An issue that often causes a lot of debate is, what type of toothbrush should I be using?
There are soft and hard bristles, electric vs manual, tapered or rectangular head, even down to the type of handle; non-slip grip or flexible neck.
With so many different types of styles, designs, and brands on the market, how do you know which one to use? Is one more effective than the other?
In this article we’ll explain the key differences between electric vs manual and which type of toothbrush we recommend using.
Are all manual toothbrushes the same?
Are thin bristles better than regular? (soft vs hard)
Most dentists will recommend a soft bristle toothbrush as it is the most comfortable and safest option. Depending on how vigorously you brush, softer bristles are easier on the gums, whereas hard bristle brushes can actually damage the gums, root surface and tooth enamel.
What’s the difference in manual toothbrush handles?
There’s no real difference other than comfort. Some may prefer holding a flexible handle because it allows them to angle their toothbrush easier, others like rigid handles because it’s easier to hold. It’s best to choose a handle that feels more comfortable to you or to speak to your dentist who will be able to suggest the right brush for you.
Should all the bristles be the same length? Or a combination of short and support bristles?
When it comes to choosing bristle shape and length, it’s best to choose what you are most comfortable with. Just make sure to avoid any brushes with bristles that are sharp or jagged as these can cause damage to your gums and mouth.
Is it safe to use charcoal bristles?
Most dentists would suggest staying away from charcoal bristles as they could potentially cause more harm than good. Charcoal can sometimes make the bristles wider and stiffer, increasing the odds of damaging your gums and preventing the bristles from bending and cleaning the gum line. Charcoal is also highly absorbent, potentially absorbing toxins from the bathroom air over a 3 months period and then coming into contact with your mouth and teeth.
Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush
There is divided opinion when it comes to deciding which type of toothbrush is better.
Manual toothbrush benefits
- On one side of the argument, we have manual toothbrushes, which give you the option to choose between large, medium, or small toothbrush heads, hard or soft bristles, and even the option of having a tongue scraper on the back.
- People often say manual toothbrushes also help you feel like you’ve got more control over the brushing process such as the amount of pressure applied on their teeth. This can be quite helpful for people with sensitive teeth and gums.
- Then there’s the price. Manual toothbrushes are significantly cheaper than electric toothbrushes, making them easier to replace. They are also much smaller and do not require charging, making it an ideal option when travelling.
Electric toothbrush benefits
- On the other hand, an electric toothbrush does wonders for those who may have conditions such as arthritis, which limits their dexterity. An electric toothbrush does all the work for you, with power rotations that help loosen plaque with ease.
- Some models come with various speed modes which can be quite helpful for people with sensitive teeth and gums, and an in-built timer to make sure you’re brushing for at least two minutes. This is to ensure you are brushing in all quadrants of your mouth.
- An electric toothbrush is also great for kids who are reluctant and lazy to brush their teeth — an electric toothbrush can make the whole process seem more fun.
- Generally speaking, when kids first start being responsible for brushing their own teeth, they may find using a manual toothbrush to be easier, as it allows for more control.
- As they get older, using an electric toothbrush designed specifically for children might be a better option. Not only will it be easier for them to handle, with In-built timers and various speed modes, but an electric toothbrush can also encourage good oral hygiene behaviours.
In summary, both types of toothbrushes can be just as effective as the other in keeping your teeth clean and healthy. The key to good oral health is all in the brushing technique and making sure to floss properly every day.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
The general rule of thumb for both electric and manual toothbrushes is that you should look to change your toothbrush or brush head every three months. Unless you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to change every 6 to 8 weeks, or as instructed by your dentist.
It’s important to remember that the aim of this article is to provide rough guidelines on how to practice good oral health and hygiene. We always recommend speaking to your dentist before introducing or changing your oral technique or brush.
For a long-term and sustainable solution for your oral health, book a personalised consultation with Alpha Dental Perth.