What type of toothbrush should you use? Patients who have asked for advice on this topic often want to know if an electric toothbrush is right for them. The answer depends on the patient. In this post, we’ll outline some of the most important points you should consider before deciding on what kind of toothbrush to buy.

Plaque and Gingivitis

an image showing a manual and an electric toothbrush

There are many aspects to consider before making a decision about what toothbrush to buy.

Studies show that sonic and electric toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis in the short and long-term better than the manual version. However, the same studies admit that manual and powered brushes can be equally effective if booth brushes are used properly.


Most models range from about $15 to more than $100. Replacement bristle heads cost more than generic manual toothbrushes, too.


Electric toothbrushes are larger and heavier than their manual counterparts. They also need batteries or a charging station. People who travel often usually like the convenience, reliability, and no-hassle of the manual brush.


According to the American Dental Association (AMA), people with limited movement in their shoulders, arms, and hands – such as sufferers of arthritis – can benefit from the larger handle and powered brush of an electric model.


The AMA recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice a day. Many people, however, have a hard time forming this habit and often stop well short of the 2-minute mark. Electric toothbrushes have an automatic cut off (or other notification system), which signals the end of the session.

For Both Versions: Technique Matters!

Here are some technique tips to keep in mind:

  • Angle the brush at about a 45-degree angle up onto the tooth and into gum line.
  • Vary the starting spot to make sure you don’t fall into a pattern.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t over scrub or use too much pressure.
  • Make sure you brush every tooth and cranny.
  • Pay as much attention to the backs of the teeth as the front.
  • Always follow up with a rinse.
  • Maintain your bristle head: let it dry completely to kill bacteria and replace it every 3 or 4 months. Children should replace their brush heads even more frequently.

Contact Us for More Brushing Tips

Brushing is vital to oral health. If you are part of our Jacksonville patient family, don’t hesitate to contact us with any/all tooth brushing questions.