Posted .

You may not believe the final verdict.

Keeping a clean mouth is something every individual should strive to do. Not only is it good for your overall health, but—quite frankly—nobody is going to want to talk to you if your breath smells like a cesspool. Moreover, you’re inviting an army of germs into your body when you don’t take care of your oral hygiene.

Of course the first step in maintaining superior oral hygiene begins with brushing. But with so many brushes out there, how are you supposed to know which one gets the job done best?

The first question—which is the primary question this article aims to address—is whether manual toothbrushes perform better than electric toothbrushes.

Electrics Have a Slight Edge

Numerous studies published in 2014 found that electric models are better at overall brushing when compared to their manual counterparts. According to the findings, electric toothbrushes reduced plaque buildup by 21 percent, and also removed 11 percent of gum inflammation after a three month period of use.

There’s No Difference If Your Gums Are Already Healthy

Jay W. Friedman, D.D.S., M.P.H., a dental advisor with Consumer Reports, says that if you don’t already have gingivitis, “it really doesn’t matter which brush you use.” And as far as plaque is concerned, Friedman says “we really don’t know that it matters if a little more or less plaque is removed.”

One thing’s for sure: whenever you brush your teeth, it’s best not to get carried away. Excessive brushing with either kind of brush has risks. “Too much pressure and too frequent brushing can abrade enamel, or the root if the gum has receded,” says Friedman. Adding, he says that such an abrasion can cause teeth to become extremely sensitive to things that are hot or cold.