Manual or Electric Toothbrush?

The word “toothbrush” is pretty much associated with the manual toothbrush. The modern toothbrush as we know it today was invented in the late 1930s. Several updates and upgrades have been added to the toothbrush of that era, but the original concept has never changed. Yet, in the 1990s, electric toothbrushes came to be a popular alternative to the traditional, manual style. Is one of these toothbrushes “better” than the other? Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of the two and find out.

Manual Toothbrush


  • Thoroughly clean teeth with proper brushing technique. Brushing only takes 2 minutes and you can most definitely keep your teeth at a grade A+ level with a manual toothbrush.
  • Multiple toothbrush styles, bristles, heads, and colours to choose from. You have the ability to choose soft bristles if you have sensitive gums, or a smaller head if you have a smaller mouth. Some brands even make special prints on toothbrushes for children. Nevertheless, you’ll never be short of options with manual toothbrushes.
  • Easy to travel with. All you need is a toothbrush case and you’re all set to go for your trip. No need to worry about batteries or charging outlets.
  • No Batteries or charging.
  • Inexpensive and often free whenever you make a trip to your dentist. Keep in mind that you should ditch your toothbrush after about 3 months of use.


  • More work.
  • No timing. Manual toothbrushes require you to guess how long your brushing session will last (unless you set a two-minute timer)

Electric Toothbrush


  • Easy to use. With a powered toothbrush, all you need to do is place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and let the toothbrush do all the work.
  • Less work for better results. Studies have shown that the electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your mouth and removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • More fun to use for children. Children like to take the easy way out on chores. If a child never brushes their teeth because they don’t want to, try having them use an electric toothbrush. It’s less work, it tickles their teeth, and the timer will let them know when they’re all done! It’s a lot easier (and more fun).
  • Built in timer. Electric toothbrushes use a built in timer that stops the toothbrush once two minutes are up; No more guessing!


  • Charging. You’ll either have to charge your toothbrush or replace its batteries.
  • Cost. Electric toothbrushes cost significantly more than a manual toothbrush. There are several types of powered toothbrushes, but be prepared to pay more than you usually do.
  • Not as easy to travel with. Traveling with an electric toothbrush can be a hassle. They are bulky and bringing a charger along doesn’t help with room constraints.
  • Easy to break. Dropping your toothbrush can be fatal. You have to be more careful whenever using an electric toothbrush.

One last thing to point out: there have been a few studies that prove electric toothbrushes remove statistically significant more plaque compared to a manual toothbrush and are better at fighting gum disease. Despite the studies, your oral health will remain healthy (despite which type of toothbrush you use) as long as you consistently take care of your teeth. If you are on the fence about buying a powered toothbrush, talk to your hygienist the next time you come in for a teeth cleaning.

Braeside Dental Centre


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