Electric vs. non-electric toothbrushes...

Do electric toothbrushes actually work better than non-electric toothbrushes?

Electric, no ifs and or buts. I only wish that I went electric sooner.

yes they do as far as i know and dentists recommendations. rotary are best.

No cite, but I seem to remember some study a few years ago that said the main advantage of electrics was that they had a timer and made you brush longer than the ‘manual’ method. I think it said brushing for the same amount of time generally gave similar results.

Consumer Reports confirms what Dahu said. I read it there when I was considering buying an electric toothbrush. Now I just time my brushing. I haven’t seen my dentist yet since I started that, so I don’t have confirmation that my teeth are really cleaner.

My dental hygienist told me that the electrics don’t do anything you can’t do manually, and I find that plausible. But I find it a whole heck of a lot easier with the electric.


I have to disagree with some of the above posts. I’ve always flossed and brushed most diligently, and yet every couple of years I had to have one of those, 6 shots of novocaine, deep beneath the gums cleanings.

Ever since I started using the Sonicare electric, whenever my dentist sees me he marvels at what great shape my gums are in. They’re for the gums - not the teeth.

I bought a $140 Braun electric toothbrush 5 years ago because I had excess money left over in my FSA. I can’t tell the difference. That’s just my opinion, but the replacement brushes are damn expensive and I still get cavities. Though that’s just me and you can’t fault the brush for that! What’s important is good brushing technique and flossing, whether it’s electric or manual is moot.

I know for me it made a huge difference. Worth every penny. I use the Oral B.

My Sonicare can clean my back molars far better than I can with a manual brush. Maybe in a perfect world, with a dental hygienist coaching me every morning, I could achieve the same results, but I doubt it. My kids have braces, and there is no question as to the superiority of the Sonicare in cleaning in and around the brackets.

Mechanics aside, is there any validity whatsoever to the claims made by the manufacturers of ‘sonic’ toothbrushes that the sound waves generated by these devices confer any additional benefit to the user? If I’m not mistaken, the primary claim made by Sonicare and Ultrasonex is that somehow these sound waves have some sort of disruptive effect on oral bacteria. However, I’ve never seen any peer-reviewed literature supporting this position, despite a reasonably concerted effort to do so.

I didn’t look at their websites, but do they really make that claim? I always thought the only thing it used sound for was vibrating the brush.
If you take the brush apart and turn it on you hear a very quite high pitched noise, the brush part has a tuning fork like thing in it with pick resonates and vibrates the brush.

I’ll poke around this evening and see if I can get a solid handle on the claims made, but I’m very sure that at least Ultrasonex does make the claim that I outlined. In fact, I had a conversation with a dentist several years ago about the subject, and her position was that I should buy the Ultrasonex brand, because the Sonicare brand “vibrates at the wrong frequency.”

I love my electric. One thing that I love about it is that the motor is timed. I never used to brush long enough with a manual. Now, I know I need to brush until it turns off. That’s gotta be better than a manual!

From Ultrasonex’s site:

Note how both conveniently and annoyingly neglected to provide a citation for this “recent university study.”

I don’t want to comment on the efficacy of ultrasound as a bacterial death ray, but I switched from Oral B to Sonicare six months ago, and at a cleaning two weeks ago, the hygienist said I had about as little plaque buildup as a person could have in six months, and I rarely brush more than once a day.

I bought one of those $6 electric battery powered Oral B toothbrushes (just replaced the AA battery last night.)–it removed stains that I couldn’t get manually. Much better than a manual and supposedly still not as good as the $100+ toothbrushes.

I had a Sonicare toothbrush a while back and while I did find it effective at cleaning my teeth well, it was ridiculously expensive. Not only was it like $120 for the toothbrush, but toothbrush replacements were also insanely overpriced (about $25-30 for two). I ended up throwing it away since it was too expensive for ongoing replacements and it was a PITA to clean (and keep clean).

I have used an OralB/Braun (they seem to be pretty much the same) circular oscillating brush electric toothbrush for over 25 years. What I like about it is its ability to clean the inside surfaces of my teeth. I guess I have kind of a small mouth or something, but a regular manual toothbrush feels so big and clumsy inside my mouth, and it never seemed to get at those inner tooth surfaces very well. The OralB brushhead is so small I can fit it everywhere, and I can just leave it scrubbing as long as necessary to get the job done, until my teeth feel as clean as after a trip to the dentist.

That said, the replacement brushes are horrifically expensive (over $9 each the last time I bought some). I never plan ahead far enough to do it, but I think I’ll be trolling online for the same brand-name brushes at a cheaper price. I’ve tried knock-off brands before and they never seem to fit quite right.