The debate over whether manual (disposable) or electric toothbrushes are better has been going on ever since the electric one was invented. There is no clear or definitive evidence that proves one is better than the other. In the end it boils down to a matter of personal choice and whether one option will clean your teeth better. Here are a few parameters that may help you decide which one is right for you.
Although the prices of electric toothbrushes vary considerably, even the cheapest ones are many times more costly than the most expensive manual brushes. There is a misconception that because an electric toothbrush lasts longer than a manual one, the price differential is not that great. The fact is the toothbrush head on an electric toothbrush has to be replaced almost as often as a manual brush. When looked at purely in terms of purchase price, the manual brush is the clear winner.
The best toothbrush is the one you are most comfortable using. For some the vibrating feeling of an electric brush feels good and they enjoy letting the brush to do all the work. For others, the vibration can be an irritant. They may also get a feeling of satisfaction from using their muscles for a few minutes to clean their teeth. Electric brushes may be the better option for those with mobility issues like arthritis. Other than that, it is really a matter of which type will motivate you to brush for the recommended time of two minutes.
Some people are hesitant about putting even a part of an electrical device in their mouths. All toothbrushes, both electric and manual, that are approved by the American Dental Association, are safe to use. That being said, those who tend to use excessive force when brushing the teeth may benefit from an electric brush which will limit any possible tooth damage. Some studies suggest that an electric toothbrush may increase the amount of bacteria in the mouth that enters the bloodstream. This will not affect most people, but may not be good for those with cardiac conditions or weak immune systems. There is no conclusive proof of this as of now.
Comparisons of the cleaning of manual and electric toothbrushes have been made for many years. A review of over 25 studies shows that there is no discernible difference between the cleaning achieved by an electric toothbrush and a manual one, if both are used correctly for the prescribed time. Some recent studies indicate that the new rotation oscillation type electric toothbrushes may be slightly more effective, but no proof is as yet available.
Daily brushing and flossing of your teeth is the foundation of good dental hygiene and health. The better you clean your teeth and gums, the less the chances of contracting tooth or gum problems. But brushing and flossing is not enough. It is important to visit your dentist every 6 months to have your teeth checked so that any incipient problems that you may not have noticed can be treated at an early stage.