Smith Dental

Should I Use an Electric or a Manual Toothbrush?

April 25, 2016
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Posted By: Smith Dental
Dentist Hillsboro OR

One of the most common topics we discuss at cleanings and examinations is how to make the most of your regular home hygiene routine. We love it when patients are interested and want to learn more, and your dentist in Aloha, OR, Dr. John or Ryan Smith, will always take time to answer your questions!

Two important components determine how successful your routine will be – your technique and your tools. We’ll discuss technique in a future post (and your hygienist will be more than happy to give you a hands-on demonstration). In this post, we’ll look at one particular tool – the toothbrush.

With the vast array of toothbrushes available on the market, you might be wondering which one will give you the best results. You might also be wondering if an electric toothbrush is worth spending the extra money for.

As usual, the answer is – it depends.

Here’s why.

For the most part, a manual toothbrush is a perfectly adequate tool. When you brush and floss diligently and use excellent technique, you can remove most of the plaque build-up from the surface of your teeth, between your teeth, and just below the gumline.

An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, is a bit more forgiving. The movement of the bristles helps knock more plaque off, even when your technique isn’t perfect. Electric toothbrushes are also fantastic for anyone who might have a physical challenge when it comes to reaching every surface while brushing. This can include young children who are still developing coordination (and patience!) and anyone with mobility challenges, like arthritis. A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that electric toothbrushes positively affected oral health in 80% of the people who used them (it’s worth noting, however, that the study was sponsored by Oral-B, a toothbrush maker).

The electric toothbrush isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you have sensitive teeth or the vibrating sensation bothers you, then you may find yourself avoiding brushing! A manual brush may give you more of a sense of control so you feel comfortable brushing regularly. If you do have sensitive teeth, please talk to us. We can determine whether your sensitivity is due to a dental problem (like cavities or receding gums) and recommend treatments that will keep you more comfortable.

Ultimately, the important thing is that you use a toothbrush that is right for you and that will help you maintain a regular hygiene routine. Drs. John and Ryan Smith will be happy to review your routine with you and discuss your options! Everyone is different, and we take pride in providing personalized dental care that meets your individual needs.

Call today to schedule a cleaning and examination! 

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