Given the same amount of time, the electric toothbrush will be more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush. That doesn’t mean that a regular toothbrush can’t perform similarly and perform well. It can, but it will take more time and effort on your part.
Children especially benefit from the use of an electric toothbrush. I heartily recommend that your children learn how to use the Oral-B Braun electric toothbrush. Their use of an electric toothbrush almost makes up for their lack of skill and motivation. It’s also easier to brush your child’s teeth using an electric toothbrush.
For smokers and those wanting to remove teeth staining, an electric toothbrush is very effective.
The downside to using an electric toothbrush is that you must replace the heads as often as you do a manual toothbrush, which will mean an increase in the cost of brushing your teeth. Replacing the heads every four to six weeks at a cost of ten to fifteen dollars each can become quite an investment for a family.
My greatest concern involving electric toothbrushes is the size of the toothbrush head. Spinning and vibrating these heads ultimately leads to bulk, and bulk will always lead to missed areas in the mouth. Remember, smaller is better when applied to any toothbrush, manual or electric.
The quality of the bristle (how polished it is at its end) is even more important when considering an electric toothbrush. Since the electric toothbrush will be spinning or vibrating those bristles faster than would be possible with a manual toothbrush, you better hope you are using the highest quality and softest bristle available.
My current standard is the Oral B P-30 (that’s a manual toothbrush). It’s old-fashioned and low tech. I like it for its size and for its low abrasion. I replace it every three weeks. I do use many other types of toothbrushes for testing purposes and I do occasionally use an electric toothbrush. My wife and children use the Oral B Braun electric toothbrush and it works very well for them (except I’m the one cleaning the splattered toothpaste on the mirror). I like the Sonic Care, but find that the head is too big to effectively clean all areas of the mouth. To palliate this flaw, one could use it in conjunction with a small manual toothbrush.
Blog Notes: About Mark Burhenne DDS
The mouth doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is intimately connected to the health of the rest of the body.
In fact, the bacteria and entire environment inside the mouth are connected to the rest of your body so intimately that the state of your oral health can predict whether you’ll have heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
In my 30 years of practice as a dentist, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation and people who have fallen through the cracks due to our healthcare system’s failure to understand the oral-body connection.
I created this blog to empower people to understand how your mouth is a window into the health of the rest of your body.
It is my sincere hope that the knowledge and tools on this blog will lead to greater health and well-being for you and those you love.
Throughout this website you’ll find high-quality articles and free resources for getting and staying healthy. It’s the info I use to keep myself and my family healthy, and how I treat my patients.
More About Mark Burhenne DDS
I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in History of Art and had the privilege of attending the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, consistently ranked among the best in the US.
I am an active member of several continuing education groups and study clubs in prosthetics and periodontology that perform actual clinical work on patients. I have worked as an expert witness in legal dental cases. I’ve also volunteered as a dental surgeon in Jos, Nigeria.
I raised three daughters without cavities (all without ingestion of fluoride). I enjoy downhill skiing, alpine touring, mountain biking, photography, and listening to jazz and classical records (you know, those flat analog 12-inch vinyl discs).
I am passionate about restoring teeth to their original function and beauty – and as someone who studied art history and is a hobbyist photographer, the intersection of art and the opportunity to help people makes dentistry my dream profession.
Ask the Dentist is for you, so I want to know, what would you like answered on Ask the Dentist?
Mark Burhenne DDS