Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

In recent years electric toothbrushes have gained increasing popularity among young adults and children.  Some parents have questioned if electric toothbrushes work better than just a manual toothbrush.  There are pros and cons to which one effectively works better at removing plaque from teeth. Technique is a key component when deciding which kind of toothbrush is best for you and your family.  For children, technique is often problematic in brushing teeth.  So if a child does not have the dexterity to manually brush all tooth surfaces properly, he/she will still not be able to do so with an electric toothbrush. Parental assistance is recommended, and  helping your child is more beneficial than an electric or a manual toothbrush. We recommend allowing your child to brush his or her teeth first and a parent help finish brushing at the end. Have your child lie down on the floor with his/her head in your lap.  This allows you easier access and better visibility to your child’s teeth.  When helping your child, the toothbrush should be aimed at the gum line using a 45 degree angle.  Brushing should last a minimum of two minutes. Of the electric toothbrushes on the market, research suggests that an electric toothbrush that rotates is best.  This process is known as rotating and oscillating. The rotating and oscillating action removes more plaque and reduces gingivitis more effectively than a manual toothbrush. Whether you choose a manual or an electric toothbrush, select a brush with soft bristles.  Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles are no longer straight and firm.  Replacing your toothbrush is essential because an old brush’s bristles are no longer in the correct position to effectively clean teeth.  Also, using a toothbrush that is size appropriate for your child is important.  If you choose to use an electric toothbrush for your kids, Oral B Professional or a Sonicare for Kids is a great choice for an electric toothbrush.