Electric Toothbrush vs Manual – Top Toothbrushes Dentists Recommend

Electric Toothbrush vs Manual


I get this question all the time by patients and it is a fairly complicated answer.

First, we have to settle the debate of which is better: manual or electric toothbrushes. With absolutely perfect brushing technique, studies have shown there is no difference between manual or electric.

This being said, most people do not have perfect brushing technique and for the average person, having the toothbrush head vibrate/oscillate and do all of the work creates a much cleaner mouth.

Electric toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are essentially an easier, more thorough way to clean your teeth.

With electric toothbrushes, there are 3 main players in the Australian market: Oral-B, Colgate and Philips Sonicare.

Oral-B has been a stalwart in this market, pioneering electric toothbrush technology for decades and being the number 1 seller in the Australian market. Unfortunately (for them), their technology has been superseded.

The head on the Oral-B oscillates round and round which was a tried and tested way, copied and replicated by many other manufacturers but never to the same level. Though you will get a thorough clean with the Oral-B brushes, there is a flaw with this design in that it can accelerate harm to the gingival tissues and in some instances cause damage to the enamel.

Colgate and Philips Sonicare have a new system which uses ultrasonic movements, similar (but not the same as) what we use for a professional clean. This not only greatly reduces the chances of damaging enamel and gingiva but there is also some evidence indicating the ultrasonic vibrations may boost vascularity around the gums and soft tissues, promoting healing.

Whilst both Colgate and Philips use the same system and are both amazing well made, the Colgate has been heavily criticised about how loud the motors are and that the gyroscope functionality (a function that changes how hard it is brushing depending on the surface) is a bit of a gimmick and not very useful. Some of these criticisms have been said to have been resolved by their new ‘ProClinical’ range but I have not yet had an opportunity to use these as they are relatively new to market.

If you do not like the sensation of an electric toothbrush (I myself took time to get used to it) and you want to stick to a manual toothbrush, my favourite is the Colgate SlimSoft range.

Electric Toothbrush vs Manual

The bristles are super soft and super thin (17x thinner than the average toothbrush) meaning you won’t damage enamel or gingiva and you will be able to clean those hard to reach places. Every patient at Abbotsford Dental receives one of these toothbrushes with every check-up.

At Abbotsford Dental, we strive to keep your teeth healthy and clean with our General Dental procedures and provide you with personalised advice on how to maintain a healthy smile for life.



Electric: Philips Sonicare Range (Diamond Clean or Flexcare)

Manual: Colgate Slimsoft