Have you given up on your manual toothbrush and become an electric convert? We looked at the research to try and determine if electric really is better than a manual, or whether it’s all just in the brushing technique.
I’ve been using a variety of electric toothbrushes for the past 10 years. They seem to brush well and keep my teeth in good health. But it hasn’t always been like this.
Before I joined the electric revolution, a dentist advised me that my gums were receding because I was brushing too hard with a manual brush. So I bought my first electric model and haven’t looked back. But is there any evidence to prove that electric brushes are actually better than manual ones? Or is it really all just down to brushing technique? I went in search of some answers.
Electric vs manual toothbrushes
The Cochrane Oral Health group – an internationally recognised organisation that reviews clinical trails in oral health – compared trials that had been performed with almost 4,000 participants. It found that electric brushes with a rotating oscillating action could reduce plaque by 11% and gingivitis by 6%. However, the majority of electric brushes only seemed to perform about as well as the manual ones.
And they couldn’t find conclusive evidence that electric brushes are better than manual brushes in the long term. This all seems rather unsatisfactory to me – should I stick with my electric brush or would I get just as good results if I reverted to a cheaper manual one? It looks like we’ll have to wait for the results of more research to get a definitive answer either way.
Best brushing techniques – say ta ta to tartar
According to dental experts, how you brush is more important than what you brush with. We’ve just tested electric toothbrushes and asked our expert dentist for the perfect brushing technique. He advised gently brushing for two minutes twice a day and making sure you evenly clean all tooth-surfaces, inside and out. He also suggested visiting a dentist to get your technique checked out. I definitely plan to do this the next time I go.
I now think that my oral health has probably improved because using an electric brush means I don’t apply as much pressure on my gums when I’m brushing. But that’s just me – if your technique is already good, a manual brush would probably do you just as well.
Have you switched to an electric brush, or are you sticking to your manual one?
What type of toothbrush do you use?
Electric toothbrush (80%, 2,049 Votes)
Manual toothbrush (20%, 528 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,577