What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

In the office we get asked by patients all the time what type of toothbrush should I use?  The answer to which toothbrush is the best, ultimately depends on a few factors that we’ll discuss below.  No matter what toothbrush the goal is the same – remove plaque that can lead to tartar, get the flouride from your toothpaste on all surfaces of the tooth so it can do it’s magic, remove surficial stains on teeth.

Manual or Electric

Manual toothbrushes where your hand does the work.  The two most well known brands for electric toothbrushes are Braun Oral B and Philips Sonicaire.  Most tootbrushes can do a good job if  used properly but we find in the office that electric toothbrushes are less error prone since they do most of the work for you.

Cost of Ownership

Electric more expensive than manual.  Manual costs $3-$10.  Electric is usually $50 to $150 for the system.  Need to replace brush head for electric just like you need to replace the manual toothbrush every 3 months or so.

Gum Sensitivity

Manual toothbrushes can be more gentle on the gums


  • Electric overall does a better job of removing plaque, spreading flouride, and removing surficial stains
  • Overall we recommend this Philips Sonicaire model
  • That being said if cost and gum sensitivity are big issues, a manual toothbrush will do the job just fine.   Just be sure to pick the right brush head size and softness.

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