Do Electric Toothbrushes Really Give You A Better Clean?


These days we want the best results from doing the least amount of work possible. We want to take a pill to lose 20 pounds without exercise. We also expect creams, drinks and shakes to do miraculous things without any extra work. So, what about our toothbrushes? Can an electric toothbrush make our teeth brilliantly white and cavity-free with just a touch of a button? Maybe. We’ll explain.

It’s All About The Brusher

No matter if you use a manual or an electric toothbrush it all comes down to how you brush. Each type of brush is just a tool to allow the brusher to clean his or her teeth. Proper brushing technique includes brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste in gentle, tooth-wide strokes, spending time on each tooth, according to the ADA. So, if you have bad brushing habits with a manual toothbrush, you’re going to have bad brushing habits with an electric one as well. That being said there are some positives to investing in an electric toothbrush.

Why Go Electric?

Electric toothbrushes have lots of bells and whistles that may prove to be an advantage for some brushers.

  • Electric toothbrushes are great for brushers who have grip issues and find it difficult to hold on to a toothbrush. For example, arthritis suffers and those with carpal tunnel syndrome find it easier to brush with an electric toothbrush compared to a manual one. 

  • Electric toothbrushes may entice your kids to brush better. Kids love gadgets and anything that makes brushing fun is a definite plus. If a new, electric brush gets your kids brushing longer and more often, that’s a win in our book.

  • Electric toothbrushes may remove more plaque. As mentioned above, there is a proper way to brush your teeth and because many electric brush heads move or rotate for you, they may help remove more plaque from those whose brush skills are lacking.

  • Some electric brushes have built-in timers. This is really important since many of us might not realize just how long that is and if we’re actually hitting the mark when we manually brush.

It bears noting that electric toothbrushes can come with a hefty price tag, anywhere from $15 to $250 per brush. And, don’t forget you’ll have to replace brush heads just as often as you replace a manual toothbrush (about every three months).

Why Stick With Manual?

There’s a saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Manual toothbrushes have been around for a long time because they work. They are an inexpensive and effective tool for cleaning teeth and preventing gingivitis. Plus, you can pick up a new one almost anywhere, no waiting on ordering and you’ll never have to charge or replace batteries. The only caveat is to make sure you’re not brushing too hard, which can hurt your gums and teeth.

In conclusion, as long as you brush and floss twice a day using the proper technique, you’ll be golden no matter which brush you use. Questions? Give Dr. Vacek a call for expert advice.

Dr. Craig Vacek