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Posted by DentalSave on 03/07/2022

Toothbrushes: Manual v Electric

Toothbrushes: Manual v Electric

What is an electric toothbrush?

Just like what the name implies, an electric toothbrush is powered by electricity.  You charge the toothbrush and once it’s fully charged, you can use it up to 2 weeks without recharging.  There are also toothbrushes that are powered by replaceable alkaline batteries.


An electric toothbrush functions with the head rotating, without requiring any action on your part other than to turn it on. The movements of a manual toothbrush depend on actions you perform.   Conventional thinking would have you assume that the electric toothbrush would perform better than the manual but it all depends on how you use them.


Electric and manual toothbrushes are both effective brushing tools.  Therefore features that one associate to benefits are a matter of personal preference.  Many electric toothbrushes have added features, such as a timer that lets the user know when the usual two minutes have been reached.  They also have sensors that regulate the speed of the toothbrush and ensure you do not use too much pressure while brushing.  In addition, an electric toothbrush can be advantageous if you have shoulder or arm problems that might make using a manual toothbrush difficult.

 A major benefit to using a manual toothbrush is cost. An electric toothbrush can run anywhere from $50.00 – $200.00.  Add in the cost of the replacement heads, which you will need to replace every three months just as you do a manual toothbrush, and the cost can certainly add up.  Another benefit to using a manual toothbrush is in the design of the brush. You can purchase a manual toothbrush in a number of styles and brush lengths, and those with flexible handles may make it easier to reach difficult areas of your mouth, especially if you have a very small mouth.


Using an electric toothbrush doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed healthy teeth and gums.  You still have to brush often and correctly to remove all traces of plaque from your teeth.  One negative effect of using an electric toothbrush is if you brush with a heavy hand, you can damage your gums, lead to enamel abrasions, and cause your teeth to become very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

The biggest risk to using a manual toothbrush comes in not brushing long enough.  People often get bored performing the same task over and over again.  After a while they tend to shorten their brushing time.  A solution to this would be to use a timer set to the recommended two to three minutes.

 No matter what type of toothbrush you choose, always make sure it has the ADA seal, which lets the consumer know that the product has been tested and deemed worthy by the American Dental Association and don’t forget to floss!

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