Mechanical vs. Manual Toothbrush

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Brushing your teeth every morning after breakfast and at night before bed along with daily flossing is key to optimal oral health. There are so many toothbrush options on the dental health aisle that the task of choosing the best one can be overwhelming. For most patients, we recommend a mechanical toothbrush. You can find a very basic model with a 2 minute timer, rechargeable base, and a round head. The timer is great because it helps keep you accountable for brushing the recommended length of time. A rechargeable base is recommended over a battery powered model because like anything requiring batteries, it slowly runs down overtime and will not be working to the full potential. A round head is best because while the toothbrush head spins, the patient guides the toothbrush tooth by tooth through the mouth. Some electric toothbrushes have a pressure indicator light to let the patient know when they're brushing too hard and possibly damaging their gums. 

A mechanical toothbrush is a great choice for patients with braces and people with dexterity issues. It can also make brushing fun for kids. 

Some people have tried mechanical toothbrushes and did not like them, usually because it is hard to change an old habit. If you are going to use a manual toothbrush, it should be a soft bristle brush making small circles. A medium or hard brush and the scrubbing motion can damage the gums.  A manual toothbrush is great when traveling.