The first manual toothbrush, similar to the one used today, was invented in 1948. The bristles of this toothbrush were made of hog hair and horsehair. These kinds of bristles were generally used until DuPont invented nylon. The toothbrush continued to develop, creating a selection of bristle types (soft, medium, or hard), different colors/patterns, and different kinds of toothbrushes, such as electric and manual toothbrushes.

Today we have new technologies, such as electric toothbrushes to help us keep our pearly whites clean. However, with choices also comes decisions, and without the right information it is difficult to make the best decision for your dental care. Understanding the pros and cons of manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes may help you to know which toothbrush is best for your smile!

A manual toothbrush thoroughly cleans teeth and they are inexpensive. However, they require more work than an electric toothbrush and they do not have a timing setting (This feature allows you to set a two minute timer).

Electric toothbrushes come with a built in timer, so you can ensure that you are brushing for the recommended time. These toothbrushes also require less work since it does the brushing for you, and they do a better job when cleaning the teeth and removing plaque. Although electric toothbrushes are better at getting the job done, they come with more cons. Electric toothbrushes are more expensive, they have to charge, and they are easy to break.

Consider the features of both kinds of toothbrushes the next time you choose a toothbrush. Everyone has different teeth, so every toothbrush will not work well for everyone. However, despite what kind of toothbrush you choose it all comes down to how you use it.

It is recommended to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, and in these two minutes you have a few things to do. When brushing, direct your toothbrush towards the gum lines because this is where plaque begins to form. Once you have the right angle brush in a circular motion to remove the plaque. A human mouth is not that big, so you have time to clean each area thoroughly in two minutes. When brushing start in one area and work your way around the teeth – front side, backside, top row, bottom row.

Other general tips to remember when brushing include:

  • Brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed
  • Replacing your toothbrush, or toothbrush head for electric toothbrushes, every 2-3 months
  • Flossing often – Floss is able to reach between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot
  • Gently brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth to help remove plaque and bacteria that causes bad breath

Taking care of your teeth is essential, because humans only have one set of permanent teeth, so keep yours happy and healthy. Do your best to take care of your teeth, and don’t forget to smile every time you brush! (: