8 Questions to help you decide which type of toothbrush to go with:
Now that you understand the benefits of each type of toothbrush, it’s time to decide which is a better option for you. Here is a list of questions to better help you with your decision. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:
- Do you find motioning and positioning your toothbrush to be a tedious and difficult task?
- Do you feel that you’re not cleaning your teeth as well as you should be?
- Are you usually brushing your teeth much less than the recommended two minutes?
- Can you afford a relatively expensive electric toothbrush?
- Do you press too hard on your toothbrush?
- Are most or all of your back teeth sensitive to hot and cold?
- Have you been positively diagnosed with toothbrush abrasion?
- Has your dentist recommended that you change to an electric toothbrush?
Good candidate for using an electric toothbrush
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you should consider switching to an electric toothbrush.
Questions 1 and 2: Convenience
Brushing properly makes all the difference in how healthy your teeth are going to be as you age. You will continue to develop cavities and gum issues as you age if you’re not brushing your teeth correctly. If you’re dedicated to brushing correctly and willing to improve your brushing techniques, then a manual brush will do just fine. However, if you’re not brushing effectively using a manual toothbrush, then consider switching to an electric brush instead.
Question 3: Brushing too quickly
Most of us brush our teeth far less than the recommended two minutes. If you’re one of these people, then you must pay attention that you’re dedicating enough time to brush your teeth properly. One of the advantages of electric toothbrushes is that they have a built-in timer which reminds you when you’ve brushed long enough. I know we’re all adults here, but if you still require someone to remind you when you’ve brushed long enough, then an electric toothbrush is a good option for you.
Question 4: Costs
Electric toothbrushes and replacement brushheads cost more than manual toothbrushes do. If you’re doing a good enough job with a manual toothbrush then you don’t need to worry about upgrading to an electric toothbrush. However, if you’re not brushing with a manual brush as well as you should then investing in an electric toothbrush is highly recommended. Trust us, an electric toothbrush costs far, far less than invasive dental treatment which results from poor oral hygiene!
Questions 5 through 7: Toothbrush abrasion
Brushing too hard is a much more common problem than you may think. Many of us mistakenly brush our teeth as hard as possible, thinking that brushing hard is going to clean our teeth better. This is not true. Brushing too hard gradually damages your teeth and gum lines by physically destroying these tissues. This condition is referred to as toothbrush abrasion. Hard brushing causes teeth roots to become exposed and leads to sensitivity on most, if not all, of your back teeth.
If you have generalized tooth sensitivity, then you may be suffering from toothbrush abrasion. Consider switching to an electric toothbrush if you’re currently using a manual toothbrush. Otherwise, start brushing gentler and make sure to use a soft toothbrush over a hard one. Consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with pressure sensors to better assist you in brushing your teeth gentler.
Question 8: Ask for your dentist or hygienist’s opinion
Your dentist or hygienist are probably best suited to determine if you’re brushing as well as you should be. Talk to them to see if they feel that you’re doing a good enough job brushing your teeth or if they recommend switching to an electric toothbrush. Many dentists are too busy to sit down and talk to you about this topic voluntarily. However, if you ask for their opinion they will usually be glad to help you decide which type of toothbrush works better for your particular case.
Good candidate for using a manual toothbrush
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you’re probably doing fine with your manual toothbrush and there’s no need to switch. If anything, just pay more attention to your brushing techniques and how long you brush your teeth. Changing your toothbrush or your brushing habits should only be considered if you are either not doing a good enough job of removing plaque from your teeth or if you’re damaging teeth and gum tissue by brushing too hard. Otherwise there really is no need to interrupt your current routine if it has been working well for you thus far.
Final thought on type of toothbrush
Most of us enjoy the convenience and predictability that comes with electric toothbrushes. As a result we tend to stick with better brushing techniques and longer brushing times as compared to manual toothbrushes. Keep in mind that we need to brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time. This adds up being over 1,800 hours of brushing during a lifetime. That is a lot of brushing! Having automatic brushhead motion along with a built-in timer are wonderful features to help make brushing your teeth more effective. As such, investing in an electric toothbrush is usually a worthwhile investment. Just don’t forget when it’s time for a replacement brushhead!
Is an electric toothbrush always better for eliminating toothbrush abrasion?
We mentioned that a major advantage of using an electric toothbrush is that it allows more controlled pressure. This generally makes it harder to damage your teeth and gums and reduces toothbrush abrasion. However, this can not be said of every case. Some people actually do more damage by using an electric toothbrush aggressively against their teeth and gums.
You can cause toothbrush abrasion with either type of toothbrush, electric or manual. If you’re still applying excessive pressure to your teeth and gums while using an electric toothbrush, then you might want to consider reverting back to a manual one instead. Go with a toothbrush with softer bristols and work on your technique. Alternatively, consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with a builtin pressure sensor. Talk to your dentist to make sure you’re using the right toothbrush, correct brushing technique as well as applying the right amount of pressure.
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What are the benefits of a manual toothbrush?