Manual or Electric- How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Manual or Electric- How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You
manual or electric how to pick the right toothbrush for you

There has been a great debate within the dental industry regarding the superiority of electric toothbrushes and how they compare to the manual ones. Strong opinions are supporting both sides, but there are also clear-cut differences.

Here is what you need to know about both:

Electric Toothbrush

There are two types of technologies used in developing electric toothbrushes: sonic and oscillating.


These toothbrushes use advanced sonic technology, which makes them vibrate at about 30,000 – 40,000 strokes per minute. The brush head vibrates side to side as you clean your teeth. Many manufacturers and dental professionals claim that sonic toothbrushes are effective in pushing water, toothpaste, and saliva into areas where bristles don’t reach. The result is better cleaning. There has been scientific evidence proving that these faster vibrations cause the brush heads to reach areas where others can’t.


These toothbrushes have smaller round heads that oscillate quickly in one direction then turn to the other directions. The vibrations are less than those in sonic toothbrushes, ranging from 2,500 to 7,000 vibrations per minute. While they may not be effective as sonic toothbrushes, they are more effective than manual toothbrushes in removing plaque and preventing gum disease.

The Benefits of Electric Brushes in General

1. Effective in removing plaque

Multiple studies have shown that electric toothbrushes generally reduce more plaque and gingivitis compared to manual toothbrushes. In a study that tested the use of manual and electric toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes reduced plaque by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent. The best to use for lowering plaque is oscillating toothbrushes. 

2. Improve oral health in people with orthodontic appliances

Research conducted on electric toothbrushes confirmed that they were efficient in improving the oral health of people with orthodontic appliancesincluding braces. These toothbrushes made it easier to clean hard to reach tooth surfaces.

3. Best for kids

Most kids aren’t interested in brushing their teeth. Due to the electric toothbrush seeming more fun to use, it can help your kids accomplish good oral health.

Additionally, people are generally more focused when brushing their teeth with an electric toothbrush. It can improve the overall experience, thus improving dental habits.

4. Can be easily used by people who have limited mobility

One significant advantage of electric toothbrushes is that they do most of the work for you. This makes them more convenient and accessible for people with limited mobility, including people with developmental disabilities, arthritis, and carpal tunnel.

They also have built-in timers, which can help people brush their teeth long enough. This helps remove plaque from teeth and gums.

When properly used, electric toothbrushes don’t harm your gums but promote good oral hygiene instead.

The Downsides of Using an Electric Toothbrush

1. They are expensive

As expected, electric toothbrushes cost more than manual ones. The price range is between $15 and $250 per brush. Replacement heads are only available in packs that cost between $10 and $45. One time use toothbrushes are available for between $5 and $8.

Additionally, finding the right replacement brush is not the most straightforward task. Only a few local stores may have them. You can purchase these brushes online, but you might have to wait longer for your product to be delivered. This is not convenient whenever you need a new head right away.

2. Not convenient for travel

Because electric toothbrushes are bulky and require a charger, carrying them can be difficult. You will also face constraints because you cannot brush when the toothbrush is not powered. This means you’d need to have a backup travel toothbrush.

3. Easy to break

You have to be more careful when using this toothbrush because dropping it can be the end of its lifetime.

4. Not for everyone

Not everyone likes the vibrations that come from toothbrushes. This can be due to medical reasons or just the discomfort it causes.

Manual Toothbrush

Manual toothbrushes have been in use for a long time. They are still effective in maintaining proper oral hygiene as long as they are used in the right way. If you have nothing against them, continue using yours twice a day, every day.

Advantages of Using Manual Toothbrushes

1. Affordable and easily available

You can purchase your manual toothbrush from your local store from as low as $1 to $3.

2. Convenient for travel

Because they are not bulky, it is easy to take your manual toothbrush with you whenever you are traveling. With this convenience, you are less likely to have dental care lapses when you are on vacation.

3. Less pressure on gums

Because you feel how much pressure you use to grasp your toothbrush, you avoid putting too much pressure on your gums. The pressure that may be exacted by the electric toothbrush can cause wear on your tooth as well as sensitivity.

4. Wide range of choices

There are multiple toothbrush makes, heads, bristles, and colours from which to choose. If you have soft gums, for instance, you can choose soft bristles. Some brands even make specific sizes for children. You’ll never be short of choices when it comes to manual toothbrushes.

The Downsides of Using a Manual Toothbrush

1. Challenging to practice proper oral hygiene

Unlike electric brushes that have built-in timers, it is difficult to know if your brushing sessions are long enough unless you have a kitchen timer.

Also, it is more likely to brush too hard if you’re using a manual toothbrush. This can hurt your gums.

2. Difficult to use for people with certain disabilities

For proper oral hygiene when using a manual toothbrush, you’d need to practice the proper hand motions and the right brushing techniques. This can be a limitation for people with various disabilities.

Final Verdict

When it comes to dental practices, it’s not about the brush but the user. There might not be any significant benefit of using either a manual or electric toothbrush unless you have special conditions and disabilities. Your choice of toothbrush is down to your preference.

For professional guidance, get in touch with Vellore Woods Dentistry.