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What are the Advantages of an Electric Toothbrush?

Deborah Ng
Deborah Ng

In the past, if a shopper wanted to purchase an electric toothbrush, he or she would have to visit the appliance section of the local department store. Nowadays, these battery- or electric-powered teeth cleaning devices are found just about anywhere, even at the supermarket.

Most people know that brushing the teeth can remove food and plaque from the teeth and gums; it also cuts down on tooth decay, gingivitis and other gum disease. An electric toothbrush can do all this and more. A study comparing those who used an electric model to those using a manual toothbrush showed that while the manual brush did an acceptable job, the electric version cleaned comparably better.

An electric toothbrush may be useful to those suffering from carpal tunnel.
An electric toothbrush may be useful to those suffering from carpal tunnel.

Not only does the electric toothbrush move quicker for a deep down tooth cleaning, it also gets under the gums, reducing gingivitis. In addition, it is ideal for those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other painful or debilitating conditions. Because the rotating head does all the work, the person doing the brushing doesn't have to constantly move the hands, wrists or arms back and forth to brush.

Plaque contains a variety of bacteria that contribute to gum disease and halitosis.
Plaque contains a variety of bacteria that contribute to gum disease and halitosis.

In addition to noticeably whiter and visibly cleaner teeth, the owner of an electric toothbrush often has fresher breath than someone who manually brushes. This isn't to say that the person using a manual toothbrush automatically suffers from bad breath, but statistics show an electric device cleans better. When the mouth is cleaner, the breath is fresher.

An electric toothbrush causes less damage from brushing.
An electric toothbrush causes less damage from brushing.

Those who own a manual toothbrush tend to brush harder than those who use an electric one. While this is normally considered a good thing, it's important to note that if teeth are brushed too hard, the tissue covering the gums can become damaged. An electric toothbrush requires less pressure, leaving gum tissue with minimal damage from brushing.

Most people who brush manually have the best of intentions. However, their brushing removes food and plaque only from the very surface of the teeth and gums. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, penetrates more than the top layer, ensuring maximum plaque removal and an all over clean mouth.

In most cases, the type of toothbrush a person uses is a matter of preference. As long as he or she has good brushing habits and flosses at least once daily, his or her teeth will be healthy whether you choose an electric or a manual toothbrush.

Discussion Comments


Gum disease is a serious problem for the uneducated tooth brusher and is often caused by brushing too hard. I think Burlap's rather aristocratic opinion on toothbrush education and its application is misguided.

For the sake of humanity we must support the tooth brusher proletariat and give them the tools to fight against poor dental hygiene, poverty and into an equal cleaner teeth society.


I'm always amused how individuals can perform a cursory or truncated study of a particular subject only to then generate all encompassing conclusions that allow them to berate others.

Cleaning teeth is is not dissimilar to other types of cleaning. The tools you choose can make the job easier. Electric toothbrushes can be useful and effective, they shouldn't be disregarded simply because you dislike the marketing practices employed to attract customers.

Burlap, you seem to want to infer that owning an electric toothbrush might be an indication of reduced mental capacity and laziness. I would point out that your need to put others down likely indicates a low self esteem. Your use of these same put downs comes across as a thinly veiled attempt to convert others to your opinion, although I doubt you realized what you were doing. You also neglect to provide any evidence for your claims other than some nasty words.


I love my sonic. I'm an impatient brusher and have receding gums from brushing too hard and too much in the past. My sonic keeps me from doing that and reminds me to brush for two minutes. Best of all, it doesn't irritate my sensitive teeth like every other toothbrush has.


Using an electric brush is just the same kind of nonsense that using toothpaste can actually help your brushing habits. You can actually find this out through a bit of research but the amazing part is that people still buy and spend money on the stuff.

Dentists have long known that the actual benefits from using tooth brushes are from the brush itself and have little to do with the type of paste that you may or may not use. Specialty formulas have been created by companies looking to take advantage of consumers. Toothpaste is simply not necessary for the cleaning of your teeth and to maintain a healthy mouth but has since become to be an accepted fact that it is needed by the general public.


@summertime, you man an excellent analysis and point in the fact that electric razors are very similar in the marketing gimmikery that they endure from compaines. People for a long time tried to switch over to electric razors but many men and women still use razors. While the technology for razors has improved, electric razors have seen a decrease in sales as they are actually less effective at delivering a smooth shave to the face or other body parts.

I am not aware of how well an electric brush performs when compared to a regular brush but I can tell you that I am sure there is very clever marketing involved. Maybe you should ask a dentist to see what he thinks and uses for himself.


I agree with Burlap on this issue and the use of electric toothbrushes instead of manual ones. Only when you have the ability to see on a small level what the cleaning difference is then and only then can you make a proper judgment. The funny part about all of this is that consumers will buy into almost any type of nonsensical dental health product.

The general lack of experience when it comes to how to clean teeth is taken advantage of by large retailers looking to sell the latest gadget that incorporates the use of electricity.

After all, this kind of thinking works for many consumers that are in awe of a device that takes batteries or needs to be recharged. Just like the use of electric razors, electric toothbrushes are the same way.


I personally think that the use of electric tooth brushes are extremely lazy. The use of a normal brush is more then enough to be able to clean your teeth the way that they need to be. Only when people wake up to the fact that electric toothbrushes are simply a means of generated more revenue and an ad gimmick created by marketers and people looking to make a profit off of the very weak minded individual.

I have always used a manually operated toothbrush and have every intention of doing so until the day that I die.

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    • An electric toothbrush may be useful to those suffering from carpal tunnel.
      By: ruigsantos
      An electric toothbrush may be useful to those suffering from carpal tunnel.
    • Plaque contains a variety of bacteria that contribute to gum disease and halitosis.
      By: Piotr Marcinski
      Plaque contains a variety of bacteria that contribute to gum disease and halitosis.
    • An electric toothbrush causes less damage from brushing.
      By: Monkey Business
      An electric toothbrush causes less damage from brushing.