Electric Toothbrushes

Preventing dental problems

Although the exposed surfaces of teeth can be cleaned effectively with a manual toothbrush if care is taken, electric toothbrushes do offer certain advantages that cannot be duplicated in a regular brush.

Electric toothbrushes are driven by a motor, so many more brush strokes can be achieved in a session, allowing more bacterial plaque to be removed. This may help reduce the incidence of tooth decay and gingivitis. Some electric toothbrushes produce sound waves that kill bacteria by bursting their cell walls, improving the effectiveness of the – even where the bristles may miss. Some electric brushes tell you when it’s time to switch areas of the mouth, and when you can stop brushing.


Electric toothbrushes are also great for people with arthritis, or other individuals whose limited dexterity may prevent effective brushing with a manual toothbrush.

Be sure to talk to your dental professional about whether an electric toothbrush could improve your oral hygiene. And keep in mind that no matter how effective your brushing is, you still need to floss daily to prevent periodontal disease and the type of decay that arises between the teeth.

Author: Thomas J. Greany, D.D.S.
Editor: Ken Lambrecht
This page was reviewed by members of our review board.

This page was last updated on July 1, 2016

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