Ask a Dentist

September 21, 2023

Q: Are Electric Toothbrushes Better for Your Teeth?

manual toothbrushes on a purple background beside an electric toothbrush on a yellow background

Electric toothbrushes have become a popular choice for consumers to help improve their dental health. They are distinguished by their rotating or vibrating bristles, which help remove any plaque or buildup on your teeth. With a variety of oral hygiene products out in the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for you. Understanding the purpose and benefits of an electric toothbrush can help you decide whether incorporating one into your routine is the right decision for your dental health needs.

How Do They Work?

Manual toothbrushes require you to have an effective brushing technique in order to properly target all bacteria, whereas an electric toothbrush does the hard work for you.

An electric toothbrush with a rotating head is programmed to move in a way that thoroughly cleans your teeth. Physically, the manual toothbrush requires you to be more focused on the brushing experience, whereas an electric toothbrush takes care of the technical work and only needs the user to guide the brush around their teeth.


The constant motion of electric toothbrushes makes them better at removing plaque and other oral bacteria. They are particularly useful in targeting the hard-to-reach places such as your molar teeth located at the back of your mouth. Since it can be difficult to properly brush those areas, it’s easy for plaque and bacteria to build up and cause cavities. If you wear braces, an electric toothbrush can be especially helpful in ensuring your oral cleaning experience is effective by easily reaching beneath brackets, elastics and wires. Many electric toothbrushes also have various pressure settings to match your comfort level or help combat tooth sensitivity.

Regular brushes with soft bristles are great for a healthy and bright smile but they do have their limitations. Manual toothbrushes can only move as fast as your hand, while electric toothbrush bristles can quickly rotate around each tooth. It is important to note that in your oral health journey, a manual toothbrush is effective in cleaning your teeth and taking care of your gums; you can have an effective and healthy oral cleaning routine with just a manual toothbrush. Powered toothbrushes will just give you an extra clean feeling as they work harder and faster to remove stubborn bacteria, any lingering food particles and plaque buildup.

Risk Factors

Using an electric toothbrush does not involve any additional risks. The added power helps promote a correct brushing pattern and ensures each tooth is thoroughly cleaned.  

As with any time you brush your teeth, make sure to watch how much pressure you’re using. When you press too hard you can injure your gums and wear away your enamel, increasing the likelihood of cavities. Regardless of what style of toothbrush you use, make sure you have soft bristles and only use enough pressure to feel the bristles on your teeth. You don’t want them to be squashed up against your teeth – that’s too much pressure.

What Is The Best Option?

Overall, both options are good for maintaining healthy teeth, but an electric toothbrush ensures a more thorough cleaning. If your oral routine requires extra work, you have sensitive teeth, or would feel more satisfied with a deeper clean, then an electric toothbrush would be useful to incorporate into your dental routine.

Making the best decision for your teeth is crucial to your oral health. Part of ensuring you maintain a clean, confident smile is to see your dentist and dental hygienist regularly. Have any questions on the best toothbrush for your teeth? We’re conveniently located in St. Vital and GardenCity, so you can easily book an appointment to get your questions answered by our dental professionals. Book an appointment today.

Book Your Next Dental Appointment Today

Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

Book Now