Electric Toothbrush vs. Traditional Toothbrush

When it comes to brushing your teeth, the question of whether electric toothbrushes or traditional brushes are better comes up a lot. As your local family dental center, we want you to know the pros and cons of both so that your teeth get the best cleaning possible. The next time you’re with us, be sure to ask which type of brush will work better for your mouth. Until then, we hope this guide will give you the helpful information you need.


Some may think electric toothbrushes aren’t as good because they make humans pay less attention to their brushing technique, but the opposite is actually true.

Electric toothbrushes may not require as much work, but they will significantly improve your brushing routine. Most electric brushes come with a timer, which helps people hit their 2-minute brushing goals. The spinning or vibrating motion of an electric toothbrush helps to pull at the plaque on your teeth--something normal brushes struggle to clean as efficiently.

As kids, you may have heard about brushing in circles rather than brushing back and forth in a line. This is something we still want to encourage, and an electric toothbrush helps make that easier. The spinning motion of the brush allows you to focus more on the angle and positioning of the bristles, and less on the motion of your arm. This helps to get a more thorough clean than a traditional toothbrush.


The biggest drawback of an electric brush is the cost. While there are economic options that do a great job, there are other electric brushes that can cost over $120.00.

If you’re someone who does a lot of traveling, an electric brush might be a hassle to drag around, especially if it needs a nightly charge. The stands used to charge brushes often have extra space to hold more brush heads, but when you’re on the go that extra space is needed for other things. The fear of an electric brush breaking while out on the road is another common drawback.

If you’re someone with implant dentures or a dental crown, we often recommend not using an electric toothbrush. The vibration of an electric toothbrush has been known to loosen people’s crowns and the retightening process can be difficult.


If you’re trying to get on top of your oral health, we’re probably going to recommend an electric toothbrush. If you’re on the go a lot, try to have an electric brush for at home while using a traditional, disposable toothbrush on the road.

As a parent, it might be good to start your little one off on a normal toothbrush, but there’s nothing wrong with using a children’s electric toothbrush. When you feel that they’re old enough to use it without breaking it, we recommend making the switch. As with traditional brushing though, make sure to watch your child brush their teeth so they reach their 2-minutes of brushing and don’t swallow the toothpaste.

To start off, you may want to find an economic electric brush--something under $20.00. Try it out and see how you like it after 30 days. If your brushing routine and oral health start to benefit, you’ll be able to make the investment into a high-quality electric toothbrush much easier.


As talked about, a traditional toothbrush is great for everyday wear and tear. You can lose it without feeling like you lost a good chunk of money or throw it away without feeling like you’re pitching something valuable.

Speaking off...try to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. The bristles go bad after that, and won’t give you the best cleaning. Traditional toothbrushes are much cheaper in this sense because even though you’re not going to buy a new electric brush, you’ll have to purchase new heads for it, which costs more than traditional brushes.

Traditional brushes are still great for cleaning your teeth. With modern bristles and proper arches in the brush, you can get a proper cleaning and avoid things like gum disease. Traditional brushes are also great if you have really sensitive teeth, dentures, or if you’re recovering from oral surgery. The vibrating motion of an electric brush can cause a lot of agitation in your mouth if you’re recovering, so working a normal toothbrush for a while might be the best option for you.

Unlike electric toothbrushes, you can grab and go with a traditional brush. No charging necessary, no batteries required, and no real fear in your toothbrush breaking while out and about.


With traditional brushing, one of the most common problems people face is brushing too hard.

We get it, you want your teeth to be clean. But brushing harder doesn’t mean a more thorough clean, it actually hurts your mouth. The bristles should brush against your teeth, not rub against them. Pressing too hard will wear away the enamel on your pearly whites, which is something that won’t grow back!

With an electric toothbrush, people can focus more on lightly touching their teeth with the bristles than with a normal brush. If you’re someone who needs to practice proper brushing, an electric brush might help.


Always have a traditional toothbrush somewhere. You never know when you’re going to have to hop on a flight across the country, or when you might face a dental emergency. A traditional toothbrush in your closet drawer or storage compartment might be just the thing you need when in a pinch.


As said, when you visit us next we’ll talk with you about what type of toothbrush will work best for you. As your family dentistry in Waterford, MI, Your Winning Smile will make sure all your dental needs are met. Feel free to contact us online or by phone at (248) 681-8100 with any questions or to request an appointment.

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