Tooth Brushing: Power vs. Manual

February 12, 2010 in Children's Health Education, News - Updates, The Singing Nurse Music

Tooth Brushing: Power vs. Manual

dental 008I was curious as to the effectiveness of power toothbrushes so I decided to inquire and try one. I purchased an Oral B battery powered one for 6.99 which has the Cross Action. I’ve decided as a newbie this was a good place to start. I’ve used it for a week or so and still adjusting to the extra drool that is running down on to my hand. Maybe the positive experience is making me brush longer so more is accumulating.

I remember working with a quadriplegic patient who was quite satisfied with his power toothbrush. He had great teeth and flossed regularly as well. We were reminded often to turn the brush off before removing it from his mouth, as you have guessed, to prevent the shower that was sure to occur.


superior_imgDuring my inquiry, two power brushes seem to stand above all others, the Sonicare and the Braun. The Sonicare is made by Philips while the Braun is made by Oral B.

One of the reasons I have learned that the electric brushes are effective is because most people will brush longer with an electric toothbrush. It is recommended that we brush for 2 minutes.  Studies have shown manual brushers tend to brush less than 2 minutes.


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Dr. Neda who is a periodontist, prefers the sonicare power toothbrush because it makes her teeth feel clean. She feels that the battery operated toothbrush I purchased would be equal to a manual toothbrush.


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Lee, office manager for Dr. Lomangino and Dr. Soltis’ office preferred the Sonicare over the Braun, but felt the Braun was a better choice because of the ease of cleaning and the cost of toothbrush replacements.


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Tina, my Dental Hygienist who cleans my teeth, felt the battery powered toothbrush would do a better job than a manual toothbrush. She stated the Sonicare power brush was a great product but uses a manual toothbrush herself. Tina also says to let the power toothbrushes do the work and not press too hard.


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Dr. Soltis believes you should use “whatever makes you happy”. Brushing your teeth should be a positive experience and if you enjoy it you will do a better job. He stated that a power brush would be helpful for someone who has limited hand movement. Dr. Soltis prefers the good old fashion manual toothbrush.

All my dental health professional friends agree flossing should be equally important to our daily dental care routines.

♥ Points to remember:

♥ Brush your teeth for 2 minutes    ♥ Floss your teeth    ♥ Visit your dentist regularly

Please leave a comment: We’d love for you to join the conversation and let us know what method of brushing you use and why you like it. There are many great sites in cyberspace that provide a wealth of information for families and children. If you are a teacher of preschoolers or young children we’d like to learn about the resource you may have that teach good dental habits.

Below is a quote from Sonicare’s website, visit their site for more information and products.

“Sonicare’s patented sonic technology is proven to be powerfully effective, yet remarkably gentle. It generates high amplitude and high frequency bristle motion, creating dynamic cleaning action that drives fluid forces deep into interproximal spaces and along the gum line. The result is a superior clean that you can see and your patients can feel.
Sonicare believes in innovative technologies and products designed around the people who use them.”

Below are excerpts from the Oral B website, check their site for complete information and products.

Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush: Generally rich in technology and features, electric toothbrushes provide the many oral health benefits. Some can even enable you to improve your brushing habits. Hi-tech features include:
  • Numerous brushing modes specialized for sensitive teeth, whitening benefits or gum-massaging action
  • Pressure sensors to signal when you’re brushing too hard
  • Timers to help you keep track of how long you’re brushing each quadrant of your mouth
  • Digital reminders to replace your brush head
  • Oscillating-rotating or sonic technology
  • Multiple brush head compatibility so you can choose which kind of bristle design you prefer
Most electric toothbrushes also come with features for added convenience, like a brush head or toothbrush holder, bathroom-counter storage units and travel toothbrush chargers.
Regular Manual Toothbrush: While ordinary toothbrushes don’t nearly provide the benefits and features of rechargeable electric toothbrushes, the technology featured in their brush heads, bristles and handle designs can be quite advanced, for example:
  • Crisscrossed, extra-long or multi-level bristles
  • Polished or rounded bristle tips
  • Textured bristles
  • Cupped-bristle design for whitening benefits
  • Ergonomically designed handles with special grips
  • Tapered or angled brush head
  • Gum stimulators
  • Tongue cleaner pads
Battery Power Toothbrush: While similar in features to regular manual toothbrushes, these kinds of toothbrushes also vibrate to provide additional cleaning action. In addition to those of manual toothbrushes, features include:
  • Built-in AA battery that can be replaced in some models
  • “On/Off” or “+/-“ button located on the handle
  • Bristles or split brush heads specially designed to pulsate along with the vibrations
Modifying Brushing Technique
Proper brushing technique varies when using different kinds of toothbrushes. Both regular manual toothbrushes and battery power toothbrushes require you to provide all or most of the brushing action, moving the brush back and forth along all sides of your teeth and gums. In contrast, rechargeable electric toothbrushes provide the cleaning action while you need only guide it along all surfaces. Once they get the hang of it, many people find this method of brushing easier.

Remember to leave a comment: We’d love for you to join the conversation a let us know what method of brushing you use and why you like it.

Happy Dental Health Month!

For Healthy Teeth and Gums

Dawn Ginese, R.N.

The Singing Nurse

Listen or Download:  “I’m Gonna Brush My Teeth” “The Dentist is a Good Guy


Tooth Brushing: Power vs. Manual

One Comment

    1. Tooth Fairy says:

      Great post! Lotsa folks big and small enjoy brushing with a battery operated or electric toothbrush. I find men and boys especially enjoy using them, they love tools or gadgets! When manual dexterity is an issue motorized brushes are a good alternative. Sometimes women seem to prefer manual since there may be less splatter on the bathroom mirror. The 2 minute timer option on some automated brushes are a definately a helpful bonus. Thanks for sharing these opinions.
      Follow me over to “Toothbrush Tuesdays” weekly on Twitter, for a chance to win a FREE Sonicare toothbrush from 1-800-Dentist ☺
      Good-bye, gotta ~FLY~

      Tooth Fairy

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Tooth Brushing: Power vs. Manual

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