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Electric vs. Traditional Toothbrushes

The best type of toothbrush is the one you are most likely to use. Whether you select a traditional manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, rest assured that both types can help you maintain optimal oral health.

Although both are effective, they have their own sets of pros and cons. Read on as Longmont dentist Amy Farmer breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of manual and electric toothbrushes.

Traditional Toothbrushes

Traditional manual toothbrushes come in various shapes and sizes with many different bristles and heads to choose from. Since you control the speed and pressure of the brushing, you must practice excellent technique to avoid harming the teeth. Brushing too hard, not hard enough or not long enough may not adequately clean the teeth. In the worst cases, it can wear away the tooth enamel.

Pros of Manual Toothbrushes

  • Many different styles to choose from
  • Can properly clean the teeth in approximately two minutes
  • Inexpensive, easy to replace
  • Easy to transport
  • Ability to reduce pressure on sensitive areas
  • No need to charge or replace batteries

Cons of Manual Toothbrushes

  • Requires diligence on your part to use proper technique
  • Brushing for less than two minutes may not adequately clean the teeth
  • Must be replaced approximately every three months

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes have become quite popular over the past few decades. There are two primary types of electric toothbrushes: oscillating toothbrushes, which automatically rotate, and sonic toothbrushes, which use sonic technology to make the brush vibrate at 30,000-40,000 strokes per minute.

Pros of Electric Toothbrushes

  • Ease of use
  • Pre-programmed for optimal brushing technique and length
  • Some studies show electric toothbrushes remove slightly more plaque than manual brushes
  • Great for people with arthritis and dexterity problems that find brushing to be challenging
  • Great for getting kids motivated to brush
  • Variable speeds can reduce pressure on sensitive areas
  • Peace of mind that comes with brushing efficiently
  • Certain models have advanced features (i.e., different brush heads, “teeth whitening” modes)

Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

  • Require batteries or chargers
  • Can be expensive
  • Easier to break than a regular toothbrush

Contact Dr. Amy Farmer

For more information about the toothbrush that is right for your personal needs, Dr. Farmer invites you to contact Crossroads Dental by calling (303) 776-1480 or emailing us today.


We will do our best to accommodate your busy schedule. Request an appointment today!

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