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Manual or Powered: Which Toothbrush is Best?

The Pros and Cons to Consider When Making the Decision
The effectiveness of cleaning your teeth with a manual toothbrush compared to an electric toothbrush is commonly debated today. There’s an assumption that the modern day electric replacement is far superior to the good old-fashioned manual toothbrush. In saying this, there are some pros and cons to consider when making the decision to use a manual or electronic toothbrush. Here’s a rundown of how different toothbrush types can enhance your dental routine:

Manual Means More for Less

Manual toothbrushes will thoroughly clean your tongue and inside cheeks when you’re doing your two minute routine brush. The circular headed electric toothbrushes perform poorly at cleaning your tongue. However, some do come with tongue cleaners.
Manual toothbrushes are more flexible. Unlike electric toothbrushes with tightly compacted bristles, manual toothbrushes are so easy to maneuver around your mouth. Their flexible bristles can bend back far enough to reach those stubborn teeth at the back hiding food.
They’re easy to travel with. How many times have you traveled with an electric toothbrush thinking it was fully charged, but it was actually dead? And without a charger, you had to rely on using the complimentary hotel toothbrush or even had to run to the corner store where you ended up buying a cheap manual toothbrush anyway.
Manual toothbrushes come in a much larger variety. They’re available in soft, medium and hard bristles with a small, standard or larger head. Now if you’re an adult with a tiny mouth, you’re going to need a lot of luck finding a small head on an electric toothbrush that doesn’t have a Disney prints all over it. 

Powered Up With Features

Advanced electric toothbrushes include an automatic timer in their design, which makes it easier for users to know when their two minute brush is complete. This ensures a proper clean is achieved to maintain oral hygiene.
You get what you pay for. While the popularity surrounding electric toothbrushes have made them readily available, dentists recommend that you spend money to get a quality product.
An electric toothbrush is ideal for people who suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and any other painful or movement-restricting conditions. Since the electric toothbrush’s rotating head does all the work, the user is exempt from constantly applying effort with their wrists and hands; making dental care a much easier task.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing:
Cost. Although there are some more affordable powered toothbrush options being sold, electric toothbrushes cost many times more than manual toothbrushes. In addition to the initial expense of an electric toothbrush, you will need to replace the removable toothbrush head every three or four months. Of course, if using an electric toothbrush helps you keep your teeth cleaner, you may make up for the expense with a reduction in dental bills.
Likability. When it comes down to it, the best toothbrush for you is going to be the one you’re most likely to use — and use well. Some people may not like the vibrating feeling of a powered toothbrush. Others might find an electric variety easier to use to clean all tooth surfaces. This may be especially true for people with conditions that limit mobility, such as painful arthritis. If you enjoy using your toothbrush, you’re more likely to brush for the recommended length of time two minutes.
Effectiveness. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate whether manual or powered toothbrushes are more effective at reducing gum disease and eliminating plaque. A review of nearly 30 studies comparing disposable and electric toothbrushes found that, overall, there was not a significant difference between electric and manual toothbrushes in their ability to remove plaque and prevent gum disease. But, evidence suggests that a certain type of powered toothbrush called a rotation oscillation toothbrush (the bristles spin around and move back and forth) is more effective than manual toothbrushes.
Safety. Although all toothbrushes with an ADA Seal of Approval have been tested for safety, there may be certain individuals for whom a particular type of toothbrush is safer. If you tend to brush too vigorously, which can damage your gums and teeth, a powered toothbrush may make it easier for you to be gentle on your gums and teeth and get them clean at the same time

As long as you clean your teeth regularly for a recommended two minutes and use proper brushing technique, you should be able to reduce plaque build-up and keep your gums healthy with either a manual or powered toothbrush.

Sources: Delta Dental, Denticheck.com

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