The most appropriate toothbrush option for you will change throughout your life, and can depend on whether you are going through dental treatment at any given time. So, the first step is breaking down toothbrush options depending on your age group.
Electric toothbrushes were the best option for children who have their teeth brushed by a parent or were independent enough to brush their teeth effectively on their own. It is advised that your child be treated by a dentist from the age of one year. Your child’s dentist will recommend when you need to start using an electric toothbrush to clean their teeth.
Teens who were given an electric toothbrush brushed their teeth for longer and had less plaque. Electric, sonic, or powered toothbrushes are clinically proven to be more effective than a manual brush in keeping gums and teeth healthy.
It is recommended that patients use a sonic toothbrush because the brush does all the work for you, so all you need to do is to move it around your mouth and not apply too much pressure as this can damage gums. Sonic toothbrushes differ from other brushes because they move much faster than their oscillating counterparts meaning you simply need to place the brush head on the three surfaces of each tooth to get a good clean.
After having dental surgery, you may need to consider using a specialist toothbrush for a few weeks. Using a manual soft toothbrush with extra-fine bristles tends to be the most comfortable option during recovery from dental surgery.
Price point: Manual toothbrushes range between $0.80 and $15 depending on the make and model.
Effectiveness: Manual toothbrushes rely on the user’s technique to be efficient. The type of manual brush you choose is crucial: if you’re going to use a manual brush, it’s very important to make sure you’re using a soft-bristled brush. Pressing too hard can damage your gums and/root surfaces of your teeth if they are exposed for any reason.
Functions: Manual toothbrushes get the job done. They’re helpful to use when you’re on a tight budget, to have in your car or at work as a backup, or if you’re traveling. Models tend not to vary too much from one brand to another.
Accessibility: Handles on manual toothbrushes tend to be narrower than for some electric toothbrushes. The accessibility may be an issue for those who struggle with arthritis in their hands or other neurological or musculoskeletal conditions that affect dexterity.
Sustainability: Manual toothbrushes are more sustainable than electric toothbrushes. Manual brushes with detachable heads and bamboo toothbrushes were both found to be the most sustainable options.
Price point: Between $5 and $200 depending on the make and model according to current listings.
Effectiveness: The consensus between all the dentists we spoke to is that electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual brushes at removing plaque and keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.
Functions: Electric toothbrushes have a range of functions that vary depending on the make and model. Some include timers to ensure you have brushed your teeth for long enough, and others also have sensors to warn you when you’re applying too much pressure while brushing.
Accessibility: Electric toothbrushes can help you improve oral hygiene in people with disabilities because of how effective they are at reducing plaque. The length of time needed to brush teeth effectively is less than with a manual toothbrush, relieving carers of an otherwise lengthy and uncomfortable task for their patient or loved one.
Sustainability: Electric toothbrushes are not the most sustainable option for oral care. They do, however, tend to require less water usage when brushing teeth than manual brushes.
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