Toothbrushes 101. Manual vs. electric. Is one better than the other?

Some folks would rather mow their lawn with a push mower, drive a stick-shift vehicle, and prefer sailboats to motorboats. When faced with choosing a toothbrush, those same folks would most likely pick the old reliable, dependable, disposable, do-it-yourself manual toothbrush. But what about those people who can’t live without their smartphones, DVRs, and tablet computers? They want the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos, and are more likely to embrace new technologies.
Personal preference aside, when used properly, both manual and powered (electric) toothbrushes are great options for removing plaque and keeping teeth and gums healthy. So how do you choose the best toothbrush for you?

Here are a few points to consider:
Cost. Electric toothbrushes are definitely more expensive. While high-end options can cost close to $100, you can find some effective powered brushes in the $10 range. Remember to factor in the added cost of batteries and replacement brush heads to your toothbrush budget.
Dexterity. People who have limited manual dexterity, such as very young children, the elderly, or those suffering from injury or arthritis, might find it easier and more effective to reach and clean areas of their mouth with an electric toothbrush.
Oral hygiene habits. If you have a hard time brushing your teeth on a regular basis, and you find you like the feeling of brushing with an electric toothbrush, then you should most definitely use the toothbrush that will encourage you to brush most often.
Perseverance. No matter what kind of toothbrush you ultimately choose, it’s important that you use it properly. While some brushes may require circular motions to be effective (manual brushes) others may require an angled glide over the teeth (power brushes). Brush your teeth two times a day, for two minutes each time. Fully brush the inner, outer and top surface areas of your teeth, and brush all the way down to the gum line. Don’t forget those hard-to-reach areas in the back of your mouth. Please ask your oral hygienist to advise you on optimal brushing techniques considering your toothbrush selection.
Lastly, remember that while brushing and flossing daily will help you maintain good oral health, regular professional cleanings are also vitally important to keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top shape, especially during orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions about brushing habits, please feel free to give us a call. At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we want to help you have a healthy, beautiful, straight smile for life!