Electric toothbrush vs. manual toothbrush

There are many pros and cons for electric and manual toothbrushes. It is important to bear in mind, however, that toothbrushes vary between models and effectiveness of brushing technique varies from person to person.

Electric toothbrush

  • Suitable for those with poor manual dexterity, for example children, the elderly and those suffering from conditions such as arthritis.
  • Often have built in timers or LCD displays to encourage brushing for the recommended two minutes.
  • Electric toothbrushes are generally more expensive, initial cost is higher and brush heads need to be replaced every 3 – 6 months.
  • Replacement brush heads must be specific to the toothbrush.
  • Electric toothbrushes are not suitable for those who have had gum or oral surgery in the previous two months.
  • Electric toothbrushes effectively clean braces and the teeth around them.
  • Less pressure is required so less likely to damage the teeth and gums
  • Batteries need recharging so less suitable when travelling

Manual toothbrush

  • For those with limited dexterity manual toothbrushes can be hard to manoeuvre around the teeth resulting in a less effective clean.
  • As more effort is required and there is no time guidance, you are less likely to brush for two minutes.
  • Manual brushes are relatively inexpensive.
  • There is a wide range of manual toothbrushes and choice of brush size, firmness/ softness of bristles and features such as gum stimulators and tongue scrapers.
  • In many cases manual toothbrushes are suitable following surgery.
  • There are a wide variety of manual orthodontic brushes to ensure a thorough clean, for example TePe interdental brushes and Dr. Fresh orthodontic toothbrushes.
  • More force is needed with manual brushes. Combined with poor brushing technique this could damage the teeth.
  • Convenient for travel.