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Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

Manual and electric toothbrushes are both effective ways to clean your teeth, but which one is right for you? Our Halifax dentists are here to help you decide.

A normal manual toothbrush is the tool of choice for cleaning your teeth, as long as you are thorough and follow proper teeth brushing guidelines. 

  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush in a circular motion across the teeth.
  • Remember to brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

If you brush properly, as outlined above, and both you and your dentist are satisfied with the state of your oral health, then you’re doing great! There’s no need for any additional tools (other than floss, of course; use that once a day!).

If you have a hard time getting an effective clean with a manual toothbrush, or if your dentist suggests that you could benefit from a more thorough routine, you might find that an electric toothbrush is a helpful tool.

How can an electric toothbrush change your oral health?

Electric toothbrushes that have small, round, rotating heads mimic the ideal brushing motion. Avoid electric toothbrushes that make a sawing motion if you can.

Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier because you hardly have to do any work! Simply apply your toothpaste to your electric toothbrush, place it up against your teeth, and turn it on. Then all you have to do is guide it gently around your mouth, over all the surfaces of your teeth.

With an electric toothbrush, a lot of the work is done for you. You don't have to do the brushing motion yourself which can be much easier to clean the back and front of your teeth (which can be challenging with a manual toothbrush), and the small round head makes cleaning your back molars and other tight or hard-to-reach areas a little easier, too.

And because the head spins so quickly, electric toothbrushes can do a great job of removing surface stains from your teeth. Some electric toothbrushes even have timers so that you know when your full two minutes are up!

Overall, an electric toothbrush can help you brush more thoroughly, and may even make brushing feel like less of a chore.

Are you concerned about brushing too hard?

Some people hesitate to try an electric toothbrush because they are concerned it would not be gentle on the enamel of their teeth, or their gums.

However, many electric toothbrush users find that it actually helps them brush more gently because they don’t have to make the scrubbing motion themselves. Scrubbing tends to make you want to apply pressure, and this is a non-issue with an electric toothbrush, as it performs the motion for you.

If you are very concerned about brushing too hard, many electric toothbrush brands sell heads with soft bristles for sensitive teeth and gums.

If you need help deciding what type of toothbrush is right for your unique dental health needs, contact our Halifax dentists today for a consultation. 

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