What’s Better, a Manual or Electric Toothbrush?
We frequently get asked this question by patients, and the answer is both can be equally as good. It comes down to technique and of course the frequency of brushing. Both types of toothbrush are just as effective at removing plaque and food debris from your teeth, provided you use them correctly.
How is Your Brushing Technique?
We recommend patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. Electric toothbrushes have built in timers, but if you prefer a manual brush, try popping a small timer in the bathroom so you can check you are brushing for long enough. It is surprisingly easy to over-estimate!
Tooth brushing tends to be an automatic action for most of us, and we don’t really pay attention to what we are doing. As you brush, think about whether you are actually cleaning all the tooth surfaces. Hold your toothbrush at a 45o angle so it can get right down to, and just below the gum line, as this is where plaque tends to build up. Imagine your mouth is split into four quarters and spend around 30 seconds on methodically cleaning each quarter.
Is Your Toothbrush Looking Frayed Around the Edges?
If your toothbrush is worn out, it won’t be able to clean your teeth properly, regardless of whether it is the latest electric toothbrush, or a straightforward manual brush. Most people need to change their toothbrush or brush head every three months, or as soon as the bristles begin to look worn or splayed.
Your choice of toothbrush is down to personal preference, although anyone with limited manual dexterity may find an electric toothbrush easier to use. Proper technique is important, and if you think yours could do with improvement then please ask us for practical advice at your next check-up. We’ll help you make every second count.