Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?

manual vs. electric toothbrush Electric toothbrushes—you’ve seen commercials for them and walked past them in the aisle. You wonder, “Are they really worth the money?” When some models cost as much as $180, it’s best to do your research before upgrading.

Let’s find out more about manual vs. electric toothbrush traits:

Advantages of Manual Toothbrushes

  • Less expensive
  • No need to charge or replace batteries
  • Easier to travel with
  • Easier to replace

Advantages of Electric Toothbrushes

  • Generally equipped with toothbrush timers
  • Can be more comfortable for people who have arthritis or problems holding a toothbrush
  • Rotating and oscillating bristle heads can effectively reach and clean trouble spots

What Current Research Says About Manual Vs. Electric Toothbrushes

The American Dental Association says both kinds of toothbrushes are effective if you brush for two minutes twice a day. But, a Cochrane Oral Health Group review found that electric brushes have a slight edge. The study saw:

  • an 11% reduction in plaque after 1-3 months of use
  • a 21% reduction in plaque after 3 months of use
  • a 6% reduction in gingivitis after 1-3 months of use
  • and an 11% reduction in gingivitis after 3 months of use

The long-term oral health benefits of electric toothbrushes are still unclear, however, this information allows us to see that electric brushes do have a slight advantage over manual brushes.

Benefits Dependent on Usage

No matter which option you choose, a clean mouth is dependent on proper brush use. Some electric brushes move side-to-side, while others move in a circular motion. Some manual toothbrushes have larger heads and layered bristles. Regardless of style, you need to brush twice a day for two minutes to see any benefits.

You should also use a brush with soft bristles to prevent gum damage. Too much pressure from a toothbrush can wear enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. Brushing should include all surfaces—top of your mouth, sides, your tongue, cheeks. The ADA even recommends chewing while brushing.

Wondering which powered brush is best for your mouth? Use this guide from the ADA to check for electric brushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. These electric toothbrushes have to meet specific standards set by the ADA.

Still not convinced an electric toothbrush is right for you? That’s ok! You can use this guide from the ADA to check for manual brushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, too.

Talk to your dentist before making any changes. Ensure you’re choosing the best toothbrush for your smile, and keeping a clean toothbrush routine.

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10 Responses to “Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?”

  1. Henry Collins
    09/12/2018 at 10:22 am #

    Looking at the data it looks like electric toothbrushes do offer an advantage over manual ones. Great article! I will be sure to remember this next time I need a toothbrush.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      09/17/2018 at 11:34 am #

      They are definitely built to help you maintain proper oral health habits!

  2. Aaron
    09/14/2018 at 9:29 am #

    I’m very happy with my normal one. Electric ones make people lazy.

    • Ryan Boulding →
      09/17/2018 at 11:34 am #

      Nothing like putting your arms to work!

  3. Christina
    09/25/2018 at 6:15 am #

    Hi,
    Electric toothbrush keeps your teeth extra clean with very little effort, but using one can have a whole host of extra benefits for your health.
    Electric toothbrush helps you cover a larger area of your teeth faster than a manual toothbrush. Reduce Risk of Serious Conditions. Save Money on Medical Bills.

    Thanks for sharing this post…

    • Ryan Boulding →
      10/01/2018 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks for reading it, Christina!

  4. CBD
    09/25/2018 at 10:33 pm #

    Hi,
    Got an electric Oral b pro, it has been 3 days of usage I just love it. It’s so so much better than manual and my teeth became more white in just 3 days, incredible. Especially good if you have wisdom teeth, makes cleaning of 8th really easily.

    Thanks for sharing…

    • Ryan Boulding →
      10/01/2018 at 1:44 pm #

      We’re glad you enjoyed the read and like your new toothbrush!

  5. Tom Anderson
    10/14/2018 at 7:07 pm #

    Hello i’m Tom! I enjoy Brushing with Oral B round style end toothbrush! And yes, it indeed makes my teeth feel nice after brushing with it. I was told by dentist to used ACT mouthwash which is handy! Also an advantage is the heads can be replaceable on my Oral B brush. But I can put up with either manual or electric as the article stated! Thanks!

    • Ryan Boulding →
      10/15/2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Tom!

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