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Which Toothbrush is Really Better - Manual or Electric?


Updated: April 3, 2008

Question: Which Toothbrush is Really Better - Manual or Electric?


With all the bells and whistles and hundreds of toothbrushes on the market, you've got to wonder, which is really the best toothbrush to buy -- manual or electric?

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the best toothbrush that you can buy is the one that you will actually use. That's it. Yes, it's really that simple. While both electric and manual toothbrushes have some pros and cons, the bottom line is which one you will use. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes.

If you're not sure which type of toothbrush you would use the most, I have provided some pros and cons of both:

Manual Toothbrush:


  • Inexpensive
  • Most have an easy grip handle
  • Some come with a tongue scraper
  • Easy to travel with


  • No built in timer to tell you when two minutes are up
  • Can be difficult for some people to hold onto firmly

Electric Toothbrushes


  • Most have larger ergonomic handles
  • Some have built in timers that let you know when you have brushed for a full two minutes
  • The feel and buzzing of an electric toothbrush feels good to a lot of people
  • Some electric toothbrushes dispense toothpaste


  • Some electric toothbrushes can be quite expensive
  • Most electric toothbrushes require charging or battery replacement

Since everyone is different, I think it's really good to have a variety of dental products to choose from.

My mom suffers from severe arthritis, so she really likes the Sonicare toothbrush because she can grip it easy.

I like the convenience of the Sonicare Intelliclean toothbrush because it dispenses toothpaste while brushing and my husband likes the Oral B Braun (Compare Prices) electric toothbrush.

My kids didn't really like electric toothbrushes, but they like the Tooth Tunes (Buy Direct) manual toothbrush that plays music while they brush. As long as they are using it, it's fine with me.

Deciding whether to buy an electric or manual toothbrush basically comes down to what the user desires as far as comfort and convenience go. Whatever toothbrush that you decide to buy, remember that using it is what's really important.

How to Brush Your Teeth

How to Brush Children's Teeth

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