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Manual vs. Electric toothbrushes- Which is better

Manual vs. Electric toothbrushes- Which is better

Many people wonder which toothbrush is better: electric or manual? Neither of those two. The correct answer is – practicing proper oral hygiene at home. No toothbrush will help you have healthy teeth if you brush them once a day or improperly.

Brushing your teeth properly a few times a day removes plaque, bacteria, and germs that lead to problems with tooth decay and gingivitis. Manual and electric toothbrushes are both effective but all people have their preferences. Also, there are advantages and disadvantages of electric and manual brushes, so if you are concerned about buying a new brush, you will find our article very useful.

Photo by Henrik Lagercrantz on Unsplash

Effectiveness at removing plaque

The first thing we will discuss is the effectiveness of the toothbrush. The goal of any toothbrush is to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. That’s obvious. But which brush is more efficient in cleaning: manual or electric?

Both are equally effective if you know how to use them properly. However, if you have experience with an electric brush (you haven't just bought it) then studies show that the vibrating and/or rotating nature of the bristles on an electric toothbrush can more effectively dislodge plaque and food particles, preventing damaging buildup on your teeth. Also, electric toothbrushes were shown to be slightly more effective at reducing gingivitis.

Effectiveness at removing plaque winner: a small advantage goes to electric brush.

Affordability and cost

When it comes to affordability and cost manual toothbrush has an advantage. Manual toothbrushes are usually much cheaper and can be found anywhere. No matter where you are, you can always find an ordinary manual toothbrush, while this is not the case with an electric one.

Manual brushes are also much cheaper because they don’t require power cords or anything fancy. So, manual toothbrushes are definitely easier to find and cheaper than electric ones, just make sure to replace your brush every 3-4 months.

Affordability and cost winner: manual toothbrush.

Photo by Ignacio F. on Unsplash


Hmm, what about timing? What if you're in a hurry somewhere or you just don't know if you've brushed your teeth for two minutes as recommended by dentists? If you choose a manual toothbrush prepare to count to 120 sec.

But if you choose an electric toothbrush, you will get rid of your worries forever. Electric toothbrushes have a built-in timer that will make sure you brush your teeth for exactly 2 minutes. If you want to take brushing your teeth to a higher and higher quality level, check Tooletries GoBrush!

Tooletries GoBrush is an ideal travel toothbrush (which you can also use at home) since the head is completely enclosed inside the body when not in use. You won't have to worry about the brush getting damaged or dirty during the trip, and it’s a great alternative to a ziplock bag! GoBrush easily pops open and closes with convenience for each use. It is spring-loaded to pop up or collapse.

Besides, if you use GoBrush in your home bathroom since the head is completely enclosed inside the body when not in use, you can rest assured that it remains clean, dry, and germ-free. Who wouldn't be super excited to have a brush like this? Hurry up and get it along with the best gadgets this season in our fall subscription box! 

Timing winner: electric toothbrush.

Eco-friendly options

If all the people on the planet change their toothbrush once a month, can you imagine how dangerous it is for the environment? The next time you go shopping for your new toothbrush, think about which one is more eco-friendly.

The truth is that, if you only have to replace an electric toothbrush head in many cases, it may be less wasteful than throwing away a manual toothbrush. Switching to an eco-friendly toothbrush is a great thing, but both manual and electric toothbrushes are not completely eco-friendly.

The most eco-friendly toothbrush is a manual toothbrush made of bamboo. Manual bamboo toothbrush is the best option because it minimizes the amount of plastic in the bristles to 38%. These toothbrushes can be 100% recyclable.

Eco-friendly winner: Manual toothbrush made of bamboo.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Better for cleaning your tongue

Cleaning your tongue is equally important as cleaning your teeth. The fact is that you can wash your tongue equally well with a manual and electric brush. However, cleaning your tongue with an electric toothbrush is more comfortable and pleasant because many electric brushes have gum care or massage mode or some special feature.

Better for cleaning your tongue: a small advantage goes to electric toothbrush.

For elder people

Elderly people can use both manual and electric toothbrushes. Still, electric toothbrushes seem to be a better option for them because they do most of the work.

An article published in Public Health Dent has shown that the powered toothbrush was more effective than a regular manual toothbrush in removing plaque and controlling gingivitis. (Fourteen persons aged 68-85 years having moderate gingivitis were included in the study).

Therefore, an electric toothbrush may be a good alternative to the manual toothbrush for this segment of the population, as it does not require any special dexterity to use.

Better for elder people: an electric toothbrush.

For people with orthodontic appliances 

What about people with orthodontic appliances? These people find brushing teeth really challenging due to braces that make brushing difficult. In that case, switching to an electric toothbrush makes life easier and cleans more effectively than a manual brush. If you wear metal braces it’s important to use a high-quality toothbrush or electrical brushes which are great at cleaning removable braces and bite-guards. 

Better for people with orthodontic appliances: an electric toothbrush.

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For kids

If you are worried about which type of brush is ideal for your child, think about the age first. Very young children have a habit of avoiding brushing their teeth or simply do not like the habit. Unfortunately, this usually leads to cavities and early extractions. Choosing the right toothbrush can change their minds!

The advantage of manual brushes, in this case, is that they come in various shapes, sizes, and types. So, if your kid is a fan of some superhero or Disney princess you can easily find a toothbrush inspired by such a topic and make your child interested in teeth brushing! On the other side, electric toothbrushes may be too powerful for small, sensitive teeth and kids won’t know how to use them properly.

As for older children, they may find it easier to keep their teeth clean using a power toothbrush! By encouraging older kids to use electric toothbrushes, there is a better chance of them cleaning their teeth effectively.

Better for kids: depends on age.

For whiter teeth 

We would all like to have extremely white teeth and a beautiful smile. That is why we try various products and brushes. But with which brush can we have whiter teeth? An electric brush is certainly more effective than a manual brush in removing surface stains from your teeth. Therefore, an electric brush may also help you to keep your teeth whiter for longer than some manual brush.

Better for whiter teeth: electric toothbrush.

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1 comment

Elaine Harlow

The problem I have with my electric toothbrush is that it becomes dirty on the inside fairly quickly. I take it apart and clean it as well as I can, but can’t reach down into the working mechanism.

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