/ Health, Shopping

Electric or manual toothbrush? I’m at a floss


I’m sure all of you brush your teeth at least two times a day, but what’s your tool of choice? Do you opt for an electric or a manual brush? Here’s Patrick and Adam going head-to-head in the Great British Brush Off…

Patrick’s for electric toothbrushes

avatarUntil last year, I was like Adam. I brushed my teeth using a tool that’s essentially unchanged since cavemen first brandished frayed twigs to improve their oral hygiene. And then I evolved.

During a routine check-up, my dentist told me that my gums were starting to recede on one side due to aggressive brushing. I was fully prepared to book myself into a hypnotherapist to coax me out of this bad habit, but to my relief, my dentist told me there was another way. I could buy an electric toothbrush.

I haven’t looked back. My teeth just feel cleaner after the change. Perhaps this is predominantly due to my poor manual-brushing skills, but I just can’t compete with my electric’s 7,000 rotations per minute.

The pressure-sensor and the timer have made the biggest impact. Having a light to warn me when I’m brushing too hard and a timer to keep me brushing for two minutes have banished my bad brushing habits.

Yes, electrics are more expensive than manuals, but I certainly didn’t cough up £100 for one. You’ll often find them on sale, and our tests have found value electric brushes that do the job. So, join the electric revolution and leave those soon-to-be-in-a-museum manual relics behind.

Adam’s for manual toothbrushes

avatarAccording to our poll from a couple of years ago, I’m firmly in the minority when it comes to my choice of toothbrush. Call me a luddite (I’ve been called worse), but the idea of owning an electric toothbrush has just never appealed.

I understand Patrick’s arguments for going electric – that brushing requires less effort and some models have natty features like a timer and pressure sensors. But are electric brushes really necessary? I can honestly say that I’ve never needed an alarm to tell me I’ve been brushing for two minutes or when to move on to the next section of my mouth. Nor have I felt like my arm is about to drop off after my morning or evening clean.

And if I ever needed any more persuading that an electric toothbrush isn’t for me, I just take a look at the price tags. Some cost in excess of £100, with manufacturers recommending that pricey replacement heads should be fitted every three months.

I’ve used manual toothbrushes all my life. My teeth are in healthy shape and I’ve never had any complaints about my breath (at least not to my face). I won’t be changing to an electric.

Which camp are you in? Do you agree with Adam that a good old manual toothbrush is the way to go? Or are you in Patrick’s electric toothbrush team?

Do you brush with a manual or an electric toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush, like Patrick (67%, 358 Votes)

A manual toothbrush, like Adam (33%, 178 Votes)

Total Voters: 535

Loading ... Loading ...

I prefere manual brush and floss

Betsy Perry says:
18 May 2015

Hi guys, I recently read a blog http://www.stevemocrae.com/are-electronic-toothbrushes-better-than-manual/ where it says, for people suffering from arthritis or joint ailments, electric tooth brush is a great option, is it so?. My 84 year old grandmother has joint pain and she has trouble brushing her teeth. ?Is it ok for her to start using it at her age? Plz advice.


I think it’s dificult to answer that question in correspondence. A doctor, dentist or dental hygienist would be best placed to advise taking various factors into account that can only be assessed by looking at your grandmother’s mouth and her manual dexterity.