Dental Blog

What’s Your Perfect Toothbrush: Electric v. Manual Toothbrushes

Thursday, January 24, 2019
toothbrush-electric-manual-toothpaste-teeth

Photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash

On today’s blog, we’re settling the great debate between electric versus manual toothbrushes. Okay, that last sentence was a bit of an exaggeration. But there are lots of differences you between the two that have significance when it comes to your oral health. We’re sharing the pros and cons to each model, so you can tell us at the end of the blog if you’re Team Electric or Team Manual.

Electric Toothbrushes

Pro #1- Compared to manual toothbrushes, electric or “power” toothbrushes are proven to be more effective in reducing the amount of plaque and gingivitis on teeth. The motors rotating or vibrating the toothbrush heads help maximize micro-movements to clean teeth.

Pro #2- Electric toothbrushes minimize the need for proper brushing techniques. This option is ideal for people with carpal tunnel, arthritis and developmental disabilities.

Pro #3- Many toothbrushes have built-in timers, ensuring that you brush for a full two minutes. These are great options for kids who try to speed up teeth brushing routines.

Pro #4- Electrically powered toothbrushes are particularly helpful for people with braces or orthodontic appliances. Micro-movements powered by the toothbrush help clean leftover food, bacteria and plaque in between teeth and around the appliances.

Con #1- The upfront cost of an electric toothbrush can be pretty significant depending on the brand and model. Prices for electric toothbrushes begin at $40 and can be as expensive at $150.

Con #2- If the price of the toothbrush itself is enough to give you sticker shock, there are additional costs for electric toothbrushes which include replacement heads and batteries that are often specific to certain models.

Con #3- Electric toothbrushes are not ideal for traveling. They’re pretty bulky, which means they’ll take up a bit of room in your suitcases. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll definitely want to have a manual toothbrush exclusively for travel or a strategic packing plan.

Manual Toothbrushes

Pro #1- Probably the most attractive aspect of manual toothbrushes is their cost. They’re fairly inexpensive compared to electric models. Most drugstores carry toothbrushes for under $5. Even with the recommended replacement rate of 3-4 months, we’re talking approximately $20 per year.

Pro #2- Unlike electric toothbrushes that require replacement parts from time to time like batteries or brush heads, the manual toothbrush is a no-frills alternative. After three to four months of use, simply toss and purchase a new one.

Con #1- Because manual toothbrushes do not rely on technology to do the job, you will not find conveniences built-in timers on manual toothbrushes. So you’ll have to be extra diligent about brushing for a full two minutes. Will power, baby!

At the end of the day, and with the proper brushing techniques, no toothbrush is better than the other. In laying out the pros and cons, it all comes down to which option will best fit your lifestyle. Hope this has given you some thought when it comes time to purchasing a new toothbrush. And of course, if you have any additional questions about manual versus electric toothbrushes talk to your dentist at your next appointment or even before that!