ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Electric Toothbrushes Vs. Manual: Which is better?

Updated on January 30, 2011

If you stopped the average person on the street and asked them which was better for your teeth, the electric toothbrush or the old-fashioned manual, they’d probably guess electric. And they’d probably give you that answer whether they’d tried them both or not. Why? Well, because we’re conditioned to think the most expensive option is always the best. And always the healthiest. That, and many dentists recommend them, so why wouldn’t you assume there was a single best answer? In my personal opinion, manual toothbrushes are far, far better than electric, and yes, I’ve used both. I used a manual until I was 25, and then started using an electric Oral B, which I used until I was 30.

I’ve never been a fanatical toothbrusher, I just brush like any normal person would. But within a year I started to notice my teeth yellowing. I also noticed they just didn’t seem as clean, no matter how long I brushed for. A year ago, I decided to go back to manual and I was instantly amazed by the difference. I will never use an electric toothbrush again, and I mean this sincerely. My teeth are just more clean after brushing the old-fashioned way. Honestly. Which means dental visits are far less painful when using the manual. See the following reasons for why.

  • Most electric toothbrushes are crap at cleaning the tongue.

Especially the kind with the circular head. Those really don’t do anyone any favors. Brushing the tongue is really important for, hopefully, obvious reasons, and the manual does it quickly and effectively. As a bonus, they also clean the inside of your cheek. Yes, some electric brushes come with tongue cleaners - but that's just an extra step most people don't feel like taking anyway. 

  • Electric toothbrushes just spin the gunk around.

I guess that sounds strange, but it’s the best description I can think of. Brushing manually tends to move the gick onto the brush – electric toothbrushes are often so compact that they aren’t flexible enough to get under it. Instead they just swirl it around. If you want to test this, eat a bagel with really thick cream cheese, and make sure you get your teeth nice and icky from it. Sounds gross, but serves a purpose. Brush with the electric toothbrush as you normally would. When finished, gently scrape your fingernail down the front and see if anything remains. If not, your electric brush is probably ok. If you still have gick, repeat the test with a manual brush and you’ll probably toss that electric soon after. 

  • Manual toothbrushes are more flexible.

You just can’t maneuver an electric the way you can a manual toothbrush. You can’t bend it a bit and get the bristles between those annoying back teeth. The bristles on the circular electric toothbrushes are close fitting and compact and pretty much move as an unit. The inner bristles will never touch your teeth, that’s how inflexible they are. How can you expect to clean hard to reach places with one of those? 

  • Electric toothbrushes are a pain to travel with.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought mine was charged when I left, and then had to hunt down a manual in the hotel drugstore. Manual toothbrushes you just pop in a case, shove in your bag and use when you feel like it. Electric toothbrushes are prima donnas who need special care and attention. Very annoying! 

  • Manual toothbrushes come in a bigger variety.

You can get super soft and super small in manual – good luck finding either in electric. Oh, you can get the Disney kind, and look like a complete moron when you’re traveling, just because God gave you a tiny mouth. But hey, you get over the embarrassment over time. Or you learn to hide the stupid thing. If you think your electric toothbrush is leaving you minty fresh, I suggest you try brushing manual for one day and see if you notice a difference -you might be surprised at the difference.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)