Which to Choose? Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

Good oral health comes down to the basics: daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing. But, when it comes to what type of toothbrush you should use, there can be a little bit of a debate in some households.

There is evidence that powered toothbrushes are slightly better at reducing plaque and gum disease; however, both are safe and effective at cleaning teeth and, when used properly, may be equally good at helping to protect your oral health.

  • Some studies have shown that powered toothbrushes reduced plaque and gingivitis more than manual tooth brushing.
  • The most studied powered toothbrush is one with a circular brush head that rotates, first in one direction and then the other. According to the research, this powered brush type seems to do better than the other kinds of powered toothbrushes (some move side to side, are ultrasonic or ionic).
  • You win either way. All brushes, including manual, can be effective at removing plaque if used correctly and for the appropriate length of time, usually about two minutes at each brushing.
  • It is important to choose a toothbrush that you like and will use properly. Also, remember that for decay prevention, it is important to use a fluoride toothpaste.