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Should You Use a Manual or Electric Toothbrush? January 25, 2019

Should You Use a Manual or Electric Toothbrush?, Kannapolis, North Carolina

Given the advanced technology behind electric toothbrushes, many believe these products are much better than manual brushes. However, the American Dental Association recognizes that both types are effective at teeth cleaning, so long as they are used twice a day for two-minute periods. So which one should you choose? To help you select the best oral hygiene product for your smile, here’s a brief guide to the pros and cons of manual and powered toothbrushes.

How Do Manual Toothbrushes Compare to Electric Models?


While traditional products may only cost a few dollars, electric toothbrushes can cost anywhere between $10 and $200. However, once you buy a powered device, you will only have to pay for replacement brush heads — and batteries, if needed. For some, the higher cost of an electric brush is worth the investment if it means preventing oral health issues.

Teeth Cleaning Power

While manual brushes may only produce as many as 300 strokes per minute, electric devices can move anywhere from 3,000 to 50,000 strokes per minute. This speed, as well as the combination of rotation and pulsating motions, may be why powered devices are shown to be slightly more effective at removing the plaque that’s responsible for cavities and gingivitis.


teeth cleaningIf you have a dexterity issue or arthritis, maintaining a solid grip on a manual toothbrush may be difficult. With an electric device, you only need to guide the bristles over your teeth, so you don’t have to keep a steady grip.


Taking a manual toothbrush with you is as easy as putting it in a covered case and packing it in your bag. By comparison, electric models may take up more bag space and require you to bring along charging equipment to keep the battery powered.


Although powered brushes are re-usable, they tend to produce more waste than manual products — especially if they require the use of batteries. Many manual devices also use recyclable or fully-compostable materials.  

Are All Electric Toothbrushes the Same?

If you do choose an electric toothbrush, it’s important to know that they aren’t all designed the same. More affordable models, for example, are designed to be disposable and require the use of replacement batteries. These devices also tend to reach the lower-end of powered brushing speeds. For more intensive teeth cleaning, you may want to choose an ultrasonic toothbrush that uses ultrasonic waves to remove plaque at up to 50,000 strokes per minute. These types of brushes are typically rechargeable and thus don’t require batteries. 


Whatever type of toothbrush you choose, maintaining your oral health will also require regular visits with a trusted dentist — such as those at Cabarrus Health Alliance. With two locations in Kannapolis and Concord, NC, this provider offers affordable teeth cleaning, oral exams, and restorative dentistry to patients of all ages. Dedicated to improving access to dental health, this clinic also provides mobile oral health services to local schools and sliding-scale payment options. To learn more about this health care provider, visit their website, or call (704) 920-1070 to schedule an appointment today.

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