Ask Dr. D: Do Electronic Toothbrushes Work Better?

Dear Dr. D,

Is there any reason to use an electric toothbrush over a traditional one?

Steve in McMinnville

Dear Steve:

The research shows that if you don’t have any periodontial disease or lots of fillings, and you are a diligent and thorough brushers, a traditional brush is just as successful as an electric one. But you must be doing it right (using the correct brushing technique).

For anybody who has deeper pockets (gum issues), or dexterity issues in their hands, or limited space in their mouth, or teeth with fillings that are particularly difficult to clean, then an electric toothbrush is your best choice. Because a Sonicare toothbrush moves so quickly it sets up a moving wave, it can push material out of the pockets which you can’t reach with regular bristles alone.

For some patients we also advise using a Water Pik, which just shoots a stream of water.

If you really want the full benefit of an electric toothbrush you will be spending around $70 minimum for either an Oral-B or a Sonicare toothbrush.

Happy Brushing!

Dr. Adam Diesburg

Ask Dr. D is a a web series where Dr. Diesburg answers the dental care questions he fields most often from his patients. If you would like to ask Dr. Diesburg a question about any aspect of dental care, you can email him at adiesburgdds [at]

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