When you brush your teeth, how long do you do it for? While dentists recommend brushing for a full two minutes twice a day, many people end up falling short of that. 

If your dental hygiene is beginning to suffer, you might want to look into getting an electric toothbrush. Oftentimes, using one can give your teeth the extra attention they need. 

But what exactly are the differences between an electric and manual toothbrush, and which one should you get?

Keep reading for a guide that will help you decide between an electric vs manual toothbrush. 

Electric vs Manual Toothbrush 

Before we break down the advantages of each option, understand that both electric and manual toothbrushes can be effective. As long as you use them correctly, they’ll allow you to remove plaque and have a healthy and beautiful smile.

Both types of toothbrushes should always have a Seal of Acceptance stamp from the American Dental Association on them. This stamp of approval says that the toothbrush is safe to you, as well as effective. 

Let’s take a detailed look at each option now, as well at the benefits that they provide. 

Electric Toothbrush Benefits

The first time you use an electric toothbrush, you might be surprised to realize how much it vibrates. Electricity causes the bristles of the toothbrush to vibrate, and in some cases, rotate.

Aside from tickling your mouth the first time you use it, this also means that additional micro-movements are occurring across the surface of your teeth and gums. 

Requires Less Movement

One of the greatest benefits of using an electric toothbrush is that you don’t have to move your hands as much to brush your teeth. In fact, in some cases, electric toothbrush manufacturers will tell you not to move your hands at all and instead just guide the toothbrush over your teeth. 

Aside from being convenient after a long day, this also means that electric toothbrushes are great for people that have limited mobility. People with arthritis or developmental disabilities will appreciate how easy it is to brush. 

More Effective at Cleaning

All of those additional micro-movements also mean that electric toothbrushes do a better job at cleaning your teeth. They’ll take off more plaque, as well as decrease the chances of you developing problems like gingivitis.

Most dental experts believe that while vibrating electric toothbrushes are effective, oscillating electric toothbrushes are the most effective.

Ensures That You Brush All Areas Equally

It’s easy to get distracted while brushing your teeth and end up paying more attention to one area of your mouth than another. For many people, this means brushing the front of their mouth while ignoring the back.

Most electric toothbrushes come with timers that tell you when it’s time to move to the next quadrant or section of your mouth. This ensures that all of your teeth receive the same level of care. 

Manual Toothbrush Benefits

While manual toothbrushes might be old school, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. As mentioned, they can still do a decent job at cleaning your teeth, especially if you use a good toothbrush and brush for long enough.

Electric toothbrushes are the winner when it comes to cleaning ability, but there are still some perks of using a manual toothbrush. Let’s take a look at two of the biggest advantages.


If you’re on a tight budget, manual toothbrushes are definitely the way to go. You can pick one up at the dollar store for as cheap as $1. Of course, it might not be the best toothbrush, but it’s better than nothing.

On the other hand, electric toothbrushes can cost up to hundreds of dollars. Over time, you might have to replace the toothbrush head, which can set you back even more.


Unlike electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes are abundant and found almost anywhere. From the office at Boise Family Dentist to the checkout aisle of a gas station, you’ll have no problem finding a manual toothbrush.

As they don’t require electricity, you also won’t have to worry about the toothbrush running out of battery. You also won’t have to worry about remembering to bring a charger with you wherever you go. 

Which Is The Better Choice?

When it comes to brushing ability, electric toothbrushes are the winners. Empirical evidence proves that they do a better job at brushing your teeth than traditional toothbrushes.

However, as mentioned, they also aren’t as convenient as manual toothbrushes. You may need to replace the brush head over time, and you’ll also have to remember to charge it when the battery gets low.

Manual toothbrushes might not do as good a job at cleaning, but they remain a decent and convenient option for certain situations. 

Promote Dental Hygiene in Other Ways

Remember that brushing your teeth is only a part of what you need to do to promote proper dental hygiene. You’ll also want to make sure that you floss before brushing your teeth. Using mouthwash can also be a good idea.

Aside from taking care of your teeth each morning and night, make sure that you schedule regular trips to the dentist. Six months is what most dentists recommend, as that gives them the opportunity to deep clean your teeth and catch any problems early on. 

Make Dental Hygiene a Priority 

It’s important to understand the differences between an electric vs manual toothbrush. Regardless of which one you end up choosing, make your dentist proud by brushing often and correctly. 

Do you now have a better understanding of how to choose a toothbrush? If you do, make sure to check out some of our other posts for more lifestyle guides and tips.

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