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The Toothbrush: Should You Go Electric?

Which is better: a manual or electric toothbrush?

A regular teeth cleaning routine is a critical part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Optimum dental health starts at home in the bathroom, with consistently brushing your teeth. In this post, we take a look at the humble toothbrush. Which does a better job, the traditional manual or an electric?

You might think it doesn’t make much difference, provided you brush your teeth regularly, and include flossing as part of your routine. But recent studies have shown that electric toothbrushes may do a somewhat better job at reducing dental plaque and gum inflammation (gingivitis).

There are electric toothbrushes with heads that rotate, vibrate, or move quickly back and forth. Some can brush at up to 30,000 strokes per minute. Compare that to about 200 strokes per minute with a manual brush, and the electric toothbrush just might have an edge.

Brushing longer with a manual may help make up the difference. If you go that route, take care not to over-do it. Brushing too hard or for too long, whether you use a manual or an electric, can wear away at tooth enamel, and lead to greater sensitivity.

For some people there are clear advantages to using an electric toothbrush: they can make brushing a lot easier for those with arthritis or dexterity issues. And they’re a good option for people with braces.

Whichever method you choose, remember that it’s important to replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months. You should replace it even sooner if the bristles are getting frayed, or if you get sick.