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Electric Toothbrush Vs Manual Toothbrush: Which Is Better?

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Author: Hai Le

Updated on March 18, 2024 β€’ Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the single most important thing you can do to maintain good oral health, but have you made the most of each and every brushing session?

Have you ever wondered which is the best toothbrush to brush your teeth? Should you be using an electric toothbrush or stick with a manual one? With so many options available on the market, it can be tough to know which one is better.

Electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes are both effective at cleaning your teeth. However, there are some key differences between the two types of toothbrushes. In this blog post, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes to help you decide which type of toothbrush is best for your individual needs.

The Advantages Of Using Electric Toothbrushes

When it comes to achieving optimal oral health, electric toothbrushes offer a number of advantages over manual toothbrushes, including:

  • Effective Plaque Removal: Electric toothbrushes use a combination of oscillating, rotating, and pulsating motions to effectively clean hard-to-reach areas in your mouth.
  • Easy To Use: Electric toothbrushes are easier to use than manual toothbrushes, especially for people with limited dexterity or hand strength. They also do most of the brushing for you, so you don't need to apply as much pressure.

Additional Features On Some Electric Toothbrushes:

  • Pressure Sensors: This feature helps you avoid brushing too hard, which can damage your teeth and gums.
  • Timers: This feature keeps track of how long you're brushing, which can help you brush for the recommended two minutes, and ensure that you brush all areas of your mouth evenly.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: The feature connected to a smartphone app, which helps you keep track of your brushing progress and gives digital reminders to replace your brush head.

Summary: Electric toothbrushes are generally more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. They are also easier to use and require less proper brushing technique. If you are looking for the most effective way to clean your teeth, an electric toothbrush is a reasonable consideration.

A modern electric toothbrush with it charger on pink background

The Disadvantages Of Using Electric Toothbrushes

While electric toothbrushes offer a number of advantages over manual toothbrushes, there are also disadvantages. Here are some of the things to consider before using an electric toothbrush:

  • Cost: Electric toothbrushes are typically more expensive. The price of an electric-powered toothbrush can go up to 20 times more expensive than a typical manual toothbrush.
  • Maintenance: Electric toothbrushes also require replacing the brush head every few months to ensure effective cleaning. And charging the toothbrush can be problematic, especially if it goes out of battery when you need to brush your teeth right before bed.
  • Battery Life: Electric toothbrushes that are not rechargeable may require frequent battery changes. Which can also be annoying, and you have to take care of the leaching battery.
  • Inconvenience: Electric toothbrushes can get bulky and difficult to travel with compared to a manual toothbrush. And they can be really noisy, which may be uncomfortable for some people.
  • Environmental Impact: Electric toothbrushes have a higher environmental impact than manual toothbrushes due to their electronic components and the need for batteries or recharging.

Summary: Not everything is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of using an electric toothbrush. They often cost more than manual toothbrushes and require more maintenance. They can also be bulky, noisy, and have a higher environmental impact.

Close-up view of a bamboo toothbrush on beige wooden background with little dry flowers

The Advantages Of Using Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have been around for centuries and are still the most popular choice for brushing teeth. While electric toothbrushes offer some advantages, manual toothbrushes also have unique advantages of their own.

  • Less Cost: Manual toothbrushes are much less expensive than electric toothbrushes, making them an affordable option for people on a budget.
  • Less Maintenance: Manual toothbrushes require very little maintenance. Simply replace your toothbrush every 3 months to maximize the toothbrush cleaning capabilities.
  • Travel-Friendly: Manual toothbrushes are lightweight and compact, making them easy to travel with. They are also silent, which makes them ideal for use in shared spaces or at night.
  • Environmental impact: Manual toothbrushes have a lower environmental impact than electric toothbrushes, as they do not require batteries or electronic components.

Tip: Consider switching to a manual bamboo toothbrush to further reduce your environmental impact.

Summary: Manual toothbrushes are way less expensive, and require very little maintenance compared to electric toothbrushes. If you are on a budget or prefer a more natural approach to oral care, a manual toothbrush is the best choice for you.

Little girl holding an electric toothbrush and bamboo toothbrush

The Disadvantages Of Using Manual Toothbrushes

Again, it's important to consider both the pros and cons of each type of toothbrush when deciding on the best toothbrush for your oral care routine. So here are some potential disadvantages of using manual toothbrushes to consider:

  • More Difficult To Use Correctly: It is not manual toothbrushes that are less effective at removing plaque. It just more difficult to use a manual toothbrush correctly than an electric toothbrush.

Tip: Follow these step-by-step guide from the American Dental Association to brush your teeth correctly.

  • Limited Features: Manual toothbrushes don't have the advanced features of electric toothbrushes, such as built-in timers and pressure sensors. These features can help ensure proper brushing duration and prevent the use of excessive force.
  • More Time Consuming: Manual toothbrushes require more manual effort and more attention to detail to ensure that all areas of the mouth are brushed thoroughly.
  • Difficult For Children: Young children may not have the patience or discipline to brush thoroughly, potentially leading to inadequate oral hygiene.

Summary: While manual toothbrushes are widely available and budget-friendly, they may not offer the same level of efficiency and features as electric toothbrushes. Consider your individual needs, preferences, and oral health goals when making your decision.

Quick Takeaway

Electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes are both effective at cleaning your teeth. The best type of toothbrush for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Electric Toothbrushes Advantages:

  • Effective Plaque Removal
  • Easier To Use
  • Advanced Built-In Features


  • Expensive Cost
  • Require Maintenance
  • Require Battery Or Charging
  • Inconvenience For Travel
  • Negative Environmental Impact

Manual Toothbrushes Advantages:

  • More Affordable
  • Less Maintenance
  • Travel-Friendly
  • Less Environmental impact


  • More Difficult To Use Correctly
  • Limited Features
  • More Time Consuming
  • Difficult For Children

Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of toothbrush is right for you is to talk to your dentist. They can assess your individual needs and recommend the best type of toothbrush for you.

Frequently Asked Questions Relate To This Blog:

Question #1: Which type of toothbrush are more effective at cleaning teeth?

Answer: Studies have shown that electric toothbrush are more effective at removing plaque and bacteria than manual toothbrush. However, a manual toothbrush used with the correct brushing technique can still be as effective.

Question #2: Which type of toothbrush are more affordable?

Answer: Manual toothbrushes are typically way more affordable than electric toothbrushes. The price of an electric toothbrush can go up to 20 times more expensive than a manual toothbrush.

Question #3: Which type of toothbrush are better for children to use?

Answer: Electric toothbrushes are easier for children to use, as they do most of the brushing for them. Also, electric toothbrushes often come with timers that help children brush for the recommended two minutes.

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