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The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Electric And Manual Toothbrushes

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Dentists recommend brushing at least twice each day with a fluoride toothpaste. It is also recommended that flossing be down before brushing to help loosen the food particles that are between your teeth. There are hundreds of toothbrush options available, with bristles ranging from soft to hard; however, a soft bristled toothbrush is typically recommended. A hard bristled toothbrush does not mean that it will be more effective in removed plaque and stains; in fact, a hard bristled toothbrush may damage your teeth and gums.

Correctly and effectively using a toothbrush is the primary goal of good oral hygiene, so should you use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both electric and manual toothbrushes.

Electric Toothbrush


  • One of the best features of using an electric toothbrush is that it does the work for you.
  • Some electric toothbrushes are made with timers so many people will brush longer, which typically gives them better results at removing plaque.
  • Children who use an electric toothbrush tend to brush longer and more frequently, especially when the toothbrush is equipped with a timer, so they brush more thoroughly.


  • The primary disadvantage of an electric toothbrush is the cost. Although electric toothbrushes are available in several price ranges, even the least expensive one is typically more costly than a manual toothbrush.
  • The heads for some brands of electric toothbrushes may be difficult to find.
  • Electric toothbrushes have to either be charged or have the batteries frequently replaced.

Manual Toothbrush


  • A manual toothbrush does not require electrical outlets, charging, or batteries.
  • Your teeth can be thoroughly cleaned with a manual toothbrush by only brushing for two minutes.
  • A toothbrush or toothbrush head should be replaced about every 3 months, so the best advantage of a manual toothbrush is the cost. Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive and easily replaced.


  • Using an inexpensive manual toothbrush means the bristles may fall out or the fall down, so you will have to replace the toothbrush more frequently.
  • Unlike when using an electric toothbrush, you will not have a timer so you may not brush as thoroughly as you should.

Whether you prefer an electric or a manual toothbrush, it is important to choose a head size that has soft, sturdy bristles, and that fits comfortably in your mouth. The head of an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush should be replaced about every three months or earlier if the bristles are fraying or if you are sick. If you aren't sure which type of toothbrush is the best suited for your specific needs, such as those who wear braces or dentures, ask Tony Parsley, DMD for a recommendation.