good of a job brushing your teeth, if used correctly.

However, for patients with generalized gum recession, I tend to gravitate towards a Sonicare, as it can be a little gentler on the gums. If you are prone to plaque and calculus (tarter) buildup, using an Oral-B may be the better choice for you.

Although the electric toothbrush may seem a little pricey at first glance, think of the overall investment that you’re making with your purchase. After all, who doesn’t want healthier gums, less plaque and calculus buildup, and a whiter smile?

If you’re still on the fence about making the switch, bring your questions and concerns to your next dental appointment. We really can’t say enough good things about using an electric toothbrush and we’d be happy to give you any information that may ease your concerns.

Emily H., RDH

Red Oak Dentistry


Call us at Raleigh Office Phone Number 919-781-8984 to schedule your appointment.