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    Powered vs. Manual Toothbrushes: Which is Best?

    Is a powered toothbrush worth it? Is it really better? Here we compare manual versus electric. The winner is...
    Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush

    Powered vs. Manual Toothbrushes: Which is Best?

    Brushing your teeth daily is part of a healthy mouth health routine. With the emergence of the powered toothbrush it can be hard to know the best way to keep your teeth clean, your gums healthy and your breath fresh. But is an electric toothbrush better than the manual ones you’ve been using your whole life? We’re about to find out!

    What is a powered toothbrush?

    There are 2 main classes of powered toothbrushes: vibration toothbrushes and rotating & oscillating toothbrushes. The vibration powered toothbrush is fairly similar to the actions of a manual toothbrush, while the rotating & oscillating one focuses more on each individual tooth.

    Along with the brushing style, powered toothbrushes are classified by 3 different speeds: standard, sonic and ultrasonic.

    Manual vs Powered Toothbrushes: The Good

    Benefits of a powered toothbrush

    They are easier to use

    If you have any mobility issues like carpal tunnel or arthritis using a powered toothbrush can help ensure you clean your teeth well because they do most of the work for you.

    Helps build good habits

    Many powered toothbrushes have built in timers to help ensure you brush long enough to effectively remove plaque.

    More effective (the winner is…)

    In a recent study, powered toothbrushes were shown to decrease plaque and gingivitis more than a manual one, with rotating & oscillating toothbrushes performing even better than vibrating ones.

    More fun for kids

    A powered toothbrush might be more fun for kids, which will help encourage them to brush twice a day. You can even take them to the store with you to pick one out in a theme they love!

    Easy to use

    Powered toothbrushes are often easier to use because they essentially do the work for you. Rather than having to effectively move your manual brush around your mouth, getting all the tight areas and spots along your gums, a powered toothbrush just has to be moved around your mouth pausing to hit each tooth. Children lacking dexterity also benefit greatly.

    You can play with technology

    From built in pressure sensors that tell you when you’re brushing too hard to timers to ensure you brush long enough, your powered toothbrush is almost a toy for adults.

    Easy to brush with braces

    A powered toothbrush makes it easy to get into all those hidden corners that your braces produce, meaning brushing your teeth with braces can be much easier than with a manual toothbrush.

    Benefits of manual toothbrushes

    Easy to find

    Nearly every convenience store, department store and pharmacy carry even just a basic manual toothbrush, so when you’ve forgotten yours or need to find a fast replacement, they are very easy to find.


    Manual toothbrushes are priced quite a bit lower than a powered toothbrush, so can present a good option if you’re not quite ready to invest.

    Manual vs Powered Toothbrushes: The Bad

    Drawbacks of Powered Toothbrushes

    Cost to buy

    If you’re used to the cost of a manual toothbrush every few months a powered toothbrush might feel too expensive. In addition to the initial cost of the unit, you’ll have to buy replacement brush heads as well.

    Finding brush heads

    Depending on which brush you choose it might be hard to find the brush heads over time.

    Drawbacks of Manual Toothbrushes

    Brush too hard

    You are more likely to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush than a powered one, which can lead to hurt gums and teeth.

    No built-in timer

    It is easier to forget to brush long enough without the benefit of the built-in timer.

    Test it out (and the verdict!)

    Deciding whether to use a powered toothbrush or a manual one is something that can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to! Talk to your dentist about what style of toothbrush they recommend and start with a lower cost powered one if you decide to make the leap. Once you know it’s a switch you feel comfortable with, you can look at investing in a higher quality one.

    Using a powered toothbrush as part of your mouth health routine is a great way to stay on top of your oral health, and keep your teeth in top shape. Today, most dental care professionals will recommend a powered toothbrush for the entire family, but in particular for children who are less capable/skilled to manually brush well.