Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush – Pros and Cons

By Ted Gerner | February 23, 2021

People who suffer from toothache or gum diseases know how painful it is. As I have sensitive teeth, I was always scared of using an electric toothbrush when growing up, thinking that they might hurt my teeth. But, I wasn’t also satisfied with my manual toothbrush as well.

Even after being skeptical about it, I thought of giving it a try. Well, I wouldn’t say that my teeth are better now, but I’m not scared of using them anymore.

As someone who has tried both toothbrushes, I found manual and electric toothbrushes having their pros and cons.

If you have similar doubts as I once had, give this Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush Pros and Cons article a read and see if it helps.

Electric Toothbrush Pros

Let’s discuss the pros of electric toothbrushes first. Trust me, there are many, but I have listed down the most prominent ones.

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Tough on Debris and Plaques

The electric toothbrush is highly effective in cleaning debris and plaques. As a result, it can ensure healthy gums too. The producers design the toothbrush in a way that it can clean narrow and hard-to-reach places. However, in this case, oscillating-rotating toothbrushes work better than vibrating ones.

In-built timer

Most of the electric toothbrushes possess an inbuilt timer that reminds you to stop brushing after 2 minutes. This is a safety feature since excessive brushing can be harmful to your teeth and gum.

Great for People with Limited Mobility

The electric toothbrush is user-friendly. So, it can be incredible, especially for elderly people and the ones with a hand disability. They will just need to hold it in place without always moving it.

Encouraging for kids

The features, design, and technology of electric toothbrushes designed for children can quickly draw kids’ attention. So, it can be fun for them. This can make them more aware and excited about practicing oral hygiene.

Great for People with Braces

Plaque can quickly build up around your braces. A vibrating toothbrush with soft bristles and small heads can be an excellent pick in such a case. It can help clean narrow and problematic areas.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

And now, let’s see what cons electric toothbrush has. There are some, but the pros surely outweigh the cons.

Expensive

Electric toothbrushes can be way more expensive than manual ones. The price of an electric toothbrush can range from $5-$200. However, you can buy a pack of replaceable brush heads from $10 to $50. There are disposable brushes that cost $5 to $8, excluding the cost of the batteries.

May Require Batteries or Charging

There are two kinds of electric toothbrushes depending on the power source. One comes with replaceable batteries, and the other includes a built-in rechargeable battery.

For the former, you will need to buy additional batteries to operate. If they use heavy power, they can drain the device fast and cause inconvenience. Moreover, the brush may stop working in the middle of brushing, too, if the batteries are dead. So, this can be an issue.

The latter requires you to recharge them regularly (usually every 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the battery technology).

Not Very Durable

An electric toothbrush may not last as long as a manual toothbrush. You can damage it easily if you drop it accidentally on a hard surface.

Not Travel-friendly

An electric toothbrush is not travel-friendly since it requires ample space. The toothbrush can include a case, charger, or additional batteries and extras. So, if you pack them all together, then they can become pretty space-consuming.

Moreover, if you travel to another country, you may find different power outlets that can cause inconvenience. In this case, you must have an additional adaptor to keep your brushing device safe.

Manual Toothbrush Pros

Now, let’s talk about the traditional manual toothbrushes. Like an electric toothbrush, manual ones also have many advantages that you can’t ignore.

two brown wooden toothbrushes

Plenty of Options

Manual toothbrushes come in different forms, materials, and bristles. There are kid-friendly toothbrushes that come in various sizes, shapes, and colors to encourage the kids.

Cost-effective

Manual toothbrushes cost way less than electric ones. You can get a manual toothbrush for $1 too. Generally, the cost depends on the brand, bristle material, and a few other factors. But you will still find them cheap.

No Batteries or Charger Required

A manual toothbrush does not require any batteries or chargers but your hand to operate it. Don’t forget to add some toothpaste on top!

Travel-friendly

Traditional toothbrushes are much smaller in size than electric ones. You can throw them in the corner of your bag. Also, there’s no hassle of packing extra batteries or chargers.

Moreover, you can find specially-designed manual toothbrushes for travel purposes. It requires you to fold the toothbrush in half of its original size, making it compact and saves space.

Manual Toothbrush Cons

A manual toothbrush is easier to use than an electric toothbrush in some cases. But, they too have some cons that might be troublesome for some people.

More Use of Your Hand

With a manual toothbrush, you will need to use your hand more to create circular, downwards, upwards, and side-way motions to brush your teeth properly.

Tiring for Kids and Adults

Kids often find it challenging and tedious to always practice proper brushing techniques with manual toothbrushes. As a result, they don’t brush their teeth properly and end up having cavities and other gum diseases.

Not just that, many adults skip brushing their teeth at night since they find it tiring. Hence, they brush only once a day which is not recommended.

May Damage Teeth and Gum Due to Improper Use

While using a traditional brush, you need to use it with the right amount of pressure. Plus, you have to follow proper techniques too. You need to do flossing as well from time to time after brushing your teeth.

If you fail to use a manual brush properly, you will end up with cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, and tooth decay. You may hurt your gum too. All of these can be a result of the improper use of the manual toothbrush.

Be Mindful of the Time

The manual toothbrush doesn’t have a reminder to alert you about the recommended duration of brushing. Make sure you don’t brush your teeth for more than two minutes.

Use the Best Brushing Technique

You need to use the best brushing technique to clean your teeth properly. Make sure to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle. Plus, bring the bristle down the gum line.

Try to brush two teeth at a time. Once you are done with two teeth, move on to the next set of two teeth and continue like this.

Thoroughly brush each and every corner. Make sure the bristles go through every part of the tooth. Brush both front and back parts of your teeth.

Softly cleanse the surface of your tongue as well, using the bristles in light strokes. This helps prevent bacterial growth and bad breath.

Moreover, prevent yourself from overdoing it. Don’t brush your teeth with great force. Instead, hold it with your fingertips since it will allow you to brush your teeth with light strokes.

Summary

Both electric and manual toothbrushes have their own purposes.

Electric toothbrushes are great for elderly people and the ones with braces and limited hand movements. It is excellent for kids too since they get fascinated by electrical devices.

However, a manual toothbrush can be excellent for traveling purposes. Not only is it hassle-free, but space-saving as well.

Moreover, if you are tight on your budget, then it can be a great pick. It costs less and is more durable than the electric version.

It is you who can decide which toothbrush would be right for you. And since we have highlighted the pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes, it will be easy for you now.

Also, don’t forget to follow the brushing techniques and replace your brush in time.