It is a given that our oral health is very important. So when taking care of it, it is also important that we choose the best product, especially in toothbrushes. It is a common question what is better or more effective. Is it the electric toothbrush or the manual?

Truth is, both toothbrushes are proven safe and effective. A manual and electric toothbrush can effectively remove plaque. This is according to the American Dental Association. But, each has its pros and cons.

Electric Toothbrush


Less plaque  Electric toothbrushes remove 21 percent more plaque compared to a manual toothbrush. This is according to a consumer report published in 2015. This is because the bristles on the electric toothbrush vibrate and rotate. The vibration creates micro-movements that help you remove plaque buildup in your gums and teeth.

Easy to use  The electric toothbrush is easy to use and will do the work for you. You just need to angle the brush head correctly. This is also helpful for people with limited mobility.

Built-in timers  Most electric toothbrush has built-in timers. These timers can help you brush your teeth long enough to effectively remove plaque.

Best for teeth with braces  There are parts of the teeth that are hard to reach when you have braces. The electric toothbrush can reach those parts as well because of its rotating and vibrating bristles.

Fun to use  Most kids find electric toothbrushes fun and exciting to use. It can help in developing your child’s good oral habits.

Safe for gums  Electric toothbrushes should not hurt your gums. When angled properly, it can improve gum health as well.

Less waste  For electric toothbrushes, you only need to replace the head when you need a new one. This is less wasteful than throwing away a whole manual toothbrush. But, when you’re using a single-use electric toothbrush, you have to discard everything when it’s time to do so.


Pricey  Electric toothbrushes are more costly compared to manual ones. Each toothbrush ranges from $15 to $200. Its replacement heads also come in packs when purchased and costs between $10 and $45.

Not always convenient – Finding the right replacement brush heads is not always easy. There will be a chance that your local stores won’t have the right size or brand you use. Buying online is not easy for everyone as well and it takes time.

Extra accessories – Electronic toothbrushes occupy more space in the bathroom cabinet. It is also not convenient when you’ll travel. This is because you have to pack the charger, toothbrush, and extra brush head.

Less eco-friendly – Electric toothbrushes use electricity or batteries. Because of this, they are less environmentally friendly than manual ones.

Breakable  Most electric products have a shelf life. Electric toothbrushes may last a while, but it is always possible that they will break.

Vibrating feeling – Electric toothbrush vibrates and some people dislike the feeling. Plus, it creates more movement of saliva which may get messy.

Manual Toothbrush


Affordable – Manual toothbrushes only cost around $1 to $5. Plus, you don’t have to buy extra parts.

Accessible – You can buy a manual toothbrush at any convenience store, grocery store, gas station, or even pharmacy.

Manageable – Manual toothbrush doesn’t have extra accessories and only takes a little space.

Almost same result – You won’t notice the difference as long as you follow the standard way of tooth brushing.


More work needed – You will need to do a little more work to perform the back and forth and circular motion. This method is necessary to clean both your gums and teeth.

Can hurt gums and teeth – Study found that people likely brush harder when using a manual toothbrush. This can damage your gums and teeth.

No timer – You won’t know if you already brushed long enough when you use a manual toothbrush. It is best to set a timer for every brushing session.

So many options – There is a wide variety of manual toothbrushes. Different head shapes, bristles, sizes, and brands. Because of this, you may find yourself consuming much time when buying one.

For children

Neither a manual nor an electric toothbrush is better for your children. The same pros and cons still apply for each kind. But you need to make sure that the size is appropriate for your child’s age and the bristles are soft. You can also make your child choose what he enjoys more.

Other things to consider when choosing a toothbrush

  • Pick the right size of toothbrush for your mouth.
  • Avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes because they can irritate your mouth.
  • Choose a toothbrush with multi-level bristles. A study found that these types of bristles are more effective than the flat and one-leveled ones.

The proper way to brush teeth

Whichever toothbrush you use, it is important to follow these proper steps when brushing.

  • Pick the toothbrush of your choice.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a natural mineral that prevents cavities. It helps in building strong teeth as well.
  • Position the toothbrush head at a 45-degree angle to your gums and teeth.
  • Gently brush your teeth for two minutes. Use a back and forth and circular motion.
  • Rinse your toothbrush and store it in an open container. Keep it away from the toilet which can spray germs when flushing.
  • Floss at least once a day. Either in the morning or at night.


  • Mouth rinse is optional and should not replace brushing or flossing.
  • Brushing should not cause bleeding. It can be a sign that you brushed for too long when you experience any bleeding. It can also be a sign of vitamin deficiency, gum disease, or pregnancy. Better consult your dentist if this happened.


An electric and a manual toothbrush are both effective at cleaning teeth. Both pros and cons apply to children’s toothbrushes. Whichever you use, brushing 2 minutes, twice a day is still the best step to take care of your oral health. You should also consider the type of bristles when choosing a toothbrush. Overall, an electric toothbrush makes brushing easier and removes plaque better.