Manual vs. Powered Toothbrushes: Which is Best?

A good, quality toothbrush is one tool that is at the heart of any effective dental hygiene program. This fact is as basic as you can get. However, with the advent of the electric toothbrush – first invented by Dr. Phillippe Guy Woog in 1954 – the question of what kind of toothbrush to use has expanded beyond bristle type, shape etc. In fact, one of the most common questions dentists find the public asking is which kind of toothbrush is best manual or electric. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.


Manual toothbrushes


Invented back in 15th century China, the first toothbrush bore little resemblance to the kind that most of us use today. Instead of a sleek plastic implement that comes in a variety of colors and designs and was filled with soft to firm bristles, this early invention was made of coarse boar hair attached to bamboo or bone.




  • There are a variety of bristles, heads and styles to choose from.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.
  • No charging is needed.




  • They require more physical effort to use than electric toothbrushes.
  • They can be difficult to use for people with dexterity problems like arthritis, etc.


Electric toothbrushes


Although the electric toothbrush was first invented in the mid Twentieth Century, they only became popular in the 1990s. Like manual toothbrushes there are advantages and disadvantages to their use.




  • They are easy to use.
  • They are better at removing plaque and gingivitis.
  • Kids find them fun and easy to use.




  • They must be charged.
  • They cost more than a manual toothbrush.
  • They can be easy to break.


Finally, whichever kind of toothbrush you use be sure that it is ADA approved. Our low-income dental plans can put you in contact with a dental provider who will happily
answer any question you may have about the differences between the two kinds of brushes. Moreover, our Ameriplan Dental plan can save you up to 80% on some procedures.

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