It’s very easy to think that the difference between electric toothbrush and regular toothbrush models really boils down to the presence of batteries or electricity. That seems to be begging the obvious. Well, you need to look beyond that.
Because there are actually quite a package of differences that play a big role in the benefits that you get from a regular toothbrush compared to its electric version. I’m going to go out on a limb here and let you know that just because you can have access to an electric toothbrush, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use an electric toothbrush on a regular basis.
There are certain situations where it makes a lot more sense to go with a regular or manual toothbrush. It all depends on your set of personal circumstances. The worst thing that you can do is to believe in some sort of one-size-fits-all magic bullet solution. There is no such thing.
There is no cookie feather solution to life. Everybody’s different, everybody has different needs. Everybody uses products differently. Everybody has different sets of circumstances surrounding their personal lives.
So with that said, I want you to look at the difference between an electric toothbrush and regular toothbrush models from the perspective above. That way, you can make a truly informed decision. The last thing that you want to do is to think that just because something is electrified or automated, that this is the best thing since sliced bread.
No, it doesn’t work that way. In many cases, when you go with a fully-automated system, you actually let go of a tremendous amount of benefits, and unfortunately, you’re the last to know because these benefits don’t jump out at you.
Just because they’re hidden doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t exist. So here’s the difference between electric toothbrush and regular toothbrush models.
Plaque removal efficiency
Let’s get one thing out of the way. The American Dental Association or ADA recommends both regular and electric toothbrush types as effective tools in the battle against dental plaque. Plaque, of course, is the buildup on your teeth that can cause cavities as well as disease.
If you allow plaque to build up on your teeth, not only can your enamel develop holes or cavities, but your gums can get a disease, and before you know it, your teeth become really lose until they pop off your jaw. I know that sounds crazy and horrific, but it’s also true. You have to get a handle on plaque, otherwise, it’s going to be murder on your gums.
Battery power versus manual power
The big difference between a regular toothbrush and an electric toothbrush involves energy. Where are you going to get the energy to brush your teeth from? With an electric setup, the bristles are spinning, and the head is pulsating backward and forward, or side to side because it draws its energy from the battery that is built into the design of the toothbrush unit.
With a manual toothbrush, you’re basically moving the toothbrush with your hand and your arm. You’re using a little bit of your shoulders as well. The ultimate energy that this uses up, of course, is the food that you eat. That’s your personal battery.
Range of motion
An electric toothbrush has a fixed range of motion. Different toothbrush manufacturers have different bristle designs. Some spin, others just vibrate, others pulsate. There’s a wide range of differences depending on the brand and model you go with.
The good news is once you have made your selection, you can bet that the range of motion that your teeth would get from your electric toothbrush unit will not change. It can only go so far. It can only move a certain direction. The big change is when you move your arm, or you make some sort of jerking motion, and you can bet that it will have an effect on your daily teeth brushing routine.
But outside of that situation, you can rest assured that your teeth will be cleaned in a certain way on a predictable basis. This is one of the biggest selling points of electric toothbrushes because there’re really no wide variations in the angle as well as the range of the bristles. As long as you move your hand or arm in fairly tight increments, you can cover your whole mouth surface area using these moving heads courtesy of your electric toothbrush model.
On the other hand, if you’re using a manual toothbrush, you have a lot more freedom. You can angle the toothbrush as much as you want. You can move it in a wide arch, or you can use it in a very narrow arch. You can use it intensely to move around corners.
It all depends on the angle that you use as well as the amount of elbow grease you put in. You can engage in soft brushing or intense or brisk brushing. You can also move around corners. There’s just a lot more freedom with a manual brush.
Now with that said, since there is a lot more freedom, there is also a higher chance that you may cause lasting damage to the enamel of your teeth. A lot of people think that if they brush really vigorously, that they’re somehow, some way cleaning their teeth extra hard. That’s not true.
In fact, you may be causing more problems than you’re solving because of the intensity of your brushing. I know this firsthand because the top of my teeth (I’m talking about the part where the teeth sink to the gums) became very sensitive. I had to use a special toothpaste to get rid of the problem because I brushed my teeth too forcefully.
Sonic power versus muscle power
One of the most promising areas of tooth cleaning technology innovation involves sonic cleaning. Some electric toothbrush designs use sound bursts or sound blasts to dislodge hard to clean debris that may have piled up between your teeth.
If you have a lot of tartar on your teeth, you know exactly what I’m talking about. These are the white spots that develop in between your teeth. They look nasty. Where there used to be gaps, now there’s like a chalky material that has built up.
This is very hard to dislodge even with the stiffest toothbrush bristle. You can easily handle these with the right sonic toothbrush. In addition to the moving brush heads, these toothbrush units emit a sound blast that isn’t hard on your ears.
Instead, they are very targeted to your teeth, and this starts to wear away on the debris that has accumulated. And then before you know it, when used in coordination with your brushing motion, you knock out a lot of that accumulated debris.
Of course, the typical sonic toothbrush isn’t just going to make all that tartar and plaque buildup disappear with one use. You’re going to have to use this over an extended period of time. You have to be consistent in your use of this type of device.
But the good news is with the use of sonic technology, a lot of the intractable debris that you thought could only be handled if you go to the dentist for an actual tooth cleaning, can be done at home. And the best part is that it can be done safely.
Sonic technology works by vibrating the brush at a very high rate of speed. We’re talking as much as 40,000 strokes per minute. When you do that, you will be able to dislodge using the sound as well as the vibration technology, from your teeth over a shorter period of time, than if you were just manually brushing away.
Keep the tips above in mind. Electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes have their own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage, of course, with electric devices is the fact that they cost extra money. Also, you have to worry about the cost of the power that you would need to use these consistently.
You have to understand that if you’re using batteries for your electric toothbrush, you’re going to be on the hook for an extended period of time. Of course, the obvious workaround to this is to use rechargeable batteries, but even then, you’re still spending money charging these units.
When you use a manual toothbrush, on the other hand, you just buy the unit, and then you dispose of it when it’s done. Again, both options have their own lists of advantages and disadvantages. It’s not as clear-cut as you would think. The solution is never obvious.