Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush: What’s Better?

BY Dr. McDowell  |  July 6th, 2021
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

As electric toothbrushes have become more popular over time, the debate has always been electric vs. manual toothbrushes. Which is better for your teeth and your health? What’s going to keep your teeth the freshest and cleanest they can be?

We’re answering all of those questions and more today, as well as breaking down a few important aspects of teeth brushing. Here are the pros, cons, and more for the electric toothbrush vs. manual toothbrush debate in 2023.

electric vs manual toothbrush Infographic

Pros and Cons of a Manual Toothbrush

The age-old manual toothbrush has been used for years and years. Humans have been cleaning their teeth forever and always trying to make the tools that we use to clean them better and better. The standard manual toothbrush has come a long way from a stick that was used to keep your mouth free of plaque. Here are some pros and cons.

young woman using a manual toothbrush


Accessible and Affordable – You’ll be hard-pressed to find a toothbrush that costs much more than $10 from the grocery store or pharmacy. It’s easy to buy a toothbrush or package of multiple for even less than a dollar, and they’re carried everywhere.

Small and Easy to Store – Because the toothbrush is so small, it can be really simple and easy to store. Plus, you won’t need to bring any charging equipment or batteries with you when traveling. A manual toothbrush is easy if you’re on the go.

Just Keep Brushing the Same Way – When you’re learning to brush as a child, you might learn a few different strategies. That’s definitely the case with most, and it makes sense. A manual toothbrush works great, and you don’t even have to change the way you brush. Just keep it simple and work on those circular motions and techniques.


Slightly More Work – While it might not be difficult for everyone, it is for you some. A manual toothbrush will require you to be flexible and able to move your arms and wrists back and forth quickly.

Can Cause You to Brush Too Hard – Inexperienced toothbrushers or those who haven’t seen a dentist or learned how to brush their teeth properly can experience some challenges. Brushing too hard is one of those challenges. If you brush too hard often, it can cause your gums to recede and lead to lasting damage.

Too Many Options – Let’s face it, there are 101 different toothbrushes out there today, and it can be very confusing and frustrating when it comes time to pick one. That’s a significant deterrent for many individuals when it comes time to buy a new toothbrush.

Set a Timer – Electric toothbrushes often come with built-in timers, so you know how long to brush. When you use a manual toothbrush, you’ll have to keep track of the time yourself.

Pros and Cons of an Electric Toothbrush

electric toothbrush against a gray background

The electric toothbrush world is growing every year with more and more electric toothbrush options to choose from; you might be wondering if it’s time to make the switch. Here are the pros and cons to consider.


Easy to Use – An electric toothbrush is extremely easy to use. With few tricks, it can be a really simple way to get started brushing your teeth.

Helps Remove More Plaque – A┬ástudy done by Healthline shows that those who use an electric toothbrush are able to reduce plaque by over 20%. That’s a huge increase, and there’s often a decrease in gingivitis when using an electric toothbrush.

Helps with Braces – Cleaning and brushing around braces can be really challenging. But, an electric toothbrush will make that easy because of the extra movement that is offered by the spinning head and other pieces.

Offers a Timer – The timer offered by an electric toothbrush is a huge advantage and will help to ensure that you’re always brushing your teeth for the optimal amount of time. Not too long and not too short.


Can be Expensive – Electric toothbrushes are expensive to push in the first place and, in many cases, will need to be kept up over time. Not to mention the need for batteries and keeping it powered.

Breakable – While an electric toothbrush might seem sturdy and ready for anything, it can actually be easily broken. Dropping the toothbrush onto a hard surface can break it quickly or cause it to malfunction. These are struggles that you won’t have with a manual toothbrush.

Extra Items Needed – A charger, stand, and accessories will often come with an electric toothbrush. That’s a lot of extra counter space and items needed.

You Should Brush 2-3 Times a Day

Brushing regularly is very important for your oral and dental health. Keeping your teeth clean does more than just prevent cavities. It helps improve your breathing, digestion, and overall health of your body. Neglecting to brush for long periods of time can lead to problems, and you may find your health affected.

It’s always recommended to brush your teeth 2-3 times a day, depending on your habits and schedule. Most individuals don’t feel comfortable carrying toothbrushes around, and thus they choose to brush twice a day. Brushing twice a day is essential and will help to keep your gums and teeth healthy. But, brushing even when done in the right amounts can’t replace a trip to the dentist.

Regular Dental Appointments are Essential

If you haven’t already been practicing regular dental appointments, we strongly suggest that you start doing that.

At Wayzata Dental, you can receive a pain-free dental experience. Laser dentistry offers some of the best treatments in all of dentistry. Not only are the treatments precise, but they also lead the industry as a non-invasive dental procedure.

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..