The answer is yes, for people 4 and up a power toothbrush is a great idea. From age 4 to 7 the power brush should be operated by the child's caregiver.
From the time the first tooth has erupted till age 3 to 4 a manual toothbrush is best, make sure you select one with a small head and soft bristles. This is my favorite http://www.oralb.com/en-CA/products/oral-b-stage-1-disney-baby-pooh-toothbrush/ for ages first tooth till 24 months. Then follow up with the stage 2 brush by oral B then right into the child's first power toothbrush.
To be effective with a manual toothbrush you need to be highly motivated, have good dexterity and great technique. Other things to consider it to be sure you are selecting a small or compact head with soft or ultra soft bristles. Be mindful that you are not scrubbing or putting to much pressure on your brush. The area most often not brushed well with manual brushing is along the gum line of your lower teeth on the inside.
With power toothbrushes I strongly recommend both Braun Oral B and Sonicare. There are often great debates among dental hygienist regarding which of these brushes are superior but in my opinion they are both excellent selections. When looking at the Braun Oral B toothbrush only select the one with a small ROUND head the other styles just add bulk and have no benefit. The power toothbrush will do all the work for you and have many more stokes per minute than you would ever get with a manual toothbrush in 2 to 3 minutes. Place the brush on the tooth along the gum line and slowly move brush around the mouth letting it do all the work.
Good options to look for are a timer and a brush with a pressure sensor. If you have a history of gum recession a power toothbrush will decrease your chances of the recession progressing.
When taking children to the dentist or if you are an adult with your first or new power toothbrush it is a good idea to take it along to your dental hygiene visit to ensure you are using it properly. Many times when I have children show me how they use a power toothbrush over 80% are not using it properly. I believe in power toothbrushes so much that all children 4 and above (one per family) will receive a power toothbrush at their first appointment at the office. Better yet they will know just how to use it before they leave.
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