Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrush, Which is better?

This question comes up often in the office.  The simple answer is:

The one you use most often! 

There seems to be some debate as to whether powered toothbrushes actually clean better than manual brushes.  Virtually everyone agrees, however, that regardless of the type of brush you use, if you brush regularly and properly you will have healthier teeth and gums.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of brushes.  Electric brushes can sometimes be better for people with poor manual dexterity and/or motor deficits.  Kids with poor technique could conceivably benefit from the additional motion and 2 minute timers found in many electric brushes.  Manual brushes are less expensive and more portable.  They also don't require an outside power source.  I've found some kids don't like the added stimulation of the electric brushes, while others enjoy the novelty.  Some electric brushes have lights or music that guide kids to brush for a specified amount of time.

Regardless of which type of brush you chose for your kids, make sure that it has a small enough head for their mouth size, and soft bristles.

The take home message is...find a brush that your kids like and make sure they use it!  We'll help you, and them, make sure they're using it right.

- Dr. Jeremy

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