The toothbrush was invented in 15th Century China by attaching bristles of a hog to a bamboo handle. Oral hygiene has come a long way since then, and today toothbrushes are available in a variety of shapes and sizes from a host of manufacturers, and this can present a bewildering array of options when it comes to modern dental healthcare.

Because your toothbrush will be put to work on a daily basis, it’s important to choose one that you’re comfortable with that will clean your teeth effectively. Probably the biggest question when selecting a toothbrush is: electric or manual. A traditional brush works well if you’re diligent when cleaning your teeth, but powered brushes are becoming increasingly popular.

So, with the help of Lancaster Dental, let’s look at the pros and cons of electric toothbrush v. manual.

Electric Toothbrush


Creating thousands of strokes a minute, powered toothbrushes can clean your teeth thoroughly in less time. However, if you’re tempted to just quickly run the brush over your teeth, it won’t be as effective as a manual brush. Ensuring each tooth gets careful attention if still imperative.

An electric brush is ideal for anyone lacking the dexterity needed to use a traditional brush; powered brushes are easy to hold and do the rotating action job for you.

A major attraction of powered brushes is that, being easier to use, they encourage people, particularly children, to maintain a regular daily routine of brushing.


Higher-end electric brushes cost considerably more than manual brushes, and their heads need to be replaced as often as you would buy a new traditional brush.

Vibrations of a powered brush can be painful for some people, especially those with loose teeth or gum problems.

Manual Toothbrush


Manual toothbrushes enable more control over how you brush your teeth. It’s up to you how fast and hard you go over your teeth and gums, which makes for a more comfortable cleaning for people with sensitive areas of the mouth.

Manual brushes are much more affordable, and they don’t take up as much room as electric versions, which makes them handy if you’re traveling.

There’s little that can go wrong with a traditional brush, and you don’t need to charge batteries and replace heads.


With a manual toothbrush, you need an impeccable brushing technique to achieve optimum results, which calls for a certain amount of dexterity.

Compared with electric brushes, manual ones don’t have the same appeal, and this can lead to a jaded attitude towards brushing.

Why Soft Bristles are Best – Electric or Manual

The Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene sings the praises of electric brushes, saying they are easy to use, do a better job of cleaning your teeth, and are particularly appealing to children, who view brushing as a chore.

Whether you opt for an electric toothbrush or a manual one, Lancaster Dental says soft bristles are best for getting rid of plaque – the sticky, bacteria-ridden coating that accumulates on your teeth and along the gum line.

The best toothbrush – electric or manual – is one whose shape and size fits your mouth comfortably and enables you to reach all your teeth easily.

If you need further advice on choosing a toothbrush or on other aspects of oral hygiene, contact Lancaster Dental.