Manual Brushing vs Electric Toothbrush – Pros and Cons

By Ted Gerner | May 2, 2019

The first thing you should decide on when you are looking for a new toothbrush is about the type of toothbrush you are going to get – manual or powered.

To ensure that you will make the best choice now I will shortly describe best electric toothbrush pros and cons.

There are dozens of rechargeable electric and manual models available on the market, packed with all the bells and whistles you can imagine. And every manufacturer is claiming that he has the best brush on the market.

It is so easy to get lost when you are shopping for such a simple thing as a new toothbrush.

Deciding whether to buy a manual or electrical model basically comes down to what you desire as far as comfort and convenience go.

Whatever dental care tool that you decide to buy remember that using your tool is what counts. Yes, the best toothbrush that you can buy is the one that you will actually use. Again. And again. Every day. That’s it. It’s really that simple. While both powered and regular brushes have some advantages, and drawbacks, the bottom line is which one you will use. At least twice a day for two minutes.automatic and regular toothbrush

If you still are not sure which type you would use the most, below you can read about advantages and drawbacks of both:

Manual Brushing Advantages and Disadvantages



  • Inexpensive – $1 to $7 depending on design and manufacturer
  • Usually, have an easy grip handle
  • Easy to pack when traveling


  • No built-in timer – you have to guess when two minutes are up
  • Difficult to reach and clean the back teeth
  • Takes a lot more effort to clean the teeth
  • Difficult to apply the exact amount of pressure to teeth and gums
  • Awkward for some people to hold onto firmly, especially for people with health problems like arthritis

Pros and Cons of Electric Toothbrush


  • Some models have a built-in timer that lets you know when you have brushed for recommended two minutes
  • Power toothbrushes can have pressure sensors to keep you from over-brushing your teeth and gums
  • Usually, many different size brush heads available
  • Clean better as they brush faster than a man can ever do with a manual brush and can get into places in your mouth that an ordinary brush cannot
  • Usually, have larger ergonomic handles which are easier to use for people with pain in their hands and arms.
  • Children usually love electric toothbrushes for kids


  • Can be quite expensive, ranging from $10 to $300+ depending on features and brand
  • Require regular charging or battery replacement
  • Can be used as long as the (usually irreplaceable) battery wears out which is several years

If you want to learn more about power toothbrushes, check out our list of best electric toothbrushes or explore the product lines of OralB and Philips.