Electric or Manual?

Home Care Nashua, NHWhile we give every one of our patients a toothbrush after their twice-yearly exams and cleanings, we’d be happy to forgo those and give you more floss instead. Why?

It’s not that we don’t want you to brush, obviously. It’s that we’d like you Ito switch to an electric toothbrush.

We’re not trying to have you spend money on a luxury item that replaces manual brushing because you’re lazy or because we have some vested interest in an electric toothbrush company. Electric toothbrushes simply make sense for most patients as a tool for better home hygiene.

Why is an electric toothbrush better?

Electric toothbrushes, by their very nature, do the work for you. You place the brush head on your teeth and gums and let it get to work. Many of these toothbrushes have a built-in timer that tells you when you’ve been brushing for two minutes, the length of time recommended by the American Dental Association. All you need do is move the head from tooth to tooth, and it will remove the plaque from your teeth.

The goal is to be a thorough brusher, and many people are any but that. Because the heads rotate or otherwise move, the odds of doing a better job than your hand and arm are heavily weighted in favor of electric toothbrushes. If you’re a very diligent brusher, you may get every tooth brushed and hit your gums. But not many people ever brush for the full two minutes recommended. The problem with some even good manual brushers is they can be too aggressive. This can lead to gum recession.

Here are some specific cases where electric toothbrushes are a no-brainer.

  • If you’re a haphazard, cursory brusher — You know who you are. You brush your teeth but are lackadaisical about it. You could easily leave a tooth here or there with the plaque on it.
  • If you’re a kid — Little kids love electric toothbrushes because they’re fun gadgets. Some think they tickle their teeth. Once you explain to place the brush head on each tooth, they’ll do a good job brushing. Also, kids with traditional braces benefit mightily from electric brushes because of their thoroughness.
  • If you’re elderly — As we age, many of us have some dexterity issues with our hands and fingers. Electric brushes don’t require any hand or finger dexterity.


Your hand and arm can produce around 200 strokes per minute with your manual toothbrush. An electric toothbrush generates 30,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. Which do you think will clean better?

Want research proof? Braun Oral-B, a maker of toothbrushes (both electric and manual), had dentists and hygienists ask 16,000 patients to use an Oral-B electric toothbrush from one visit to the next. When asked to monitor how their patients’ teeth looked afterward, the dental professionals said the electric toothbrush had a positive effect on the oral health of over 80 percent of the patients.

If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes, please ask us. At Kalil & Kress we have the same goal as you — a healthy mouth. Call us to make your next appointment, (603) 880-7004.

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