The Age-Old Question: Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

June 20, 2018

Among the dental community, the electrical vs. manual toothbrush debate is common; which one is actually better for your oral hygiene? The answer is up to you! There are some clear differences among each toothbrush, however, it depends on your preference. The more you like your toothbrush, the more willing you will be to brush longer. It truly comes down to brushing for the adequate amount of time and the American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day.

What brush do you prefer to use for at least 4 minutes a day? In order for you to make the right choice, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision about your oral health:

Electric Toothbrush


Easy to Use: An electric toothbrush makes brushing fun and easy! With a variety of head and bristle options you will be sure to get excited about keeping your teeth sparkling. Since an electric toothbrush does most of the work for you, you won’t have to worry about tiring out your hand. All you need to do is make sure to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle with your gums to ensure proper cleaning. Those who struggle with dexterity problems such as children, disabled, or elderly find this option desirable.

Plaque No More: According to a study published in 2015, electric toothbrushes remove 21% more plaque than manual brushes due to the oscillating and vibrating features that are offered.

Traditional Braces: Those with braces may enjoy using an electric toothbrush. The vibrating bristles can make it easier for the user to reach and clean between wires so that plaque buildup does not occur.


Expensive: The cost of an electric toothbrush can vary between $20 to $200 dollars- not including the maintenance of purchasing brush heads every 3-4 months. Unfortunately, dentists will not supply you with those items at your 6-month checkup!

Delicate: Your electric toothbrush may survive a fall, but like any piece of machinery, breakdowns are prone to happen. This can be an unexpected and costly inconvenience!

Bulky: If you’re an avid traveler, then you’ll understand the importance of practical packing. Electric toothbrushes are heavy, require batteries, a charger, and ultimately take up more space in your life.

Manual Toothbrush


In the Budget: Manual toothbrushes can cost as little as a buck. Plus, your dentist will often upgrade your brush with each visit!

Transportable: Manual brushes take up little space in your bathroom. No need for a charger or batteries! If you are on the go, a manual brush would be easier to bring along.

Same Results: As long as you are following the American Dental Associations recommendations, you will receive the same benefits as you would with an electric brush.


More Work: Unlike an electric brush, a manual one takes a bit more effort as you will need to mimic a circular and back and forth motion to clean your teeth.

Decisions, Decisions: With all the varieties out there, it can be overwhelming to decide on a manual toothbrush.

Timing: Electrical toothbrushes often come with a built-in timer which can help you reach your 2-minute goal each time you brush! With a manual brush, you will need to use another device in order to make sure you’re hitting you’re that 2-minute mark!

The Choice is Yours!

Now that you have all of the right information, you can decide which brush makes sense to you.