Couple Brushing Teeth

Manual or Electric Toothbrushes: Which Is Best?

Dr. Siew Tan

Dr. Siew Tan

The right toothbrush can help make brushing your teeth easier and more enjoyable. Both electric and manual types are effective at cleaning your teeth, so the one you choose is a matter of personal preference. Here’s what you should know about each type of brush before making your choice.

Manual Toothbrushes

Made of a plastic handle and a head with tightly-packed nylon bristles, manual toothbrushes have been around for centuries. These are some of their benefits:

  • They’re readily available. Brushes of different sizes and shapes are easy to find in pharmacies and grocery stores everywhere.
  • They’re inexpensive. Manual toothbrushes can cost as little as one dollar, a fraction of the price of an electric brush.
  • They’re all you need. You don’t have to worry about batteries, cords or chargers.

Manual toothbrushes have some drawbacks, including the following:

  • There’s evidence that manual toothbrushes may not remove as much plaque as electric brushes.
  • It’s easy to apply too much force when brushing your teeth, which can damage your gums and enamel.
  • People with limited mobility may have trouble using manual toothbrushes.

Electric Toothbrushes

Battery-powered or electric toothbrushes have bristles that vibrate or rotate to clean your teeth. Here are some of their benefits.

  • They may be more effective. Studies indicate that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes.
  • They’re easy to use. Children and people with dexterity troubles may find that an electric toothbrush is more comfortable to hold and manoeuvre.
  • They make it easier to brush properly. You’re more likely to brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes when you use a toothbrush that comes with an integrated timer.

These are some of the reasons people choose not to use electric toothbrushes.

  • They’re more expensive than manual toothbrushes.
  • Finding replacement heads for the brush can be difficult or expensive.
  • If you forget to charge the brush or the battery runs out, it won’t work.

Proper Toothbrushing

It doesn’t matter which toothbrush you use as long as you take proper care of your teeth. Here’s how:

  • Brush twice a day using a fluoridated toothpaste and a manual or electric toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid irritating your gums.
  • Floss daily
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for an oral exam and teeth cleaning.

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Dr. Siew Tan
Dr. Siew Tan
Siew has worked at Heritage Dental Centre since 2002 and has over 20 years of dental experience.