Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes: Pros & Cons

You should brush your teeth twice everyday for at least two minutes. How you brush your teeth, the frequency and kind of toothbrush and toothpaste you use are important. However, are you confused on whether to use a manual or electric toothbrush? Find out which one is the best for you…

Electric Toothbrushes

These toothbrushes are perfect for people who are “lazy” to brush (don’t worry, we know you’re not!) or have poor mobility due to ailments like arthritis or effects of ageing.

Electronic Tooth Brush


  • Superior plaque removal
  • Have large ergonomic handles that are suitable for people with limited ability to move arms, shoulders and hands
  • Some toothbrushes dispense toothpaste
  • Reduced tendency for toothbrush abrasion since the toothbrush controls all the brushing motions
  • Some toothbrushes have timers which let you know when to stop brushing
  • Others have pressure sensors
  • Some people enjoy the feel and buzzing of the toothbrush


  • The toothbrushes are a bit expensive and require more upfront investment
  • Need charging or battery replacement
  • Can easily breakdown or run out of battery

Manual Toothbrushes

These are the commonest toothbrushes that almost everyone uses.


  • Their handles have a good grip
  • Relatively cheap compared to electric toothbrushes
  • They are easily available; many dentists give away manual toothbrushes and you can also find them at local stores
  • Some have a tongue scraper
  • Portable and easy to travel with
  • There are toothbrushes for everyone including children, teenagers, adults and the aged


  • You have to time yourself for two minutes since the toothbrush has no self timer
  • Some people, especially those suffering from arthritis, may find it difficult to have a firm grip to brush
  • Can sometimes compromise oral hygiene if you do not brush carefully

If you are not sure which toothbrush to use, the points above should help you determine the right brush for your everyday dental care. When buying a toothbrush, think of your comfort and convenience as well as the cleaning ability of the brush. Whichever toothbrush you choose, ensure you replace it after every three months or when the bristles are no longer firm and straight.

Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists

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