Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrush for Gum Health | Periodontal Health Center (2024)

As electric toothbrushes become increasingly popular, it’s worth considering the Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrush debate. Have you ever wondered if an electric toothbrush is better for you?

Or maybe you’re a dedicated manual-toothbrush user wondering whether you should make the switch. Either way, we’re here to provide you with the facts to help you make the best decision for your gums.

Is an Electric Toothbrush Better for Receding Gums?

One major cause of receding gums is over-brushing, or brushing the teeth and gums too aggressively. Applying too much pressure while brushing can wear down the enamel of the teeth. Because the enamel is the primary protective layer of the teeth, as it wears down, the gums begin to recede and become increasingly vulnerable.

When people brush with an electric toothbrush, they often tend to brush harder and apply more force than they would with a manual toothbrush. For this reason, a manual toothbrush might be the better option for people who naturally brush with more force.

Although, some electric toothbrush products feature a light that turns on when too much pressure is being applied to the teeth. These electric toothbrush options might be helpful for people who need to lighten the pressure.

Electric Toothbrush Advantages

  • More convenient for people with dexterity challenges (e.g. people with braces or other orthodontic appliances)
  • Many options feature built-in timers, pressure sensors, various modes for different cleaning approaches and reminders to change the brush head
  • Bristles use a range of motions (side-to-side and back-and-forth oscillation)
  • Deliver an average of 40,000 to 60,000 brush movements per minute

Electric Toothbrush Disadvantages

  • May create the tendency to apply more pressure when brushing, leading to gum recession
  • Considerably more expensive than manual toothbrushes and require replacement brush heads
  • Require charging and careful handling to prevent damage to the battery

Manual Toothbrush Advantages

  • Affordable and easily accessible to buy or replace at convenience stores
  • Easy to maintain without the need to charge or replace batteries
  • Convenient for traveling
  • Can choose from a range of bristles (soft, medium, hard)

Manual Toothbrush Disadvantages

  • Speed and range of motion are manual, not automatic
  • May have to replace toothbrush more often than electric brush heads
  • No choice of modes for deeper cleaning
  • No timer feature to indicate when your teeth are thoroughly brushed
  • Deliver an average of 300 to 600 brush movements per minute

Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrush Studies

  • In a study conducted by the Department of Periodontology and Implantology, 30 subjects were given Oral B® manual toothbrushes and another group of 30 subjects was given Oral B® powered toothbrushes. Subjects were instructed to brush their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. In conclusion, the powered toothbrush proved more effective at removing supragingival plaque and improving gingival health than the manual toothbrush.
  • In a study published in 2019 by BMC Oral Health, 55 subjects were given electric toothbrushes, while 60 subjects were given manual toothbrushes. Subjects were asked to clean their teeth to the best of their abilities for six months. In conclusion, there was no difference in the amount of plaque and the level of oral hygiene between manual brushing and electric brushing.

Is an Electric or Manual Toothbrush Better for Gums?

So, what’s the verdict? Is it smarter to stick to your manual toothbrush? Or should you consider investing in an electric toothbrush?

The fact of the matter is: you know your brushing habits better than anyone else. As long as you brush your teeth and gums thoroughly and floss regularly, your choice of toothbrush might not make too big of a difference on your gum health.

If you tend to apply too much pressure on your teeth, it might be better to opt for a soft-bristle manual toothbrush. If you can’t seem to brush your teeth for long enough each time, an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer might be more beneficial for you.

Regardless of the toothbrush you choose, it’s important that you brush properly.

To brush your teeth for optimal oral health:

  • Brush twice a day
  • Use your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle
  • Brush the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth
  • Use circular motions, up-and-down motions, and back-and-forth motions
  • Brush for 2 minutes each time

While many studies have shown electric toothbrushes to be more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, many have also shown manual and electric toothbrushes to be equally effective at maintaining optimal gum and dental health. It’s the cleaning habits you create with your toothbrush that really matter.

Choose from a list of manual toothbrushes or powered toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure that your toothbrush is safe and effective at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis.

If you’re due for periodontal maintenance, you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity in your gums, or you’re ready to make your next appointment with us, reach out to us today!

As an affordable periodontist in New Port Richey and Tampa, we provide periodontal treatment, periodontal regeneration surgery, periodontal pocket reduction surgery and more.


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Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrush for Gum Health | Periodontal Health Center (2024)


Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrush for Gum Health | Periodontal Health Center? ›

While many studies have shown electric toothbrushes to be more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes, many have also shown manual and electric toothbrushes to be equally effective at maintaining optimal gum and dental health. It's the cleaning habits you create with your toothbrush that really matter.

