Which are Better: Electric or Manual Toothbrushes?

A beautiful young Afro-American woman with a perfect smile.

The oral care section at a typical supermarket has dozens of toothbrush options. Do you go with a shiny, new electric toothbrush or opt for a tried-and-true manual toothbrush? Does one kind clean teeth better than the other? This article will give you a rundown of the key differences between electric and manual toothbrushes, so you can select which one best fits your needs.

A Brief History of Toothbrushes

Humans had methods to keep their teeth clean way before the industrialization of toothbrushes. Archaeologists have discovered teeth cleaning mechanisms dating back to 3000 BC. People often used chew sticks, a twig with frayed ends, to clean their smiles. In the late 15th century, China developed an early form of a toothbrush with bristles made from pig hairs and a bamboo handle. Europeans were inspired by the Chinese and started making toothbrushes with horse or pig hair bristles and cattle bone handles. Nylon bristles first hit the market in 1938 and are still the most popular bristle material today. The electric toothbrush was the next major development in oral care, first becoming available in the 1950s. Electric toothbrushes were originally invented for people with limited motor skills and orthodontic patients.

The Electric Toothbrush Difference

Over 11 years of research have concluded that individuals that use an electric toothbrush generally have healthier mouths. The Journal of Clinical Periodontology reported that electric toothbrushes had 22% less gum recession, 21% less plaque build-up, and 18% less tooth decay on average.

Many patients prefer electric toothbrushes because they do most of the work for you. The motors in electric toothbrushes can move up to 30,000 brushes per minute! This powerful scrubbing removes plaque and bacteria with minimal effort from the user. Electric toothbrushes also have a built-in timer to ensure users always brush for a full two minutes.

Electric toothbrushes are a life-changing tool for individuals with limited mobility. Patients with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and developmental disabilities were able to discover newfound independence with the introduction of the electric toothbrush.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have been a reliable tooth-cleaning tool for decades. Many patients prefer manual toothbrushes because they are affordable and available at any grocery store. While their design is much simpler than electric toothbrushes, people can still maintain optimal oral health by using their manual toothbrushes correctly.

How to Get the Most Out of a Manual Toothbrush:

  • Set a timer to ensure you brush for 2 whole minutes
  • Use a manual toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line
  • Move the brush in small circular motions diligently over each tooth

The Bottom Line

You can achieve a squeaky clean smile with electric and manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes make it easier for most patients to clean their smiles effectively. However, with the proper technique, a manual toothbrush can keep your smile cavity-free. If you’re still using a manual toothbrush and are looking for an easy way to level up your smile routine, try an electric toothbrush!

Posted on behalf of Majestic Smiles Studio

17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Phone: (714) 996-2255


Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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By far THE best dentist I have ever been to! Dr. Maria Gutierrez is brilliant at what she does. Her professionalism, efficiency, and grace is amazing. Dr. Gutierrez, her dental assistant Veronica and the office manager Nicole made me feel completely comfortable and taken care of. It is very obvious that the staff there truly cares for their patients. Besides the amazing customer service, their work is PERFECT! my teeth are shining like never before and look marvelous. If you have ever had any questions about visiting this business, hesitate no longer! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!
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The best dentist I've ever been to, this place is awesome ! As everyone knows, going to a dental office typically isn't a celebratory and pleasant event! However, my experience here changed my outlook on dentistry for the better. Nicole the office manager was very kind and set the appointment for me even though I had to be back to my office by 9 AM and I needed to have an appointment closer to 7 AM, she moved things around and accommodate me and promised I won’t be late to work. Veronica(who administered the X-rays and assisted Dr. Gutierrez) was thorough, kind, and very knowledgeable, which was a great start. Then Dr. Gutierrez came in to conduct the examination and assess what work needed to be performed. The sincerity she exhibited for my well being was admirable and her exceptional skill became immediately evident. I've been to several of the top dentists in Southern California, and this was by far the most impressive experience. Their price point was reasonable, the building was quite nice, and the level of care is top notch. In addition, the hygienist Stephanie was fantastic. She approached your cleaning with the perfect balance of gentleness and rigorousness. The photo studio for before and after pictures was very useful for me to see the huge difference. If you need a new dentist, this is the place. They've gained a lifelong patient in me! I hate going to the dentist. Not because I'm scared, but because I despise mouth and dental related pains. I don’t have high tolerance for pain, dental pain for whatever reason is 10 times more, but I did full sets of veneers and didn’t feel any pain! I highly recommend Majestic Smile Studio and Dr. Gutierrez and her team.
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17300 Yorba Linda Blvd Suite B
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

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Monday & Wednesday - 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Thursday - 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

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