5425 Whittaker Rd Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | Map It

Electric Brush vs. Manual Brushes

Home Alone Got It Wrong

In the 1990 film Home Alone, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) brings a toothbrush to the checkout counter and asks the clerk “Is this approved by the American Dental Association?”

It turns out the question was completely unnecessary. In fact, the American Dental Association does not lean toward one type of brush over the other. It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you choose, the ADA recommends that all brushes be soft-bristled to avoid abrasions that can lead to tooth decay and receding gum lines.

“Which Type Of Toothbrush Is Right For Me?”

While you can’t make a wrong decision, your choice of toothbrush is something that will affect your day-to-day life. Depending on how diligent you are at moving a manual brush, a motorized version may more effectively remove plaque from your teeth and gum line. Your dentist may have ideas for you as well, such as recommending a brush with an oscillating head or a brush with a timer that lets you know how long to brush.

“What Results Should I Expect From A Toothbrush?”

Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual brush, it should be easy for you to maneuver in your mouth and behind your back teeth. If the head is too big, it may not be effectively removing plaque from your teeth.

“I don’t have to change the head on my electric toothbrush as often as a manual brush, do I?”

Yes, you do. You should replace your brush or brush head at least once every three to four months or whenever you notice bristle fraying. However, most electric toothbrushes come with interchangeable heads, saving you from having to replace the entire device.

Tips For Your Smile

Flossing 101

Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. Take a look at our flossing section to learn more...


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