When it is time to buy a new toothbrush, you may think you have an easy decision ahead of you. You do have an easy choice to make, as long as you already know what kind of toothbrush you want. There are three primary types of brushes – manual, electric, and sonic. If you are already familiar with these three kinds of toothbrushes, then you already know which one you prefer. If you are not familiar with the different kinds of toothbrushes, then it is time that you learned the differences. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to brushing your teeth!]

What are the Different Types of Toothbrushes?

Manual Toothbrush

A manual toothbrush is just that – it is manual. This means that you have to use your own power to brush your teeth. For many people, a manual toothbrush gets the job done. Yes, it may take a little bit more time of brushing up and down and in circles to clean all of your teeth, but manual brushes are a tried-and-true method of cleaning your teeth. Manual brushes are definitely the most affordable option. The key to being successful with a manual is your technique. You have to make sure you are brushing your teeth the right way to get the most out of a manual toothbrush.

Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush takes a manual toothbrush and turns it up a notch. You can increase the number of brush strokes you make by as much as ten times versus a manual brush. Electric brushes have rotating bristles that help you clean your teeth. You still have to position the brush in the different areas of your mouth and help it along, but these kinds of toothbrushes take some of the work out of your hands. To be successful with an electric brush, you must follow proper brushing techniques. These brushes are more expensive than manual brushes because you have to replace the rotating head when it gets worn out.

Sonic Toothbrush

A sonic toothbrush is an electric toothbrush, only much faster! This kind of brush will give you more than 30,000 brush strokes every minute. That is a lot of brushing, and you don’t have to do very much. You do have to make sure you are guiding the brush to the different areas of your mouth, but it takes a lot of the work out of brushing. These are the most expensive types of toothbrushes, but they are an ideal choice if you have limited mobility in your hands and arms.

Choosing The Perfect Toothbrush

Now that you know the differences between manual, electric, and sonic toothbrushes, you can make an informed decision when you decide to buy a new toothbrush. When making the choice, consider all the factors – cleaning power, cost, and your own ability. If you struggle with brushing your teeth, an electric or sonic brush might be the best choice. If you have been successfully cleaning your teeth for years with a manual, then you may want to stick with what you know. The choice is yours, and you really cannot go wrong – the important thing is that you are brushing your teeth, no matter which brush you choose.

Last Reviewed By Dr. Eli Friedman on October 14, 2020