The American Dental Association (ADA), as the nation’s leading body of dentistry and dental professionals, is quick to say both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively be used to clean teeth. There is no official stance that universally recommends any one toothbrush. There are, however, circumstances in which using an electric or powered toothbrush is advisable.
In a guide aimed at consumers, teachers, and the media, the ADA has posted on its official website a “Toothbrushes” discourse as part of its ADA Seal of Acceptance Program. The ADA sponsors an independent council of scientific experts to objectively evaluate dental products for safety and effectiveness. Toothbrushes, pastes, flosses, rinses, and other products found to be ADA-approved will each receive the official ADA Seal as a sign of its acceptance.
The ADA has approved a variety of toothbrushes, and consequently, simply recommends to everyone to buy and use an approved toothbrush. The ADA does not provide direct answers to individual questions, but gives insights as to why a consumer would potentially choose an electric toothbrush over a manual option.
Dentists can recommend using an electric toothbrush if (1) you have limited dexterity. The ADA guide points out that effectively using a manual toothbrush is more physically demanding than using an powered one. If you have any physical limitations or impairments that make it difficult to brush your teeth, using an electric toothbrush may help.
Dentists can recommend using an electric toothbrush if (2) you find one “more comfortable.” Even without explicit physical limitations, some individuals find it more comfortable to use a toothbrush of the electric variety. ADA dentists support that and encourage you to use what’s best for you.
Dentists can recommend using an electric toothbrush if (3) you find one more “fun.” The ADA points out that some children simply find using an electric toothbrush more fun. Some adults are probably in that same boat, too. If using an electric toothbrush is what gets you to actually brush twice-daily, dentists will often recommend using an electric toothbrush.
Dentists can recommend using an electric toothbrush if (4) you find one “easier to use.” We all have different styles and preferences, and the ADA completely understands that. For those who find, for whatever reason, an electric toothbrush is easier to use, the dental association advises sticking with that option.
Dentists can recommend using an electric toothbrush if (5) you have other special circumstances. A main reason why the ADA approves the number of toothbrushes that it does is so that we as consumers can each actually find a toothbrush that meets our unique needs. If you have any reason for valuing using an electric toothbrush over a manual, dentists in general support and encourage whatever choice will get you taking care of yourself.
Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional. Visit the ADA website and talk to your dentist about what’s right for you.
“ADA.org: ADA Seal of Acceptance: Toothbrushes.” ADA.org.
“ADA.org: Welcome – American Dental Association Website.” ADA.org.