San Ramon Cosmetic Dentistry Blog | Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S.

San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Dublin, CA

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Choosing a Toothbrush: Manual vs. Electric

How do electric toothbrushes stand up against good old-fashioned manual brushing? We went to the experts to find out.

The Experts Say

•The American Dental Association does not endorse either a manual or electric toothbrush. In fact, electric and manual toothbrushes can have the same effectiveness if used properly. Electric toothbrushes do have a better maneuvering power; they can get around the gums and sides of teeth better. Electric toothbrushes are also an agent in the removal of plague. However, the decision-making factors for electric or manual would be in cost and features that appeal to you.

The Manual Toothbrush

•The manual toothbrush is the teeth-brushing method most are accustomed to. The manual toothbrush has a plastic handle with nylon bristles on the head of the toothbrush. The manual toothbrush comes in many bristle styles and could have some special features.

The manual toothbrush can come in the following formats: crisscrossed, extra-long, multi-level bristles; polished, rounded bristle tips; textured bristles; cupped-bristle to enhance whitening; ergonomic handles with special grips; tapered or angled brush head; gum stimulators; and tongue cleaner pads.

Electric Toothbrush

•The electric or power toothbrush is part of the new wave of technology. The toothbrush has a rechargeable battery case that can be plugged into any outlet. Many of the electric toothbrush features are hi-tech and could promote better brushing habits.

Some of the hi-tech features of the electric toothbrush include: various brushing modes, some for sensitive teeth or whitening and gum massaging features; pressure signals to indicate when brushing too hard; timers to time the length of brushing each quadrant of the mouth; digital reminders to alert when it is time to change toothbrush head; oscillating-rotating or sonic technology; and compatible brushing heads to choose the best bristle type for each person.

Weigh the Cost

•Cost always comes into play when thinking about keeping that old trusty manual toothbrush or taking a brush on the hi-tech side of electric toothbrushes. A manual toothbrush ranges from $2 to $4. Electric toothbrushes run anywhere from $25 to $100. However, electric toothbrushes do last longer than manual toothbrushes. It is recommended to change a manual toothbrush every three months.

The Dentist's Opinion

•The dentist might recommend a switch to an electric toothbrush because of all the features mentioned above. Whatever the recommendation may be, it is important to choose a toothbrush, either manual or electric, that is approved by the American Dental Association. Also regardless of electric or manual, it is important to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and to floss each day.

posted by Francine at 1:27 PM


Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S
Neuromuscular & Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry

1501 Bollinger Canyon Road Suite G
San Ramon, CA 94583

Disclaimer: San Ramon, CA cosmetic dentist Dr. Sean Anderson's website only provides information on cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and family dentistry in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton , Walnut Creek
and the San Ramon area south of San Francisco. This information is not to be taken as medical advice.
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