Lancaster Dental

Healthy Smiles for the Whole Family

Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush

Your toothbrush is one of the most important things to protect your teeth from plaque and cavities. Without a good toothbrush, you might not take care of your teeth as well, which hurts your overall health.
The question is: Should you keep using a regular toothbrush or buy an electric one?

Although both toothbrushes can eliminate the plaque that causes cavities and periodontal disease, each toothbrush has its advantages and disadvantages.

Read this article to find out the pros and cons of electric and manual toothbrushes to make a knowledgeable decision.

Electric Toothbrush Pros

1. More useful for removing plaque

A review of studies showed that, in general, electric toothbrushes are more efficient at keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. After three months of use, it gets rid of 21% more plaque and 11% more gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. It seems like oscillating toothbrushes work better than vibrating toothbrushes.

Plus, some electric toothbrush has a timer built into them that helps you brush your teeth long enough to sufficiently remove plaque from your teeth and gums.

2. Perfect for People with Limited Mobility and children 

Most of the work is done for you by an electric toothbrush. So people with limited mobility may find them useful, like those with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or developmental disabilities.

Kids find it easier to use toothbrushes that are powered by batteries. Some people even say that they are more fun to use because they come in many different sizes and shapes. Some models even play music to let you know when to change sides or stop.

3. reduce water waste

According to the British Dental Journal research, electric toothbrushes consume less water than manual toothbrushes when brushing teeth.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

1. Having difficulty finding new heads

Some manufacturers provide brushes and heads that are exclusive to each other and cannot be purchased from any other source. So it may not always be simple to get replacement brush heads.

You can purchase them online. However, this is not the best solution if you need a replacement head immediately.

2. Extra Gadgets

It takes up extra room in your bathroom cabinet or suitcase when you travel with an electronic brush. You have to pack your toothbrush, charger, additional batteries, and new brush heads if you travel frequently.

3. Hard to Adapt To

The vibrating sensation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Furthermore, the increased salivation caused by electric toothbrushes may result in a messy mouth.

Most people get used to it, but some cannot and refuse to use an electric toothbrush because of it.

Manual Toothbrush Pros

1. Accessible

Most grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies sell manual toothbrushes. To clean your teeth, you only need a toothbrush and toothpaste.

You don’t need extra things like batteries or chargers. Manual toothbrushes are great for people who travel because they can be used at any time.

2. inexpensive

Manual toothbrushes are highly affordable for everyone. You also don’t have to buy separate parts, as in the case of electric toothbrushes.

3. Sustainable

According to a study published in the British Dental Journal in 2020, the most environmentally friendly options for toothbrushes are manual brushes with detachable heads and bamboo toothbrushes.

Manual Toothbrush Cons 

1. more effort to clean teeth

With a manual toothbrush, you will have to work a little to make the circular and back-and-forth motions needed to properly clean your teeth and gums.

People with mobility challenges might not be able to use a manual toothbrush well.

2. No Timer

Most people only clean their teeth for 45 seconds on average. Unlike many electric brushes, manual brushes don’t have a timer, making it hard to know when the job is done.

Consider placing a kitchen timer in your bathroom to time your brushing sessions.

3. Harsh On Gums

people who use manual brushes tend to brush harder than those who use electric, which can cause gum abrasion.


The best toothbrush for you is the one you like best. If you use the right technique and brush long enough, you can clean your teeth effectively with an electric or a manual toothbrush.

Consult your dentist if you are still unsure what kind of brush would be best for your teeth.