Soft bristles or hard? Manual or electric? Round-tipped or square? When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, the options are seemingly endless. A simple stroll down the oral healthcare aisle of your local drugstore will reveal a nearly endless array of options when it comes to the tools required to clean your teeth. How do you decide which one is best? Are certain designs superior when it comes to achieving the best possible cleaning?
These questions have become particularly relevant with the recent advent of powered toothbrushes. Electric and battery-operated bristles have become the hottest trend in modern dental care, but are they as effective as we’ve been made to believe? When it comes to toothbrushes, which varieties offer the best results – electric or manual?
The traditional, hand-powered toothbrush we know today has been around for nearly a century, dating back to its public debut in 1938. It has the ability to offer a thorough cleaning of one’s teeth with a price tag of only a few dollars. It’s also easy to travel with and easy to replace. It requires no special hook-up’s, batteries, or power sources to function and is incredibly simple and easy to use. It is because of these reasons that the manual toothbrush has remained as popular as it is, even with the advent of electric and battery-operated varieties that tout superior cleaning capabilities. So, how effective is it at cleaning? Studies have shown that, when used properly and with the correct techniques, manual toothbrushes can clean as well as the electric options currently on the market.
Electric & Battery-Operated Toothbrushes
According to recent studies, however, electric and battery-powered bristles are overall more effective at cleaning one’s teeth. Both the American Journal of Dentistry and the British Dental Journal agree that individuals who utilized powered toothbrushes saw a greater reduction in plaque buildup and an overall lesser incidence of gingivitis when compared with individuals who used manual brushes.
However, even though these varieties have proven to offer a better clean, they do have their fair share of disadvantages as well. Electric toothbrushes are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, with some models costing as much as a few hundred dollars. In addition, they are often bulkier and come with various parts, making them more difficult to travel with and more prone to breaking. Lastly, they typically require regular charging or frequent battery changes to operate, whereas regular brushes do not.
So, which one is the best? The answer depends on you. Whichever brush best facilitates a regular, consistent oral hygiene habit done two times a day is the best brush for you, whether electric, battery-powered, manual, or any option in between.