Electric vs Manual – What toothbrush is better?

Walking into the healthcare isle at the supermarket looking for a new toothbrush can be overwhelming. There are so many choices of manual and electric brushes at different price ranges, so the question stands – what is better? Manual or electric brushes?

Cost Considerations

There are a large variety of manual toothbrushes that are available at supermarkets. Manual toothbrushes are usually available for a few dollars each which is a cost-effective way to follow dentist recommendations to change your toothbrush every three months.

Electric toothbrushes can vary in cost, starting at around $20 and the most expensive being around $300. As the price increases, the features you get also increase. These features include things like pressure sensors if you brush too hard, multiple brush head speeds, warranties, and travel cases. The head on the electric brushes should be changed every three months like a manual brush, with new brush heads ranging from $10-$30 depending on your toothbrush.


Manual brushes are widely seen as more convenient due to their low cost, as well as their large availability in supermarkets. They are easy to use, which is also an added benefit.  Electric brushes are far heavier and require frequent charging which can make travelling with them difficult.

Who’d be best to consider an electric brush?

While dentists are happy for all patients to use manual brushes, some patients will find the electric toothbrush is better suited to their needs. Patients who have issues with maintaining the correct techniques and who require faster cleaning time can benefit as the head of the electric brush covers a larger area. 

It’s been shown in studies that the use of an electric toothbrush can reduce the amount of plaque and the risk of gingivitis, it can also assist in reducing gum trauma and recession with patients who may brush too hard. 

So, how do you make the decision?

This really comes down to personal preference. A dentist will always be happy for their patients to use a manual brush if the technique is correct. If you prefer an electric toothbrush, or your dentist believes it will benefit you more, it’s something to look at. There will always be an electric toothbrush that has a feature to benefit you, like timers and smartphone connections to track oral hygiene if that is what you require, however, the base models are just as good at removing plaque as the higher-priced options. 

If you’re still unsure about what would be best for you, call us at the surgery to book an appointment with one of our dental team or see our hygienist to ask any questions you may have.