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David M. Rizk, DDS

Manual Toothbrush, or Electric Toothbrush? That is the Question…

added on: July 11, 2018

toothbrushesWe all know that we need to brush our teeth everyday to maintain a healthy mouth and smile. But choosing the right tool for the job can be confusing. The hardest choice we used to have was picking the best color. Now we’re bombarded with tons of options ranging from manual to electric, each claiming to offer the best clean. At our dental office in El Paso, we want to help declutter the confusion and answer the question once and for all — manual or electric, which is better?

What Do the Studies Say?

This is a great question with a not-so-easy answer. Essentially, it depends on who you ask. The American Dental Association (ADA), for example, states that both manual and electric toothbrushes do what they’re supposed to do — clean teeth by removing plaque and bacteria. Researchers don’t provide a solid conclusion on whether one tool necessarily cleans better than the other. What they do say, however, is that getting a thorough clean isn’t so much about the type of toothbrush used but rather the brushing technique.

On the other hand, companies that make electric toothbrushes publish research occasionally that backs up their claim that electric toothbrushes are better at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes. One such study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that nearly 13,000 out of 16,000 participants said they had better oral health after using an electric toothbrush for the duration of the study.

When it really comes down to it, you should pick a toothbrush that you’ll use regularly and fits your unique needs. A good place to start your search is by asking your dentist in El Paso and by analyzing the pros and cons to both manual toothbrushes and electric ones.

Weighing the Pros & Cons

Knowing the pros and cons to both types of toothbrushes can help you narrow your search.

Manual Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Portable
  • No need for chargers

Manual Cons

  • No timer makes it too easy to brush too quickly
  • May be difficult for some to use a proper technique resulting in a less effective clean
  • Allow for easier tough scrubbing which can damage enamel and gums

Electric Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Some come with built-in timers
  • Promote gentle, proper brushings

Electric Cons

  • More expensive up front
  • Replacing the heads is expensive, too
  • Inconvenient for those who travel

If you’re still not sure what the best choice is for you, give our El Paso dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’re always welcoming new patients and will be happy to help.


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