Ask a Dentist: Are Electric Toothbrushes Really Better for Your Teeth?

dentist Austin, TX

The best way to keep your dentist visits uneventful is with good oral habits. Brushing and flossing twice a day is arguably the most important of these habits. But it is not enough to simply pass a toothbrush over your teeth for a few seconds. To get all the plaque off of your teeth, you have to take your time and pay attention as you clean your mouth. For the longest time, the manual toothbrush was the only way people brushed their teeth. Then came the powered toothbrush. It made plaque removal more effective and a whole lot easier. Does that mean that electric toothbrushes are better than regular ones? Here is what dentists have to say.

Manual toothbrushes

These have been around since the days of yore. The earliest model of the manual toothbrush came in the form of twigs from aromatic trees like eucalyptus. Then came the Chinese version with the most recent model of the toothbrush; the kind we all have in our bathrooms. The prototype had a handle made of bone and bristles made of boar hair. Thanks to the invention of plastic, no puzzled boars are shaved or otherwise harmed in the making of modern toothbrushes.

To clean teeth properly, a person should brush up and down to remove the plaque at the base of the teeth. They should pay special attention to the molars and make sure to spend at least two minutes cleaning every part of their mouth. A person should avoid hurting themselves by brushing gently with a soft toothbrush.

Powered toothbrushes

A regular toothbrush only cleans as well as the person that uses it. If the person brushes their teeth too aggressively, then the toothbrush may damage the enamel and the gums. If they miss a spot, then the toothbrush will miss a spot as well. A powered toothbrush addresses such drawbacks in the following ways:

  • An electric toothbrush does all the work so the user will not need to use the kind of force that can cause injury
  • Because it does all the work, a powered toothbrush is better at removing plaque
  • It is also a better option for smokers who want to prevent staining
  • Children who are not fond of brushing their teeth often find powered toothbrushes to be fun
  • Electric toothbrushes have timers which ensure that a person brushes their teeth for at least two minutes

These are all great reasons to use a powered toothbrush. Still, it is worth remembering that electric toothbrushes are the more expensive option.

Is one better than the other?

Not really. Although an electric toothbrush is a better choice for smokers and reluctant children, it has its drawbacks like being a lot more expensive. A manual toothbrush cleans just as thoroughly, as long as it is in the hands of a careful and meticulous person. In the end, it all comes down to the size of the toothbrush head and the quality of the bristles. This holds true for both manual and powered toothbrushes. So, the best kind of toothbrush is the one that you are most comfortable with.

Want to learn more about oral hygiene?

Request an appointment here: https://martinstockerdds.com or call Martin W. Stocker, DDS at (512) 808-5673 for an appointment in our Austin office.

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