Family |3 min read

Which Toothbrush Should I Use: Pros & Cons of Electric vs. Manual

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People often ask “which toothbrush should I use, an electric or manual one?”

An electric toothbrush and a manual toothbrush are both proven to be effective in removing plaque and food debris when following proper brushing techniques: brushing at a 45-degree angle for 2 minutes, 2x a day.

So which one is best for you?

Electric Toothbrush


User-friendly: An electric toothbrush does most of the brushing for you (circular, back and forth motion) and has a timer that lets you know when you have been brushing for the recommended time of two minutes. Most electric toothbrushes will beep every 30 seconds to let you know when to move to the next section of your mouth, helping you get rid of that plaque!

Healthier Gums: According to research studiesOpens in a new tab to, electric toothbrush users had a 6 percent reduction in gingivitis (gum disease) at one to three months and an 11 percent reduction after three months or longer. An investment in the short-term, using an electric toothbrush, can also lead to better long-term oral results.

Easier for People with Limited Mobility: Electric toothbrushes do most of the work for you; making them a great option for those with dexterity issues such as arthritis, carpal tunnel, and developmental disabilities.

Fun for Kids: Do your kids complain about brushing their teeth? Kids’ electric toothbrushes come in a wide range of colors and shapes, while others even play music when the timer goes off. When kids have fun brushing their teeth they develop better oral hygiene habits!


Cost: There are greater expenses with electric toothbrushes: the toothbrushes themselves, batteries (for the non-charging models), and the brush heads which need to be changed every three to four months. However, considering the advantages in overall oral health, electric toothbrushes can be considered an investment.

Extra Gadgets: Electronic toothbrushes take up more space on your counter and/or your cabinet; not to mention the accessories – case, charger, brush heads, and possibly batteries.

Manual Toothbrush


Affordable & Accessible: Manual toothbrushes only cost a few dollars and there aren’t extra parts to purchase. You can also find them most anywhere…grocery stores, dollar stores, and pharmacies. Of course, we give every patient a new toothbrush at your 6-month check-up ☺

Manageable: Manual toothbrushes don’t need to be charged to function, so you can use a manual toothbrush anywhere and at any time. They also take up less space, making your life easier.

Variety: You have numerous options from which to choose – shapes, colors, sizes – allowing you to easily find the right toothbrush.


A Bit More Work: Unlike electric toothbrushes, manual toothbrushes require more effort to create the motion necessary to properly clean your teeth and gums. And don’t forget to set your timer; you need to brush for at least 2 minutes!

Improper Brushing Technique: With manual tooth brushing, most people brush their teeth “like they scrub their floors” ☺ Brushing too hard can cause lasting damage to your teeth and gums.

Now You Know…

At the end of the day, both electric and manual toothbrushes are highly effective in maintaining good oral hygiene when used correctly. It’s a matter of preference and personal needs for home care.

Be sure to talk with one of our Smilemann team members to help you make the right choice!

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