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Manual vs Electric Toothbrushes – Which is Better?

By November 27, 2015December 1st, 2022No Comments

In the lifelong battle of mankind against tooth decay, our most effective weapon is the humble toothbrush. Odds are good that there isn’t a single thing you own that does more good for your health on a regular basis than your toothbrush. But are you using the right one? For something that is so essential to living a healthy life, many people don’t put a lot of thought into what kind of brush they use. The market offers all kinds of manual and electric toothbrushes, and both kinds of brushes have their benefits and downsides.

At Imagine Dental, we think the most important thing you can do for yourself is to brush your teeth and brush them RIGHT. Part of good dental hygiene is using the right tools to keep yourself clean and healthy. The next time you need a toothbrush, consider the pros and cons of electric and manual toothbrushes so you can pick the one that’s best for you.

Manual Toothbrush Benefits


Manual toothbrushes come in a much larger variety than the electric version. You can get them with soft, medium or hard bristles. The heads of the brush come in small, standard and larger sizes and can be tapered or angled. Electric toothbrushes don’t offer the same diversity in bristle and brush head sizes.


Electric toothbrushes have tightly compacted bristles, making it harder for them to manoeuvre around in your mouth. Manual toothbrushes have flexible bristles, which can bend far enough back to reach those teeth hiding in the back.

Tongue Cleaning

Manual toothbrushes do a much better job of cleaning your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. The circular heads on electric toothbrushes don’t work very well on tongues. Some electric toothbrushes do come with tongue cleaners, though, so the technology is improving on that front.

Travel Ready

You don’t have to worry about charging a manual toothbrush. You can pack it and take it anywhere with you, ready to use at a moment’s notice. The same cannot be said for electric toothbrushes.

Pressure Sensitivity

It’s much easier to get a sense of how pressure you’re putting on your teeth and gums when using a manual brush. This can be very important because too much pressure can wear down your tooth enamel and lead to increased sensitivity, pain and risk of tooth decay.

Availability and Cost

Manual toothbrushes are much cheaper than their electric counterparts. They don’t need chargers or bits to replace or repair. Replacing one is as easy as going to a convenience store, and only costs a couple of dollars.

Electric Toothbrush Benefits

User Friendly

Electric toothbrushes are great for people with limited manual dexterity. People with arthritis, the elderly and those with impaired motor functioning often find that the electric brush does a better job cleaning their teeth than manual brushes.

Plaque Removal

Electric toothbrushes with rotating-oscillating bristles are very effective at removing plaque and combating gum disease. Since the bristles can rotate in multiple directions, they can be more effective than manual brushes that can only clean in one direction. When it comes to reducing the risk of gingivitis and other forms of gum disease, they have a clear advantage.

Automatic Timer

Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Knowing how long you’ve been brushing is a breeze with electric toothbrushes, since most brushes come with an automatic timer. You won’t have to keep track of your brushing time because the brush will tell you when to stop.


While electric toothbrushes are more expensive, you do get what you pay for. An electric toothbrush that is properly cared for can last for years and be an effective dental health tool (provided you stay on top of changing the brush bristles). You may go through dozens of manual toothbrushes over the course of a few years, whereas you’ll only need to own one electric toothbrush.

Want to learn more about manual vs electric toothbrush benefits? Schedule an appointment at Imagine Dental by calling 480-893-7733. Our dentists can give you the knowledge and tools you need to improve your dental health and keep your smile bright and clean for years to come.

Imagine Dental

The Imagine Dental team of professionals have decades of combined experience between them, they understand that people go to a dentist because they need to, not necessarily because they want to. With that in mind, our team of specialists try to make sure every procedure is as pain free and as quick as possible.

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