Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Many people shy away from power brushes because they are more expensive. In this video, Dr. Oz consults dental experts about whether the extra cost pays off in the long run.

Perhaps no dental debate is more hotly contested than the power vs. manual toothbrush discussion. Even scientists are trying to shed light on which tool works best, and electric brushes seem to be winning. A Cochrane review of studies gave the edge to power brushes, finding that they reduced plaque by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent more than manual brushes after three months of use. The American Dental Association notes that powered brushes are helpful for people who would have trouble using a manual brush for the recommended two-minute toothbrushing. In 2017, a study in the Journal of the International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry found that after four weeks, better oral health was found in users of the electric toothbrush.

Carol Jahn

Both manual and electric or power toothbrushes are effective. The advantage you gain from using a power brush is by choosing one with a 2-minute timer. Most people do not brush long enough and the timer can help you get a feel for how long it takes to brush for 2 minutes. In most cases, the brush will alert you when to change quadrants so you are not overdoing in any one area. Another advantage is in the powered motion—all you have to do is get the bristles in the right spot so it simplifies the brushing routine.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.