Manual or Electric: What toothbrush is right for you?

You’re in the market for a new toothbrush. Some say manual is the way to go (They’re cheap, easy to use, and won’t ever break.), while others swear by the merits of an electric toothbrush (You’ll know exactly how long to brush, and your mouth will always be cleaner!). But you’re just not sure.

Well, as everyone does, the dentists and staff at Railroad Dental Associates have our preference, of course, but as long as you’re brushing (and flossing!) regularly, there are pros and cons to the purchase and use of each type of toothbrush.

Read on, and decide for yourself: Manual or electric?

Manual Toothbrush


  • Practice proper brushing technique. Brushing with a manual toothbrush takes only two minutes, twice a day, and your teeth will be clean, so clean!
  • Your options are endless. Want a pink toothbrush? You can buy a pink toothbrush. Need a toothbrush with soft bristles because of sensitive gums? You can buy a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Have toothbrush, will travel. All you’ll need is a case in which to carry your toothbrush, and wherever you go, your teeth will sparkle.
  • No batteries required. Enough said.
  • They’re inexpensive, and sometimes free. When you visit your Manassas Park dentist for a regular check up and cleaning, we’ll give you a toothbrush free of charge! Remember, you should replace your toothbrush once every three months.


  • More work. Side to side. Up and down. Your wrist and arm will surely get an exercise when you choose to brush your teeth with a manual toothbrush.
  • You’ll have to set a timer. When you heed the recommendations, you’ll brush for an average of two minutes. With a manual toothbrush this means you’ll have to guess, or count, or set a timer. Unless, of course, you take the opportunity to practice singing the Happy Birthday song!

Electric Toothbrush


  • An electric toothbrush is easy to use. It’s simple. Put the brush in your mouth at a 45-degree angle, and let it do its thing. Just like that, your pearly whites are clean.
  • Get better results with less work. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your mouth and removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • Let the kids have a little fun. Convincing your children that, yes, they have to brush their teeth every day can be frustrating, and a hassle. An electric toothbrush might be the answer to this problem. It’s a lot easier (and more fun).
  • No more counting. Most electric toothbrushes come with a timer built-in. They’ll stop as soon as two minutes have passed, so you’ll never have to guess.


  • Charge it. Electric toothbrushes require, you guessed it, electricity to operate. Every so often, you’ll have to charge your toothbrush or replace its batteries.
  • “It costs how much?!” No matter the type or style, you can expect to pay a significantly higher cost for an electric toothbrush than for its manual counterpart.
  • FRAGILE. If you drop a manual toothbrush on the counter, it’s not a big deal. Drop an electric toothbrush, and it might break. You have to be more careful.

Railroad Dental Associates recommends the use of an electric toothbrush.

Despite the higher cost, and the added hassle that comes along with charging, and the need for careful handling, numerous studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are statistically more effective at removing plaque and fighting gum disease than manual toothbrushes. If you’re still not convinced, or are unsure which electric toothbrush is right for you, schedule a checkup & cleaning with your Manassas Park dentist, and we’ll be happy to help you decide.