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When it comes to caring for your teeth, choosing the right toothbrush is essential for maintaining oral health between dentist visits. Maintaining your dental health also influences your overall wellbeing. For example, gum disease impacts the development of health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

From the time we’re young, we are all taught that brushing our teeth is one of the best ways to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, there are characteristics and features you will need to consider before switching between styles.

Removing Plaque

Electric brushes are more effective at removing plaque than regular brushes, due to the number of settings which cater to all your teeth cleaning needs. Brushing settings can include daily clean, deep clean, sensitive, massage, whitening, and tongue cleaning. These settings are often best suited for people with limited mobility; such as arthritis, osteoporosis, aging, and younger children learning to brush their teeth. However, studies show that some seniors didn’t significantly remove more plaque when using an electric brush when compared to the manual brushes.


While the recommended brushing time is between two and three minutes, many brushers struggle to fulfil this. There are a number of models with built-in timers; such as buzzers, auto stop, and musical tunes. These timers keep users accountable for how long they have been brushing their teeth and also improves the brusher’s focus.


In addition to being tough on plaque, electric models are designed to hit all the difficult to reach spots within your mouth. The brushes and settings are typically safe and gentle on gums.

Studies show that people are more likely to apply too much pressure when using manual toothbrushes. As a result, brands have built-in pressure sensors which feature audio and visual signals to alert brushers if they are applying too much force. Although, dentists still warn users that brushing too hard can still cause gum recession, resulting in sensitivity when eating and drinking.

Cost and durability

Electric brushes are more expensive than their manual counterparts, from the cost of the entire set and the added cost of the replacement brushes. Just like a manual toothbrush, an electric brush head requires replacing every three months. When bristles become frayed, they are no longer able to reach the little crevices around each tooth; this results in inefficient plaque removal. Upon seeing this sign, you should replace the brush head immediately.

While in the long term buying and replacing brush heads on an electric model is considerably less waste compared to replacing an entire toothbrush. However, electric brushes are less eco-friendly to make and run. If you are looking for an eco-friendly option, you might be better off with a manual toothbrush made out of recycled materials such as bamboo.

Young brushers:

Neither electric or manual brushes are necessarily better for young children or toddlers. As a result, it is best to stick with the model they prefer to use. Typically kids enjoy using electric brushes because they seem like more fun, and often you can find electric brushes which are lighter and have specific modes and modules to suit children. However, keep in mind that your kids are likely to want to use the same style and model that you use on yourself.

There are serious benefits to using an electric toothbrush in addition to the occasional disadvantage. Therefore, it comes down to what brush you prefer to use, especially if you have difficulty or dislike brushing your teeth or the vibration and sound of an electric brush. If you already to struggle to sufficiently brush your teeth when using a manual brush, you are likely to face the same issues with an electric. Therefore, no matter the model of toothbrush you decide to go with, you are unlikely to notice a significant difference.