If you’re on the fence and are considering swapping that old toothbrush for something a little more high tech, you’re not alone. Based on a survey by Statista, 131.43 million Americans used power toothbrushes in 2020. Whether you’re looking to reduce your plastic waste, or have been longing for that fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling, there are many reasons why switching to an electric toothbrush could be right for you.

woman using best electric toothbrush

So, are electric toothbrushes better for you? Do they in fact clean your teeth more than a standard toothbrush? We’re tackling all of these questions and more below, along with a solid comparison of the electric toothbrush vs manual so you can make the best choice for your personal oral health goals. 

Let’s get to it!

Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush Comparison

The toothbrush is a very important object in our modern day life. In fact, the toothbrush was chosen as the number one invention Americans could not live without in a 2003 Lemelson-MIT survey. So, we get it—you’re doing the work to find out what toothbrush type and model will best suit your oral health needs.

Keep scrolling to learn about the pros and cons between electric vs manual toothbrushes, along with some tips to keep your dentist happy!

Electric Toothbrush Pros

best affordable white electric toothbrush by bruush
Shop our Cloud White Brüush Electric Toothbrush

Faster, More Effective Clean

Although there are many benefits of an electric toothbrush, getting your teeth REAL clean is definitely at the top.

Where electric toothbrushes shine is in their ability to move very, very fast. They usually have built-in rotation or vibration, depending on the brush model/brand. These quick movements and added dexterity help make your teeth cleaner, faster.

Although you can technically get your teeth equally as clean with a manual, it will take you much longer to get to that squeaky clean feeling! Research shows it takes 3x as long to achieve the same results with a steady back and forth motion.

For kids (who tend to rush through the brushing process), or individuals who have a harder time manipulating a manual toothbrush (such as people with arthritis), using an electric toothbrush simply makes more sense.

Better Plaque Removal

According to a 2015 consumer report, electric toothbrushes remove 21% more plaque than manual brushes. Now that’s früush. Make yourself and your dentist happy by switching to an electric model.

Less Plastic Waste than Your Average

If plastic waste isn’t on your mind, then it should be. It’s a major issue to our environment, and at the rate the world is producing garbage, it’s just not sustainable. Since the majority of toothbrushes are unrecyclable, one thing you can do to reduce your toothbrush waste overtime is to switch to an electric. Instead of having to toss out a full toothbrush every time you switch to a new one, you now only have the brush head to replace.

Of course, your best option for a no-waste toothbrush is bamboo, but electric comes in 2nd as a compromise that’s simply better for the environment than a standard plastic toothbrush.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

Be Gentle on Your Gums

Often when people transition from a standard toothbrush to an electric powered one, there’s a slight adjustment in the way you should brush. It’s recommended to use less force/pressure, and instead let the brush do most of the work. All you have to do is move the brush head around evenly to properly clean the surface of your teeth.

The con here is that if you do not adjust your brushing habits, you may actually see some gum recession over time! So, be gentle with your brushing and head to the dentist on a regular schedule to make sure your teeth and gums are nice and healthy.

Hot tip: The Brüush electric toothbrush uses extra soft Nylon bristles that are even more gentle on your gums than a standard toothbrush, making it the best electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth. These bristles help to provide a squeaky clean feeling without risking any damage.

Bigger Upfront Investment

Likely one the largest barriers to entry in the electric toothbrush market is the price. Depending on which brand you’re looking at, prices can vary on average from $65 to upwards of $200. That’s a pretty big investment! But, rest assured that overtime you actually do save money, particularly if it means less expensive dentist visits in the future.

Once you’ve paid for the actual brush, you’ll just need to make sure to replace your brush heads every 2 months to keep things fresh and clean.

Every Gadget Has a Shelf Life

Any and every electronic device has some sort of shelf life. From the TV in your living room, to the cellphone you scroll on daily—wear and tear overtime is inevitable.

At some point in time, you will need to replace your electric toothbrush. How long it may last is likely up to the model you choose, and how you treat it. That’s why most manufacturers provide a warranty on their electric brushes that may range from 1 year upwards.

Take care of your electronic items and they should last a very long time!

Why Brüush is the Top Recommended Electric Toothbrush

bruush black electric toothbrush
Shop our Black Bruush Electric Toothbrush

We may be biased, but we believe that Brüush has the best electric toothbrush on the market. From the more affordable price point, to the easy brush head refill subscription, to the oh-so-chic look (in a multitude of colors)—what’s there not to love?

Benefits of owning a Brüush:

  • Industry-leading sonic technology
  • 4-week battery life
  • 2-minute timer
  • 6 cleaning modes
  • Extra-soft bristles

You can also try Brüush, risk free. With a 90-day guarantee, you can rest assured that if you don’t love your Brüush within that time frame, you can simply return it.

