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Charge Up for Good Health

Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones -- and are they worth the cost?

Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones -- and are they worth the cost?

Electric toothbrushes can be better and make a big difference for some people. Most children, including mine, think "spinny brushes" are cool, and they love using them. You know that's a huge plus if you've ever tried to talk a meltdown-prone 5-year-old into brushing before school. Plus, these gadgets -- even the cheaper $10 to $20 models -- usually have timers so kids will know when they're done. Many of my pint-size patients don't brush long enough. So when they switch to a toothbrush with a timer, their teeth are usually cleaner on the next visit.

I also like electric toothbrushes for patients who have sensitive teeth. The vibrating bristles are more comfortable than manual brushing. And for my patients who have arthritis or other dexterity problems, electric toothbrushes are extremely helpful in reaching back teeth and getting all the way around the mouth -- without experiencing pain.

If you or someone in your family doesn't fit in to one of these categories, these high-tech toothbrushes aren't necessary -- you can clean your teeth just as well with a traditional toothbrush. But if you prefer an electric option, go for it! Anything that makes people happy about taking care of their teeth makes me smile.



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