Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?
Answer From Thomas J. Salinas, D.D.S.
It's possible to brush your teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush. However, an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative to a manual toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to brush well. An electric toothbrush's bristle movement might even help you remove more plaque from your teeth and improve your gum health.
If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure it's comfortable to hold and easy to use. Your dentist might suggest a model with a rotating-oscillating head or a head that uses ultrasonic pulses to move the bristles. Other features, such as adjustable power levels, timers and rechargeable batteries, are optional. Follow the manufacturer's instructions about when to replace the head to ensure the toothbrush continues working effectively.
Whether you choose an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush, remember that what's most important is daily brushing and flossing.
Aug. 16, 2017
Thomas J. Salinas, D.D.S.
See more Expert Answers
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- Yaacob M, et al. Powered versus manual toothbrushing for oral health (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002281.pub3/full. Accessed July 24, 2017.
- Neville BW, et al. Geriatric patients. In: Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 25, 2017.
- Toothbrushes. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/toothbrushes. Accessed July 24, 2017.