The advent of the electric toothbrush guide revolutionized the way people care for their teeth. Still, many people staunchly stand by the normal style, believing that the benefits of a powered toothbrush do not outweigh its drawbacks. The toothbrush has many of its own benefits, with relatively few shortcomings. Electric models have several downsides; however, many dentists believe that the benefits they offer justify the price, hassle and power requirements. One important consideration is the degree to which electric toothbrushes have encouraged children to adopt good oral hygiene habits. Here are the pros and cons of both types, so you can decide for yourself which kind is right for you and your family.
Benefits of the Manual Toothbrush
The humble toothbrush has been around since the Chinese Tang Dynasty, dating to the early 600s. The modern incarnation, using nylon bristles, didn’t come along until the 1930s, however. Prior to that, bristles were made from natural fibers such as horse hair. For centuries, people have effectively cleaned their teeth with this tool. It is cost-effective and most dentists give them away to their patients each time they come in for a cleaning. They never need to be charged and you don’t have to keep spare batteries around. They’re durable, highly portable and work equally well in foreign countries.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of this brush is that you have a huge variety of choices with regard to size, shape, design and stiffness. Of course, you have to do the work yourself and keep track of how long you brush. Perhaps the biggest problem is that manual toothbrushes, when used incorrectly, can cause permanent damage to teeth and gums. They also wear out quickly and the plastic material used to make them is not biodegradable, adding to the landfill problem. The good news is that manufacturers have addressed this and introduced the first biodegradable models.
Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush
Dentists love electric toothbrushes because they make it easy for their patients to practice good oral hygiene. You simply place the brush head against your teeth and gums and move it around, slowly and systematically. The brush does the rest of the work. They have an on-board timer to track usage, making it especially helpful for kids. Research shows that they are more effective overall for cleaning the teeth and they tend to be less damaging to oral surfaces when used properly. The main disadvantage is the need for recharging or battery power. Batteries, unless you use the recyclable type, also contribute to the landfill problem. Electric models are large and clunky and still quite expensive.
Kid-Friendly Electric Toothbrushes
Themed versions of the electric toothbrush are especially fun for kids, encouraging children to embrace brushing properly at a young age. What little girl wouldn’t prefer brushing with Barbie or Cinderella rather than a boring plain brush? Boys go crazy for Transformers and Monsters, Inc. Some models come with stickers, allowing kids to customize their own brush. Several manufacturers have introduced gentle, small-scale electric toothbrush models specifically designed for infants and toddlers, encouraging parents to begin oral hygiene as soon as baby teeth emerge.
The decision between manual and electric toothbrushes is ultimately best advised by your family dentist. Each person has unique needs with regard to oral health, and what works for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. Ask your dentist if an electric toothbrush might benefit you and your family.
Jill Smith is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.