January 4, 2018
You’ve decided that this is your year to get serious about your oral hygiene, so you want to start with the basics, like which toothbrush is the right one for you to use. Frankly, you’ve seen a million commercials and heard just as many claims, but you just want to cut to the chase so that you can make the best decision. That’s why your dentist has decided to weigh in and clear up the confusion. Learn more about the criteria you should consider when shopping for a toothbrush.
The Electric vs the Manual Toothbrush
One of the decisions you have to make when considering which toothbrush to buy, is whether to get a manual or electric version. To help you determine which is the best for you, here are some things to consider about each:
- Price – The price of an electric toothbrush will be considerably more than a manual one. Also, whereas the manual toothbrush is a one-time purchase, able to be used until you replace in it 90 days, the electric option requires the purchase of replacement batteries and new heads at the 90-days mark as well.
- Time – The recommended time to brush your teeth by the American Dental Association is two minutes. However, that figure is based on the assumption that a person is using a manual toothbrush. When using the electric alternative, you don’t need that long because the bristles move at 6,000 to 30,000 strokes per minute, which can’t remotely be matched by a manual toothbrush.
- Control – What you gain in speed with the electric toothbrush, you lose in the control department, though. The manual option will allow you to adjust the amount of pressure that you apply to your teeth and gums, which is vital if you are prone to sensitivity and bleeding.
- Dexterity – Some people need their device to offer more in the control department because they have limited range of motion or issues holding a manual toothbrush. In these situations, an electric alternative will be a better fit.
When it comes to choosing between a manual or electric toothbrush, it really comes down to your preference. Either will do a marvelous job in helping you maintain excellent oral hygiene.
What’s Better – Soft or Firm Bristles?
This is an area that comes down to safety more so than preference. Some people think that firmer bristles mean a more thorough cleaning, but that’s not true. The effectiveness of your brushing has more to do with frequency, consistency and technique. Applying more pressure can lead to gum irritation and damage to your enamel.
With that said, it’s better to choose either soft or extra soft bristle toothbrushes. Also keep in mind that if the electric toothbrush is your cleaning device of choice, you can still choose heads with softer bristles.
It’s awesome that you’re taking the initiative to revive your oral hygiene in the new year. To help in your quest, be sure to reach out to your family dentist to schedule your semi-annual visits for cleanings and examinations.
Now prepare for a year of amazing smiles and the confidence of knowing that your mouth, teeth and gums are healthy.
About the Author
Dr. Katie Montgomery received her undergraduate degree from Butler University. She then went on to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The Ohio State University. A member of the American Dental Association and the Ohio Dental Association, Dr. Montgomery practices at Montgomery Family Dental. She can be reached for more information through her website.
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