Price: $79 USD

What comes with your Brüush:

  • 3 brush heads
  • USB power adapter & charger
  • Compact travel case

Manual Toothbrush Pros

manual toothbrush pros and cons

They’re Pretty Darn Cheap

You need a new toothbrush TODAY, and don’t want to make a big purchase? Well then a standard toothbrush is for you. Averaging in price from $1 to $5 for a regular polypropylene plastic model, this is a very small investment for the majority of the population.

You should still make sure to replace your standard toothbrush every 3-4 weeks!

There’s a Ton of Options Available

Head to your nearest drug store and you’ll likely find a whole isle filed with toothbrushes. Want hard bristles? How about the addition of a tongue brush? No problem. What about an all pink toothbrush, or one that’s multicolored? Don’t sweat it.

Because toothbrushes are such a hot item (hello, everyone uses them), most stores will have a good selection consistently in stock. Whereas, the electric toothbrush section may be a little slim picking in your local superstore. You’ll likely have better luck ordering online direct from the brand’s website, or through a marketplace like Amazon.

They Take Up Less Space

This one speaks for itself. Manual toothbrushes don’t come with any fancy gadgets, which means less clutter for your home.

Manual Toothbrush Cons

Increased Plastic Waste

We mentioned it briefly above, but we’ll say it again—one of the biggest cons of a standard toothbrush is the plastic waste. Due to the composite plastics used in the majority of brushes, most toothbrushes are non-recyclable.

According to National Geographic, if you took all of the toothbrushes tossed away in the U.S. in a year, then laid them out in a line, they would wrap around the Earth four times! There are of course alternatives, such as bamboo toothbrushes, but the majority of people gravitate towards the cheaper plastic models (which are just more widely available).

bamboo manual toothbrush

The other option is to switch to a brush with a reusable handle, reducing the amount of plastic waste per toothbrush cycle (dentists recommend replacing your brush/brush head every 3-4 months).

It Takes Longer to Really Clean Your Teeth (A Lot Longer)

The great debate is over—your manual toothbrush often won’t give you a better clean than an electric one. Can you blame it? It’s relying on your own human power to get things scrubbed clean.

The great debate is over—your manual toothbrush often won’t give you a better clean than an electric one. Can you blame it? It’s relying on your own human power to get things scrubbed clean.

For example, Brüush moves at a whopping 31,000 brush strokes per minute—that's 100x faster than a manual toothbrush!

Risk of Over Brushing

People often associate increased toothbrush pressure with a better clean, but this behaviour can come with some downsides. Brushing your teeth too hard can cause damage to your gums and your pearly whites—so be gentle, no matter what type of brush you’re using.

Set Your Timer

While electric toothbrushes often come with some sort of timer that lets you know when you’re done brushing (or even when to move from one side to the other), manual toothbrushes rely all on you. Though you may like to think that your internal clock is up-to-snuff, if you’re using a manual toothbrush, it’s better to set a timer so you can ensure you’re not over or under brushing your teeth.

Answers to Your Most Pressing Electric Toothbrush Questions

1. Are electric toothbrushes bad for gums?

Well, this depends on how you’re using your electric toothbrush. When used correctly, there should be no damage to your gums. 

But, here’s a tip: never brush up and down, only side to side. When you brush in an upwards direction, you increase your risk of receding gums. This goes for standard brushes, too. 

Luckily, Brüush toothbrushes use extra soft nylon bristles, giving you a superior clean without damaging your gums. So whether you're a before breakfast or after breakfast brusher, your gums (and teeth) will thank you.

2. Do electric toothbrushes make teeth whiter?

Technically, the answer is no… but also, yes. Let’s dive into this quickly! 

What electric toothbrushes are superior at is removing stains on your teeth. By removing these stains, your teeth will appear whiter and brighter. So in a way, yes, electric toothbrushes will make your teeth whiter (assuming you have some staining to scrub off). 

To actually lighten the color of your teeth, you will need to use other methods, such as at home remedies or over-the-counter whitening strips.

3. Are electric toothbrushes worth it?

By now, you should hopefully have a good idea of whether an electric toothbrush is right for you. But, are they more worth it than a standard brush? Well, you’ll have to think about what your oral health goals are. 

  • Do you want teeth that appear whiter? 
  • Do you want that fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling? 
  • Have you always thought about trying an electric toothbrush but haven’t yet made the leap? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then it’s time you made the switch. Electric toothbrushes are definitely ‘worth it’ if you’re looking to level up your teeth cleaning routine.

Go On, Get Yourself a Brüush

If you’re looking for the best affordable electric toothbrush, you’ve found it! Start Brüushing today and see results immediately. Join the thousands of other Brüushers who’ve invested in a healthier smile.

electric toothbrush review of bruush
Real reviews, from real people who Brüush.

You’ve heard it before in the dentist chair, and you’ll hear it again here… One last tip from the Brüush team: don’t forget to floss once per day! Although electric toothbrushes may leave you with cleaner teeth, to get that super früush feeling you need to thread between those pearly whites. Otherwise, your Brüush has you covered.