Does an Electric Toothbrush Clean Better Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

Does an Electric Toothbrush Clean Better? Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

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Ever since electric toothbrushes first came on the market, people have asked, “Does an electric toothbrush clean better than a manual one?”

Maybe it’s been recommended that you start using an electric toothbrush by your dentist, or perhaps you’re simply interested in making the upgrade.

With the help of an electric model, you might be able to achieve a better clean. But it all depends on how you would normally use a traditional manual toothbrush.

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Advantages of a Manual Toothbrush

First, let’s explore the benefits of a manual toothbrush when it comes to daily cleaning.

  1. Inexpensive

First and foremost, manual toothbrushes are very inexpensive and you can sometimes get them free when you visit the dentist. Depending on your personal budget, you may or may not be looking for the cheapest option. However, choosing the least expensive option doesn’t necessarily mean that your teeth are going to be cleaner.

  1. Plenty of Choice

Another advantage to a manual toothbrush is that you can choose between a wide variety of different bristle options, head sizes, and styles. However, there are now many choices when it comes to electric toothbrushes, too.

  1. No Charging

If you’re not the type of person who would remember to put their toothbrush on a charger after every use, a manual toothbrush may be a preferable option. Once you’re done brushing you can leave it in a toothbrush holder and it will be ready for you at the beginning of every day, even if you’re traveling.

Disadvantages of a Manual Toothbrush

  1. Takes Longer to Brush

One of the biggest disadvantages of a manual toothbrush is that it might take you a little longer to brush your teeth. You also won’t have access to a timer or alert system to let you know when to move onto another quadrant of your mouth as you would with an electric toothbrush. If you find that you’re strapped for time in the mornings and evenings, an electric model may be preferable.

  1. Poor Cleaning Efficiency

Even the most basic electric toothbrushes are going to give you a higher level of efficiency when it comes to getting cleaner teeth and gums. The timer in an electric model helps you focus on the right areas of your mouth for the right length of time. It also scrubs away bacteria and germs far better than a manual toothbrush.

Advantages of an Electric Toothbrush

Typically available in two different varieties (sonic and oscillating), electric toothbrushes are solid front-runners in homecare armamentarium. They bost an incredible number of benefits including their advanced technology to give your mouth a deeper dentist-like clean. If you’re wondering, “does an electric toothbrush clean better?” it’s important to consider the following advantages of electric toothbrushes.

  1. Age-Friendly

Electric toothbrushes are easy to use regardless of your age.  More parents are choosing to give their children electric toothbrushes to make sure their mouths are properly cleaned throughout the day. They are also substantially easier to use if you’re dealing with arthritis or restricted movement in your wrist.  The majority of the movement occurs through the mechanical action of the brush.

  1. Built-In Timers

As mentioned, electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer that not only lets you know when it’s time to move onto another section of your mouth (every 30 seconds) but to also make sure that you don’t overbrush your teeth. Overbrushing is the number one cause of receding gum lines and can lead to a variety of dental problems in the future.

  1. Deeper Clean

The primary advantage of an electric toothbrush is that it delivers a deeper clean than a traditional toothbrush, mostly because of its oscillating or sonic technology. These technologies are specifically designed to help remove plaque and tartar from your gum lines and are great for getting into hard to reach areas that you would typically miss with a traditional toothbrush.


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Disadvantages of an Electric Toothbrush

Even though electric toothbrushes are superior in terms of getting your teeth clean, they do have their own disadvantages as well.

  1. Frequent Charging

Depending on the model you buy, you might have to remember to charge your toothbrush after every use.  Like a cell phone, it might be difficult to remember and makes the toothbrush a little more difficult to travel with. However, there are different electric toothbrushes that can be charged via micro-USB (phone chargers). In most cases, the toothbrush will hold a single charge for two weeks or longer.

  1. Higher Costs

Not only is the base unit more expensive than a manual toothbrush, but you’re also going to have to take different accessories into consideration. This might include a carrying case, USB to wall adapters, and replacement brush heads. It’s always advisable to find an electric toothbrush kit that comes with everything you’ll need right out of the box.

  1. Not Waterproof

It’s important to note that there are several electric toothbrushes that are waterproof. In most cases, you’ll have to pay more for them. A waterproof toothbrush can make it much easier to brush your teeth, so it’s unfortunate that many electric toothbrushes aren’t waterproof. On the other hand, with a manual toothbrush you know it will be entirely waterproof.


When grappling with the question, “does an electric toothbrush clean better?” you need to determine which type of toothbrush is the best for keeping your mouth clean. Opting for an electric toothbrush is usually your best option because they ‘re designed with different cleaning modes, a variety of brush head choices, and oscillating or sonic technology. Not only are they more reliable, they’re also smart devices that help you to avoid overbrushing or brushing too little.

About the Author Dr. Greg

Dr. Greg's experience in dentistry spans over 25 years serving patients of all ages. He's an advisor to and a consultant to many professional dental projects.