Keeping your teeth healthy and clean between doctor visits is generally as simple as purchasing a toothbrush, a pack of dental floss, a fluoride mouth rinse, and a tube of toothpaste. Generally speaking, you should be able to toss all of these items into your cart for less than $20. But is a sonic toothbrush or electric toothbrush better?
Types of Electric Toothbrushes
Powered toothbrushes come in a variety of head types.
- Rotation Oscillation: This round shaped head rotates a quarter turn in one direction, then a quarter turn in the opposite direction.
- Counter Oscillation: Adjacent bristles move in one direction then the other.
- Circular: The bristles move in just one direction.
- Side-to-Side: The brush head moves from side to side
- Ultra-Sonic: Using high frequency, the bristles vibrate to clean teeth.
- Effective for Cleaning Teeth: When used properly and twice a day, you can remove plaque and buildup from your pearly whites.
- Cost Effective: Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive, easy to replace, and generally free with each visit to your dentist.
- Easy to Use: There are no batteries or charging to worry about.
- Convenient for Travel: Travel toothbrush sets are widely available. You don’t have to worry about batteries, outlets, or other accessories.
- Fun for Kids: Brushing teeth begins with the first teeth, and even toddlers can begin to learn proper brushing techniques with a manual toothbrush.
- Variety of Color and Styles: With manual toothbrushes you have more options to personalize your toothbrush. Available in a variety of colors, handle styles, bristle softness, and head sizes, finding one that is comfortable for your teeth is simple.
- More Work: Manual toothbrushes take more work to clean teeth.
- No Timer: Without their bells and whistles, manual toothbrushes are unable to tell you when you’ve brushed long enough.
- Difficult for Some Users: Individuals with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or other conditions that affect the movement of the hands may have difficulty maneuvering a manual toothbrush.
- Improved Efficiency: Electric toothbrushes have smaller heads, which make reaching into the sides of teeth easier and more comfortable.
- Ease of Use: Powered toothbrushes do all the work for you!
- Built in Timer: Most electric toothbrushes have a timer that will notify you when you’ve brushed the full two minutes, ensuring you brush long enough.
- Fun for Kids of all ages: Kids that use electric toothbrushes may brush longer than with a manual brush, just because it’s more fun. And the teeth may end up cleaner because kids are notoriously prone to lazy brushing. Studies have shown using an electric toothbrush helps everyone to brush longer, not just kids!
- More Expensive: Electric toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes, and can range from $20 to over $200.
- Accessories: A powered toothbrush will need batteries and access to an outlet. Replacement heads and replacing batteries will also be an ongoing expense.
- Difficult for Travel: With all the accessories and the increased size, electric toothbrushes are not convenient for travel.
- Break Hazard: Be careful not to drop your electric toothbrush, as a fall could be fatal.
What Toothbrush is Right for You?
The single most important thing about dental health isn’t really what toothbrush you use, but that you use it. Any toothbrush will help remove plaque and keep your gums healthy as long as you brush and floss twice a day between dental visits. However, an electric toothbrush, if it’s convenient for your lifestyle, can be more effective than a manual one.
At Creating Smiles, we recommend and offer Sonicare to our patients. The unit we carry here at our St. Pete dentist office comes with two brush heads, a UV sterilizer, and a great two-year warrantee. Ask about our $20 rebate. It makes the Sonicare a cheaper than prices you’ll find online. Happy brushing!