Brushing your teeth is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But does it matter if you use a manual or electric toothbrush to brush? Here are the pros and cons of manual vs electric toothbrushes.

Pros of manual toothbrushes

  • Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive.
  • There are many difference styles, bristles, and heads to choose from.
  • They do not require batteries.

Cons of a manual toothbrush

  • They do not have a timer.
  • They require more effort to clean teeth.
  • The can be difficult to use properly.

With good brushing technique, and consistent care manual toothbrushes are very effective at cleaning teeth. They have a large selection of styles, and bristles to choose from. Manual toothbrushes do differ from an electric toothbrush in their abilities to remove plaque. Manual toothbrushes are only effective if they are used properly. It can be difficult to clean hard-to-reach teeth, and around dental fixtures.

Pros of electric toothbrushes

  • Research shows that electric toothbrushes (oscillating or sonic technology) are more effective at removing plaque and preventing periodontal (gum) disease than their manual counterparts.
  • They’re easy to use for people with arthritis or with conditions that reduce movement in their hands and arms.
  • Many electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer making it easier to brush for the recommended two-minutes.

Cons of electric toothbrushes

  • They require charging, or batteries.
  • They cost significantly more than a manual toothbrush.
  • Replacement heads can be expensive.

Electric toothbrushes clean all surfaces of the teeth including hard-to-reach places where plaque often accumulates, such as the back molars or the lower bottom teeth. The smaller Brush head can clean around orthodontic fixtures, and dental implants. They are better at removing stains and whitening teeth. Electric toothbrushes require batteries, or charging. Some models can be expensive, and replacement brush heads can be pricey.

The key to preventing tooth decay is regular tooth brushing (manual or electric) and flossing. Excessive brushing with manual or electric toothbrushes can damage enamel and cause gums to recede. This can put you at risk for cavities and can cause teeth to become hypersensitive to hot and/or cold. Remember that regular exams, and cleanings are the best way to keep teeth and gums healthy.