The Great Debate: Manual Versus Electric Toothbrush

The Great Debate: Manual Versus Electric Toothbrush

So who does it better? The ultimate question users ask everyday when making a selection between a manual and electric toothbrush. With electric toothbrushes becoming more easily available in the drug store, it’s hard to ignore the curiosity of if these more expensive brushes are really worth it. At 6,000 to 30,000 strokes per minutes, one would think that these pricier options would do the job better.

According to the team at Signal Hill Dental Centre, the true reality is that it comes down more to the brusher, than the brush itself.

Both manual and electric toothbrushes each have their own benefits, and their effectiveness results in which the user is more comfortable using. To give you a better understanding, we will highlight some of the advantages of each option.

Manual Toothbrushes:

  • More flexible. Manual brushes often have larger and longer bristles, and with this added flexibility they will more easily reach those far and deep corners.
  • The shape of these brushes often makes it easier to clean your cheeks and tongue, still important areas in maintaining your oral health!
  • More variety. Although electric brushes are becoming more popular and with that more options for bristle types, manual brushes still dominate the market and provide a wider selection of bristle types.
  • Cost – Although electric brushes are becoming more popular, therefore decreasing in price, the good ol’ manual brush is still winning in the price competition


Electric Toothbrushes:

  • Stokes per second. The fast speed that the bristles are moving can help dig away those pieces of unwanted debris and bacteria.
  • Reduces manual movement. Electric brushes are great alternatives for youth, seniors, or those who may suffer from physical challenges such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and any other painful or movement-restricting conditions.
  • Length of brush time. Many electric brushes now have built in timers so you know when you’ve hit the 2-minute mark. As always, our dental team always recommends to brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
  • These toothbrush options often make the task more fun for kids. Whether it’s the feel of the stimulated brush, the ‘cool’ factor of having a device to help them brush, or the different shapes and colors that these brushes come in, these devices can make tooth brushing more fun.


At the end of the day, both manual and electric can be equally effective. It just comes down to the users and what you feel more comfortable using. Some of our patients even alternate between manual and electric to ensure that what one option is missing, the other is getting.

If you would like to find out more about the recommended brushes from the Signal Hill Dental Centre team, feel free to contact us.