Many people believe that machines are better than hand tools no matter what, but the concept of an electric toothbrush being better than a manual does lend itself to pause. After all, machines work best when there is a consistent task to be accomplished, and the machine can be programmed exactly to the task at hand. When you get an electric toothbrush at the grocery store or from your dentist, there is no way to program that toothbrush to your mouth! Also, no two structures of teeth are the same, so there is no way that a mechanical toothbrush can be programmed to any mouth.
With this in mind, can anyone really say that electric toothbrushes are better than manual toothbrushes? Electric brushes do have a few advantages over the manual toothbrush.
First of all, using the electric toothbrush takes away the chance that the human brushing the teeth will get tired and brush less vigorously during the latter stages of the session. If the brush is mechanically powered and plugged in, then there is no such thing as getting tired! Even if you brush for the full two minutes that is recommended by professional dentists around the world, you are not getting the full treatment unless you are brushing with the same vigor throughout the entire time. Mechanical brushes ensure that you are.
Electric Toothbrushes Can Reach More of Your Mouth
Secondly, the mechanical brush allows the user to move more deeply within the mouth. Because there is no leverage needed from the hand, the mechanical brush can be moved farther back and deeper along the gumline without having the extra hand in the way.
The bristles of a mechanical brush can also be reversed in order to help with the depth of brushing. This can make it much easier to reach hard and deep places in the back of the mouth.
With all of the advantages of the mechanical brush, one may forget that the manual brush actually has advantages as well.
Manual Toothbrushes Tend to Be Easier to Handle
Manual brushes can be controlled more easily from the handle, giving a sterner brush when necessary to remove hard plaque and a lighter touch for more sensitive areas of the mouth. It is difficult to do this with mechanical brushes.
Manual Toothbrushes are Much Cheaper
There is also the consideration of price. Good mechanical brushes cost much more than a manual brush does, and mechanical brushes need to be replaced more often. The brush heads for mechanical brushes are often as expensive as an entire manual brush!
So, which is better?
With all of the above considered, it is really up to the user whether a manual brush or a mechanical brush is more effective. If you have the money, go for the most expensive mechanical brushes. They will certainly increase your efficiency. However, there is nothing wrong with a manual brush as long as you take the time to clean your mouth thoroughly for the entire two minutes that you are supposed to be brushing your teeth!