Manual Vs Electric Toothbrushes: Pros and Cons

The toothbrush as we currently know it was invented in 1938. Various forms of the toothbrush have, however, been around and considered an indispensable part of a person’s oral care routine since approximately 3000 B.C. For a significant portion of this time period, conventional manual toothbrushes were the preeminent style and, as such, were used by everyone. 

It has only been since the 1960s, about 70 years ago, that electric toothbrushes hit the mass-produced dental hygiene market with bold claims of being the gold standard in the upkeep of oral hygiene. 

So is there really that much of a difference between the two types of toothbrushes? If so, which one would your dentist recommend for optimal oral health?

Manual vs. Electric: What’s the Difference?

Manual Vs Electric Toothbrushes: Pros and Cons

With an electric toothbrush, the majority of the actual work is done for you, unlike a traditional manual toothbrush where some elbow grease is needed to get the job done. In order to decide which type of toothbrush is the best fit for your dental needs, take a look at the list of the pros and cons of each type listed below.

Electric Toothbrush: Pros 

Electric toothbrushes have been advancing technologically and, as a result, also increasing in popularity over the past decade or so. Some of the “pro” arguments for using an electric toothbrush include:

  • Simple to use
  • Achieve a more comprehensive tooth cleaning 
  • Most models come with built-in timers. This helps to make sure you brush for a full two minutes
  • It is easier to get kids to brush their teeth because they are fun to use

Electric Toothbrush: Cons 

Using an electric toothbrush has some disadvantages including: 

  • You have to remember to charge them and/or buy replacement batteries
  • They are expensive, especially compared to the price of most manual toothbrushes
  • They are often quite bulky in terms of their size
  • They can break very easily and are not particularly travel-friendly 

Manual Toothbrush: Pros

Just about everybody has used a manual toothbrush before, so you already know that some benefits include:

  • Completely cleans your teeth as long as you use the right technique
  • You can personalize it by selecting the style, color, and bristle type that you like best
  • Never needs to charge or have its batteries replaced
  • Specific versions designed to be easy to travel with
  • Inexpensive

Manual Toothbrush: Cons 

There are times when a manual toothbrush may not be a great fit for someone, including:

  • The manual work required could be difficult for people with certain handicaps
  • Improper brushing technique means your teeth aren’t really getting that clean
  • You need an outside source to time how long you have been brushing 

Remember, no toothbrush is powerful enough to work if you don’t use it at least two times a day. 

Here at Curtis L. Chan, DDS, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. With regular San Diego dental appointments and consistent, routine care, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.

The respected professionals at our San Diego dental offices are here to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.

It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Del Mar, please give us a call at (858) 481-9090 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.

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