If you’ve ever seen a television ad for an electric toothbrush, then you have probably believed the hype- that unless you’re using an electric toothbrush, your teeth aren’t getting cleaned as well as they should. Though convincing, these advertisements are filled with misinformation, and like all others, they are designed to elicit emotion from you and drive you to run out and buy. Here’s what you really need to know about manual vs. electric toothbrushes.
What Do the Experts Say?
Rather than believing the manufacturer of an expensive toothbrush and relying on that company for advice about oral hygiene, it makes more sense to ask the experts – the American Dental Association, or ADA. According to the ADA, both electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective when it comes to removing oral plaque that causes disease and decay. Simply put, it doesn’t matter whether you spend $100 on a fancy electric toothbrush or $5 on a manual one; both will keep your teeth clean.
The Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes
Of course, this information isn’t to say that electric toothbrushes don’t have their benefits. They certainly do. It’s just that most of these benefits are of convenience and have very little to do with your oral hygiene. Even the ADA says that the only real benefit of an electric toothbrush over its manual counterpart is its ease of use. People who have issues with dexterity, including conditions like severe arthritis or partial paralysis, may find that an electric toothbrush is easier to use than a manual one. Electric toothbrushes can also make it easier for people who have braces and other orthodontia to brush their teeth.
Reasons to Choose Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes
Now that you’re aware that an expensive electric toothbrush won’t get your teeth any cleaner than a standard, run-of-the-mill (but still adorable) manual bamboo toothbrush, there are still other reasons why you should choose manual instead.
- Less plastic waste. Even though electric toothbrushes are designed to be kept and used for years, the heads – the part with the actual toothbrush – must be replaced every three months. These are made of plastic, and they find their way into landfills where they will remain for thousands of years before they finally biodegrade.
- No need to buy batteries or keep your toothbrush near an outlet. Electric toothbrushes are, well, electric, which means they need some sort of power supply. Many run on disposable batteries (bad for the environment), and some run on rechargeable batteries. Though the rechargeable option is better, you still must keep the toothbrush near an outlet, which can be a pain.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should skip over expensive electric toothbrushes with massive footprints (both carbon and counterspace) and opt for a smaller, more sensible, more affordable, and all-around more AWESOME bamboo toothbrush. So, don’t let those commercials fool you! Even the American Dental Association knows that a manual toothbrush is just as effective as an electric one when it comes to reducing the risk of gum disease.