Electric VS Manual Toothbrushes (2024)

In Homecare February 10, 2021

A toothbrush is essential for your oral hygiene as part of maintaining your oral health, be it manual or electric. The debate about which of the two is a better toothbrush can make it hard to choose the right toothbrush.

Although both toothbrushes can effectively eradicate the plaque responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, each toothbrush has its unique benefits and disadvantages. It is a good idea to do your research in order to enjoy maximum benefits. Read on to find out the pros and cons of electric and manual toothbrushes to help you make an informed choice.

Electric Toothbrush Pros

Electric toothbrushes either vibrate or oscillate to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. Here are the advantages of electric toothbrushes:

  • Highly Effective at Removing Plaque: According to research, electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. Oscillating toothbrushes are especially good at removing plaque compared to their vibrating counterparts.
  • Perfect for People with Limited Mobility: If you suffer from conditions like arthritis or developmental disabilities, an electric toothbrush is ideal. You don’t have to strain to brush your teeth as the toothbrush does most of the work for you. They are also easier to use for kids.
  • They Come with Timers: You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes to achieve a proper clean. Electric toothbrushes come with timers that tell you how long you should clean every section of your mouth. This allows you to attend to every part of your mouth long enough to get rid of plaque.
  • Variety: Electric toothbrushes come in two types, the ones with a replaceable head and those for single use. Toothbrushes with a replaceable head mean you don’t have to dispose of the entire toothbrush, leading to less waste. Kids’ toothbrushes come in a wide range of colors and shapes, while others even play music when the timer goes off.

Generally, an electric toothbrush is much more beneficial compared to a manual toothbrush. It also enhances the overall experience of brushing your teeth and can help you become more focused.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

Despite the numerous benefits of electric toothbrushes, they also have their downsides. One of the main disadvantages of electric toothbrushes is the cost. They are more expensive compared to manual toothbrushes, making them less accessible to everyone.

Electric toothbrushes are also fragile and require a lot of care to prevent damage. Although you have to charge them, overcharging, dropping, or damaging the batteries can mean the end of your electric toothbrush. It may also be cumbersome having to charge them regularly as you can easily forget.

Manual Toothbrush Pros

Manual toothbrushes are the most common type of toothbrushes. Below are the benefits of using a manual toothbrush.

  • Affordable: Manual toothbrushes are highly affordable and readily available. You also don’t have to buy separate parts as in the case of replaceable electric toothbrushes. You can always get a free toothbrush at the dentist during your biannual dental checkup.
  • No Charging: You only need your toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your teeth. There is no need for extra accessories like batteries or chargers. Manual toothbrushes are ideal for travelers as you can use them whenever you need to.
  • Variety: Manual toothbrushes come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. The bristles also vary in softness. You have numerous options to choose from, and you can easily find the right toothbrush for you.

With the right technique, you can effectively clean your teeth and prevent tooth decay and gum disease while using a manual toothbrush.

Manual Toothbrush Cons

Despite the affordability of manual toothbrushes, they also have their disadvantages. Manual toothbrushes require more effort than electric toothbrushes to create the motion necessary for a proper clean. Since a manual toothbrush requires effort, it may not be ideal for people with mobility challenges.

Since manual toothbrushes don’t have timers, you have to time your brushing yourself to avoid brushing less than the necessary time. With a manual toothbrush, you also run the risk of brushing too hard, which may damage your teeth and gums.

When to Replace Your Toothbrush

Replacing your toothbrush ensures minimal bacteria buildup and ensures that you only use it while the bristles are still functional. It is advisable to replace your toothbrush every three months. If you are sick, you should replace it more often to prevent the build-up of bacteria and re-infection

Also, consider getting a new brush if you notice that your bristles are frayed, as it makes your toothbrush ineffective. For an electric toothbrush, you may only have to replace the head instead of the entire toothbrush.

The Bottom Line

The choice of toothbrush boils down to personal preference. However, the above information can help you make the right decision depending on your needs. Note that both toothbrushes are highly effective in maintaining your oral hygiene if you use them correctly.

The post Electric VS Manual Toothbrushes first appeared on Dental Signal.



Electric VS Manual Toothbrushes (2024)


Electric VS Manual Toothbrushes? ›

A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes do decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. After three months of use, plaque was reduced by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. Oscillating (rotating) toothbrushes seem to work better than just vibrating toothbrushes.

Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a manual? ›

A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes do remove more plaque and decrease gingivitis (gum disease) than manual toothbrushes compared with a manual toothbrush.

What are the disadvantages of an electric toothbrush? ›

They are more expensive compared to manual toothbrushes, making them less accessible to everyone. Electric toothbrushes are also fragile and require a lot of care to prevent damage. Although you have to charge them, overcharging, dropping, or damaging the batteries can mean the end of your electric toothbrush.

Do dentists prefer electric toothbrushes? ›

Because it does all the work, a powered toothbrush is better at removing plaque. It is also a better option for smokers who want to prevent staining. Children who are not fond of brushing their teeth often find powered toothbrushes to be fun.

Is it worth switching to electric toothbrush? ›

Electric toothbrushes are worth the investment because they take the guesswork out of brushing your teeth and do much of the "heavy lifting" for you. Many also provide beneficial tools like a timer, Bluetooth capabilities, alerts to protect your gums if you're brushing too hard, and other helpful features.

Do you really need an electric toothbrush? ›

Studies show that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes do, which can help prevent cavities and gum disease.

Do you brush your teeth differently with an electric toothbrush? ›

When using an electric toothbrush it is not necessary to press hard or scrub while brushing. Instead, gently guide the brush along as it scrubs.

Is it OK to use electric toothbrush everyday? ›

Absolutely! Using an electric toothbrush every day is generally recommended and can be beneficial for maintaining good oral hygiene. The consistent use of an electric toothbrush helps remove plaque effectively, reaches difficult-to-reach areas, and promotes better overall cleaning compared to manual brushing.

What are the cons of manual toothbrushes? ›

Manual vs. electric toothbrush
Manual toothbrush
SafetyCan be hard on gums if someone brushes too forcefully or uses bristles that are too hard
Need to be replacedReplace the whole toothbrush every 2-3 months
Who may benefit mostPeople in need of a portable, inexpensive toothbrush
SustainabilityGenerates plastic waste
3 more rows
Aug 9, 2023

Is my electric toothbrush damaging my gums? ›

Scrubbing back and forth with an electric toothbrush can irritate and wear away at your gums over time, resulting in receding gums. Instead, simply guide your toothbrush along your teeth at a 45 degree angle to your gums – the ideal angle for sweeping away plaque from the gum line.

Is oral B or Sonicare better? ›

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 downside of a sonic toothbrush? ›

However sonic brushes do have one major drawback; they tend to be quite expensive compared to both manual and electric versions making them cost-prohibitive for some users with tighter budgets who still want a quality brush for cleaning their teeth thoroughly each day!

Are electric toothbrushes too harsh on teeth? ›

While enamel is extremely hard and durable, an electric toothbrush used with excessive force can cause the enamel to wear away. This leaves the tooth without protection and can cause issues such as sensitivity and an increased risk of cavities.

Which is better, a manual or an electric toothbrush? ›

Removes more plaque –electric toothbrushes remove up to 70% more plaque than manual toothbrushes in hard-to-reach places*. Good for your gums – an 11-year study of electric vs. manual toothbrush use found that electric toothbrushes resulted in 22% less gum recession.

Do more expensive electric toothbrushes make a difference? ›

Generally, expensive electric toothbrushes are designed with better build quality and more durable materials, which can contribute to a longer lifespan compared to cheaper models. They may also come with better warranties and customer support.

Do electric toothbrushes make teeth whiter? ›

Electric toothbrushes remove surface stains from teeth more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Oscillating electric toothbrushes are generally the best for teeth whitening compared to sonic-powered toothbrushes.

Which is better rotating or vibrating toothbrushes? ›

Electric rotating-oscillating toothbrushes come with lower power than sonic toothbrushes, but due to the rotating head you can find them quite powerful in removing the plaque off your teeth. Sonic toothbrushes, on the other hand, are considered much more effective thanks to the high level of vibrations they provide.

How long should I brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush? ›

You should spend 30 seconds on each section and 2 minutes brushing in total. If your electric brush has a timer, that's even better, since you'll get a full and even clean every time. Hold your brush perpendicular to the tooth, engaging the gumline.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated:

Views: 6184

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.