Who should use an electric toothbrush?

Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Using an electric toothbrush can make brushing your teeth easier. In this video Dante Gonzales, DMD, says that both electric and manual toothbrushes will get the job done -- it's just a matter of personal preference.

Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean teeth. People who have difficulty using a manual toothbrush may find a powered toothbrush easier or more comfortable to use. The size and shape of the brush should fit your mouth comfortably, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Oftentimes electric toothbrushes will run for two minutes, the length you should brush your teeth. The brush also creates the spinning or circular motion you should use. Your dentist may offer suggestions about which type is suitable for your needs.

Simply put, if an electric toothbrush motivates you to brush your teeth or makes it easier for you to brush your teeth, you should consider one. Electric toothbrushes can be useful for anyone who has limited manual dexterity, such as people of advanced age or those with a disability or a condition such as arthritis. They can also be useful for people with braces.
Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
If dentists ruled the world, everyone would own an ultrasonic toothbrush. It gives you a professional clean feeling, right in your own bathroom. The plaque is brushed off the surface of the teeth with just the right amount of aggression, and the day's extrinsic stains get brushed off as well.

Thirty-one percent of Americans have a rotating or oscillating toothbrush, but that doesn't mean you need one. It simply depends on how well you treat your teeth. How well -- and for how long -- do you brush them? If you know that you are a lazy brusher, then you need one. Time yourself next time you brush. If you clock in at less than a minute, you need one.

According to a study done in 1998 by the Journal of Clinical Dentistry, most people do in fact need one since the average American's brushing time is 39 seconds! As a professional, this number shocks me. If you are one of those people, the latest models have a beeper installed that goes off every thirty seconds to signal when it's time to move on to the next quadrant of your mouth. Four quadrants in the mouth means you should brush for 2 minutes!

Continue Learning about Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily constitute the basics of good oral hygiene. Keeping other parts of your mouth, such as your gums, healthy can benefit your overall health by preventing the spread of germs and dis...

ease. At-home care should be supplemented by professional care. When plaque or tartar develops, a dentist or oral hygienist will use special tools to scrape (scale) the teeth clean without damage. Flouride treatment can help keep teeth cavity-free. Learn more about healthy oral hygiene with expert advice from Sharecare.

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.