Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Toothbrushes?

Many dental patients wonder whether they’re using the best toothbrush when brushing their teeth. Your local store probably has a wide selection of electric and manual toothbrushes to choose from, so it’s perfectly normal to wonder whether you’re making the best purchase with your money. One question dentists are often asked is, “Is an electric toothbrush better than manual toothbrushes?”

The truth is that how often you brush your teeth and your brushing technique are much more critical than the type of toothbrush you use.  In addition to this, the most important thing is that you choose a SOFT bristled toothbrush.  Hard or medium bristled tooth brushes are more likely to damage the enamel and gums of the teeth. 

To prevent tooth decay and optimise oral health, we recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning in between your teeth daily, too. Make sure you brush all of the tooth surfaces. Brush for at least two minutes each time.

The kind of toothbrush you use is up to you. This guide helps you compare the benefits of both a manual and an electric toothbrush. We’ll also recommend a few of our favourite brands to help you find a toothbrush you love.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Fluoride vs. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

What Are The Benefits of a Manual Toothbrush?

Manual toothbrushes have been the hygiene standard for years. There are many great reasons why they’re so popular.

More Options

When you shop for a manual brush, you’ll find a wide variety of shapes, colours, sizes, and other options. If you have a smaller mouth, you can usually find a smaller toothbrush that works perfectly.

If your gums are sensitive, you can use a brush with soft bristles. Our patients aren’t one-size-fits-all, so we love the numerous manual toothbrush options available to suit every need.


Though electric toothbrushes are about as convenient as they can be, a manual toothbrush is just a bit easier to use. They don’t require any batteries or chargers, so you can store them and use them wherever you like. They’re also smaller than electric toothbrushes, making them easier to pack for travel. Because there’s no charging stand, they take up less space in the bathroom, too.


Some kids love brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, a lot of kids don’t. Electric toothbrushes are a little intimidating for tiny tots, and some kids are terrified of the noises they make.

Manual toothbrushes are much more kid-friendly. You can usually find one in your child’s favourite colour or featuring a beloved cartoon character. You can even find a kid-friendly manual toothbrush that lights up or sings songs while you brush your teeth. We love anything that encourages children to take great care of their teeth.

Related: Parent’s Guide on How to Floss Kids’ Teeth


Even the most expensive manual toothbrush is usually cheaper than an electric version. You can usually find a quality manual toothbrush for just a few dollars. Even the most budget-friendly electric toothbrushes start in the double digits.

What Are the Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes are quickly gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why. There are plenty of perks here, too.

Ease of Use

Though you can brush your teeth effectively with either type of toothbrush, electric toothbrushes do more of the work for you, removing plaque with little effort on your part. You’ll still have to move the brush around, but the rotating brush head lets you rest your arm a bit more while you brush. This is a simple matter of convenience for most people, but it’s beneficial for those with certain medical conditions such as arthritis.

You can buy a battery-powered electric brush, but we prefer a rechargeable electric toothbrush because it’s simply more convenient.


Do you find it tough to brush your teeth for a full two minutes each time? You’re not alone. That’s one reason why electric toothbrushes are so popular.

Most models have a built-in timer that lets you know when to stop brushing. Some models even have timers that go off every 30 seconds, so you know exactly how long you’ve been brushing.


So, Which One Is Better?

Honestly, neither a manual toothbrush nor an electric toothbrush is “better” than the other option. It’s really a matter of preference.

If you struggle to brush your teeth correctly, an electric toothbrush may be the easier option. If you’re buying a new toothbrush for a child, grab whichever toothbrush they’re most likely to use.  Provided it’s a soft toothbrush, the cheaper toothbrushes will do just as good a job as the fancier more expensive ones.  . The choice is entirely up to you. However, we can offer some recommendations if you don’t know where to start.

Related: Does Your Child Have Dental Anxiety?

Manual Toothbrush Brands We Like:

  • Colgate Slim Soft
  • Colgate Ultra-Compact Head Toothbrush
  • Sensodyne Toothbrush
  • Curaprox Ultra Soft Toothbrush

Electric Toothbrush Brands We Like:

  • Any “sensitive” electric toothbrush
  • Oral B Electric Toothbrush with Sensitive Clean Head
  • Philip Sonicare with Sensitive Brush Head

While we love and recommend these brands, if you’ve already found a toothbrush you love, there’s no need to switch.  As long as you go for one with extra soft bristles, you can’t go wrong. 

Book a Teeth Cleaning Today

No matter which toothbrush you choose—whether that’s an electric or manual toothbrush—you’ll need regular dental cleanings to maintain your oral health. Is it time for a checkup? Book your next cleaning today. We’re always happy to answer any toothbrush questions while you’re here.