Should I Use a Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

June 29, 2018

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile. However, it can be tricky to navigate the toothbrush world. Should you use a manual or electric brush?

The good news is, you are the one who gets to decide! Electric and manual brushes both have positive and negative points, so it’s up to you to select the option that fits better into your life. Check out our pros and cons list to help narrow down your selection.

Electric Toothbrush


Easier to Use: Electric toothbrushes don’t require as much effort to use. Simply position it properly, hit the button, and let the brush do the work. This makes this type of brush great for people who have dexterity problems.

May Remove More Plaque: A 2014 study found that electric toothbrushes can remove up to 21% more plaque than manual brushes.


Expensive: Compared to manual toothbrushes, electric brushes cost much more. An electric brush will set you back $20-$200 plus, you’ll need to buy a new brush head every 3-4 months.

Fragile: If you drop your electric brush, it’s very likely that it will be destroyed. This is very unfortunate, considering the hefty price tag.

Clunky: Electric toothbrushes are larger and heavier than manuals. Plus, you will need a charger or extra batteries. This makes the brushes difficult to travel with and takes up extra space in your bathroom.



Inexpensive: You can find a toothbrush for as little as $0.99.

Portable: Manual brushes are light and easy to tuck away in a drawer or cabinet. They don’t take up much space and make travel a breeze.

Get the Same Results with Proper Brushing Technique:  If you brush with proper technique, you can get the same results as you would with an electric brush. That means holding the brush at a 45º degree angle to your gum line and brushing with circular strokes, using back and forth strokes on the backs of your teeth, and holding the brush directly on your chewing surfaces while using circular motions. It also means brushing for at least 2 minutes twice a day.


Requires More Effort to Use Properly: All you need to do with an electric toothbrush is hold your brush at the proper position and let it do the work! With a manual brush, you need to generate all that manpower yourself.

Too Many Varieties Can Make Things Overwhelming: When you purchase a manual toothbrush, you need to choose a brush that works with the size and shape of your mouth, plus you need to select the correct type of bristles. Facing the big wall of brushes to make a selection can be overwhelming.

No Built-In Timer: Electric toothbrushes usually have built in timers, so you know when it’s been 2 minutes, the recommended amount of time to spend brushing. Manuals don’t typically have this feature.

Choose the Brush That’s Best for You

When you choose a toothbrush, there’s really no right or wrong answer. You can make the selection that’s best for you. If you need help deciding, you can always consult your dental hygienist or dentist.

Posted In: Dental Hygiene