Is a manual or electric toothbrush better for gum recession? ›

Electric toothbrushes are generally considered safer for gums. In addition, soft bristles are recommended over hard bristles, regardless of toothbrush type. As aggressive brushing can lead to gum recession, an electric toothbrush with better, soft bristles can be superior for gum health.

Is it better to use an electric toothbrush with gum disease? ›

If you are suffering from receding gums, using an electric toothbrush can be a great way to help improve your gum health. They help remove plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums, which can help reverse receding gums.

What does the ADA say about electric vs manual toothbrush? ›

The American Dental Association (ADA) confirms that manual and electric toothbrushes are effective. For general oral health, a manual toothbrush with soft bristles is recommended by the ADA. Examples include the Colgate 360 Toothbrush which has soft tapered bristles and soft rubber polishing cups.

Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes vs manual? ›

"The better your oral care routine is, the less treatment you'll end up needing." Dentists agree that overall, electric toothbrushes are superior to manual ones. "Because electric brushes have a rotation, they essentially force the toothpaste in more difficult-to-reach areas, which is where cavities start," says Dr.

What is the best toothbrush for receding gums? ›

For complete protection, I'd recommend buying Oral B Sensi Ultra-Thin brush heads. These are even more gentle on gums, but still tough on plaque. The golden combination of the Oral B Pro 2 pressure sensor and the Sensi Ultra-Thin bristles means real protection with your toothbrush for receding gums.

What is the new technique for gum recession? ›

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation® is performed by making small holes with a needle in the gum tissue. Using specially designed instruments, the gum tissue is loosened and guided over the receded part of the tooth.

What toothbrush should I use for gum disease? ›

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are generally recommended for those with receding gums or gingivitis because they are gentler and less likely to contribute to further recession. However, it's important to note that proper brushing technique is just as crucial as the bristle type.

Can receding gums grow back? ›

The simple answer is, no. If your gums are damaged by, for example periodontitis, the most severe form of gum disease, it's not possible for receding gums to grow back. However, even though receding gums can't be reversed there are treatments that can help to stop the problem from getting worse.

Do doctors recommend electric toothbrush? ›

Dental Professional Recommendations

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using an electric toothbrush – or a manual one that has the ADA Seal of Approval – for all children as soon as their first tooth erupts.

What is the disadvantage of using an electric toothbrush? ›

The Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

Higher Cost- Battery-powered toothbrushes are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. They also require replacement heads, which can be quite pricey. Higher Risk of Damage- Because of their electronics, they are at a higher risk of damage if dropped or falling in the water.

Do studies say electric or manual toothbrush is better? ›

They found that sonic toothbrushes reduce the signs of periodontal disease and the number of teeth lost. Other studies have concluded that electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones at removing plaque, one of the main culprits of cavities and gum disease.

Which is more effective manual or electric toothbrush? ›

A 2021 meta-analysis of 28 studies provided further evidence that powered toothbrushes seem to have a slight edge over manual ones when it comes to plaque removal.

Is manual or electric toothbrush better for gum recession? ›

Electric toothbrushes have a considerable advantage over their manual counterparts. Other than being more effective at plaque removal, power toothbrushes are the best types of toothbrushes for gum recession. When used properly, a power toothbrush is safer on the gums and tooth enamel.

Can an electric toothbrush remove tartar? ›

Also, consider using an electric toothbrush as it can clean your teeth more efficiently and may help loosen and remove tartar.

Which is better, oral B or Sonicare? ›

Nearly equal. Oral B works by oscillating and rotating while Sonicare vibrates. Both are equally effective as long as vibrations/oscillations occur at 31,000+ vibrations/oscillations per minute.

What is the best toothbrush method for recession? ›

Charter Technique. Your dentist may recommend the Charter method if you have spaces between your teeth, gum recession, exposed roots, or have had periodontal surgery. Charter is also useful if you have orthodontic appliances or fixed partial dentures.

How to brush teeth to avoid gum recession? ›

Don't brush roughly when trying to get all the grub and plaque away. Instead, massage your brush into your teeth with gentle pressure, moving slowly and methodically around your teeth. Use short motions, about one tooth wide, to reduce the friction on your gums.

Is a soft or hard toothbrush better for receding gums? ›

You can prevent receding gums by practicing good oral hygiene and brushing techniques and by using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Is an oral-B electric toothbrush good for receding gums? ›

When looking for the best toothbrush for your gums, consider switching to an electric toothbrush. Research has shown that brushing with an electric toothbrush, like the Oral-B iO Series 9, can maintain gum health and prevent tooth loss.

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