Manual or Electric Toothbrush: Which One is Better?

manual and electric toothbrush

You must be already familiar with the fact that toothbrushing is an essential component of your oral hygiene. They are of two kinds, electric toothbrush and manual.

Both of these have their own set of benefits and disadvantages.

However, the job of a toothbrush is to effectively remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth in order to keep it clean.

That is exactly where you need to decide which suits your mouth and oral health needs.

This article discusses which is a better option electric or manual toothbrushes.

Keep reading to know which should you buy on your next visit to the mart.

choose electric toothbrush or manual

What Should You Look For in a Manual and Electric ToothBrush?

Either it is an electric or manual brush you need to look for a few basic things in both of them.

First, about the head size. Make sure that you do not pick a brush that is too big for your mouth.

A smaller toothbrush head easily reaches all across the mouth and covers all teeth.

Whereas a big one may miss out on some areas that are difficult to reach and hence, cause plaque and tartar.

Speaking of plaque, it is better to go for slightly tapered bristles as they remove plaque more effectively than flat ones.

Secondly, whatever brush you pick, you should make sure that it has soft bristles.

Hard brushes will not brush your teeth and gums more rigorously but they will cause damage to your enamel and teeth in general.

That said, you should also not brush your teeth hardly.

While in manual brushes you, yourself decide the pressure that you exert on your teeth, electric ones have a pressure sensor.

This lets you know when you are exerting too much pressure and stops the bristles by moving to alert you.

Moreover, a powered brush also has a time sensor that allows you to brush consistently for 2 minutes.

This is especially useful for younger kids and people who brush in haste.

What’s more, is that some of them also have quadrant timers that will alert you every 30 seconds to now move on to another section of your teeth.

Also, look out for other cleaning modes such as whitening, tongue cleaning, sensitivity and deep cleaning brushing mode in a powered brush.

Furthermore, look for the type of brush when choosing a powered one:

  • A rotation oscillation brush is a popular choice. It breaks plaque by rotating and oscillating. It can make 7500 strokes in a minute.
  • Other options include a sonic toothbrush that goes side to side, the ionic brush that attracts plaque and the ultrasonic brush that also vibrates speedily from side to side.

Now, that you know what you should look for in a toothbrush, let’s look at the pros and cons of each type.

manual brushes

Pros and Cons of Manual Brushes

Manual brushes exist for a very long time and have effectively removed plaque from the mouth.

However, their advantages and benefits may well be lesser than those of powered ones.

They are Readily Available

You do not need to wait or go into an extensive search for a manual brush.

It is probably available at your nearby store or also a medical store.

You will not find it hard to find however, the same cannot be said for powered ones.

Therefore, if you need a manual brush for a trip then you can easily get it in your destination and will not have to worry about finding an exact match.

They Are Cheap 

Compared to their counterpart, manual brushes are way more affordable.

They are extremely cheap and if they remove plaque effectively then you do not need to spend a fortune on toothbrushes.

Their Small Size Makes Them Portable 

You can easily carry them anywhere because of their size.

It could easily fit anywhere plus, you do not need power for it to work.

Huge Variety 

There is a great variety of brushes.

You can choose from whatever you like, either it is a red brush or a blue.

Moreover, you can choose the head size, styles, and color according to your needs and liking.

Eco-Friendly Options

While regular brushes are made of plastics and that isn’t eco-friendly, there are other eco-friendly options available.

These include bamboo brushes, those made from wood that can reduce plastic wastage in this critical time.


Though, manual brushes do not clean plaque as well as powered ones.

They do clean up bacteria and plaque from your mouth but if we compare the effectiveness, then electric ones work better in this aspect.

That is usually because of its large head size that doesn’t reach every area of the mouth.

Moreover, if you use a manual brush then you are likely to brush harder and not for complete 2 minutes.

This will damage your teeth over time when you should brush gently in circular motions.

Moreover, it is not the best choice for people with diseases such as Arthritis or Parkinson’s disease who may not be able to hold the brush properly.

You need to pay more attention that you brush gently in soft circular motions when using a regular toothbrush.

Moreover, in order to remove plaque, you will have to avoid mistakes while brushing teeth and continue flossing.

electric toothbrushes advanatages

Electric Toothbrush Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several electric toothbrush benefits such as:

  • They are really good at removing plaque. A powered brush can decrease the chances of gingivitis by 11 percent. Moreover, it can decrease plaque by 21 percent.
  • The minute timer can allow you to brush thoroughly for 2 minutes. This is especially useful for kids who may stop brushing before the 2-minute mark. Moreover, quadrant timers can alert you to change the position after 30 seconds.
  • They rotate, vibrate and oscillate hence, they are a better choice for people wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances. It can reach the hard areas where your manual brush can’t.
  • Since they have a pressure sensor, they do not cause any harm to the gums and teeth generally. In fact, they improve oral health and gum health.
  • It is better for people with medical conditions, limited mobility, and disabilities. These include scleroderma( a condition that results in mouth tightness), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and people with developmental disabilities.
  • You only need to replace the brush head rather than the entire toothbrush every 3 months. This causes less plastic pollution.
  • It is more interesting for kids and can make brushing a fun activity for them.
  • The difference in the speed helps expert less pressure for people who suffer from sensitive teeth.
  • They are advancing rapidly. New ones are also using Artificial Intelligence to figure out which teeth you did not brush properly. Hence, they are a product to look out for.

woman brushing teeth

Disadvantages of Electric Toothbrush

While powered brushes have many more advantages and pros, they do have some cons too.

First and foremost these are costly. Compared to their counterpart, the manual toothbrush, these are quite expensive.

Moreover, their brush heads need changing after every 3 months so that adds the cost too.

Though, these brush heads are not readily available everywhere.

Hence, it is also a challenge to find them in stores readily.

Furthermore, they are not as eco-friendly. They use a lot of power, batteries and electricity.

Hence, in this matter, manual brushes are better.

Furthermore, they stimulate more saliva in your mouth which you may dislike.

You may also dislike the vibrating feeling.

Moreover, these are not travel-friendly as you cannot have an alternative or power readily available everywhere you travel.

Hence, it isn’t portable and will need a travel case.

While these are important cons, the pros definitely outweigh them.

kids brushing in washroom

What’s Better for Kids?

Your children undergo different stages of growth.

Their teeth also grow from baby teeth to permanent teeth.

In the meanwhile, they also lose teeth and are susceptible to developing tooth cavities.

Hence, it is very important to take good care of their oral health as this can damage their adult teeth.

Parents need to instill habits of brushing, flossing (using dental floss or water flosser) and using a mouthwash by carrying out these routine activities with them.

A child is able to brush on their own when they can tie their laces themselves, before that, you should supervise them.

The best toothbrush for your child is the one they like.

Let them experiment with both electric and manual toothbrushes and choose for themselves.

Certain features of a powered toothbrush may make it more appealing to kids. These include:

*Music playing to keep them engaged

*The motion of the brush

*The characters on the brush

Children can also clean their teeth better with an electric one as the brush does most of the cleaning itself.

Moreover, it might be easier to grip and will allow them to brush for full 2 seconds.

However, it isn’t certain that they actually like it.

It is possible to get irritated by the sound of the vibration and motion.

Plus, they may find brushing back and forth with a manual brush more fun, which also comes with interesting characters.

Hence, let your child choose what they like best but monitor if they are brushing properly using either option.

Final Verdict 

Manual and electric toothbrushes cater to different people and their different needs.

However, when it comes to cleaning then electric toothbrush should be hands down your first choice.

Invest in a good powered brush and it will save you several inconveniences in the future.

Though as long as you brush properly, even manual ones will do the job.






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