4 Disadvantages of Electric Toothbrush to Stick to Manual

Disadvantages of Electric Toothbrush

Planning to get your hands on a fancy toothbrush that vibrates? Hold that thought! You might want to investigate the disadvantages of electric toothbrush to figure out if this is worth your oral care budget.

When I ordered my first electric toothbrush, I was excited to try it. But little did I know that it wouldn’t be a good purchase for my sensitive teeth. You should stick to your age-old manual brushes for more than one reason. But first, can we admit that only a few things require an electronic upgrade?

Technology experts try their best to simplify our lives through constant innovation. But sometimes, we need to do the math to wonder if we need to use the electronic version for everything around us.

For instance, moving from mortar and pestle to mixer grinders was a great leap for our culinary needs. But does that have to be similar to our oral hygiene? Well, not so much. After all, it would help if you still had your hands to let the brush clean your teeth. And it is time to know why we should keep this old-school.

Disadvantages of electric toothbrush

Brands might give you endless advantages of electric toothbrush, but I am here for an honest review regarding things you might miss out on. So, let’s hear them out:

It is terrible if you have sensitivity

From personal experience, this was the worst part about owning an electric toothbrush. As we age, our teeth weaken. Top that up with habits like smoking, having sodas, and eating sugary food, and you’re more susceptible to teeth weakening.

While none of the mentioned habits are things we should do, it is essential to acknowledge that an electric toothbrush can harm people with teeth sensitivity. The product I purchased mentioned that initial usage might send signals of shock to the nerves, and it did precisely that. It lasts depending on your teeth condition and can worsen it gradually.

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Electric toothbrush price

The cost of an electric toothbrush will depend on the brand you purchase. It can go anywhere from $40 to $300 or more. The one I bought cost me $15 as I got it in India. But the standard price in the US is $50.

Regular toothbrushes charge you $10 for a set of 5 or 6, which is cheaper. But you need to consider the longevity of the product in this case.

The product will last longer as you can keep changing the brush and the battery placed inside. So, repeated usage compensates for the regular toothbrush charge. But it can be an expensive investment if you don’t like the product or it pains your teeth.

Disadvantages of Electric Toothbrush

Gum damage

When migrating from manual toothbrushes to electric ones, we don’t immediately withdraw from maneuvering with our hands. This is why knowing how to use an electric toothbrush properly becomes imperative.

Using it too hard can damage your gums and teeth. It can also increase teeth problems while you run it over cavities, broken teeth, and other oral issues.

Erodes dentin

As per studies, electronic toothbrushes damage dentin much more than manual toothbrushes.

But, at first, what is dentin?

Dentin is a tissue that supports teeth. There are layers of this tissue that maintain each tooth’s structure. While enamel is the strongest, dentin comes right after.

The composition of dentin includes:

  • mineral and acellular that formulate as hydroxyapatite crystals
  • collagen and mucopolysaccharide that compose organic water

If there is damage in dentin, the tissue will become liquefied and soft, leading to tooth surface loss.

Advantages of electric toothbrush

It is important to highlight the benefits for you to make an informed decision regarding electric brushes:

Cleans hard-to-reach places

Manual toothbrushes help you reach tricky areas to clean, but not clean them properly. When using a power toothbrush, it needs you to rest it over the teeth and let it automatically do the work. All you need is to press a button and find the molars at the back to get good treatment, like the incisors and canines.

Removes plaque and gingivitis

People turn to electric toothbrushes primarily because of regular plaque and gingivitis removal. Gingivitis inflames and infects our gums, which happens due to plaque build-up. If not addressed quickly, plaque spreads to ligaments and bones supporting teeth. Using an electric toothbrush removes plaque and prevents complex cases of gingivitis.

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Does not require frequent purchase

A manual toothbrush needs to be replaced at least once every three months. If you are too conscious about oral hygiene, replace it once every month. With an electric toothbrush, all you need is to replace batteries and the head. The electronic body that stores the battery doesn’t require replacement.

The list below shows how electric and manual toothbrushes work differently and how the results are varied.

Electric vs. Manual toothbrushes

Plaque RemovalServes bestNot efficient enough
Gums damageIt can damage gum if not adequately regulatedDoes not damage gum until harshly used
MobilityDoes not twist or bend to molarsComes with twisted heads to deep clean and reach hard-to-access areas
Multiple modes of brushingStimulation depends on the mode chosenDepends on manual handwork as the user prefers
MaintenanceRequires replacement of brushing head and meticulous cleaningWashing after use and frequent replacement needed
Environment-friendlyDoes less damage to the environment and isn’t made of plasticRequires frequent replacement and is usually made of plastic
PriceOne-time expenditure for durability until it wears out, like any other electronic gadgetComparatively inexpensive but requires repeated purchase

Final thoughts

While using an electric toothbrush has many advantages, they don’t outweigh the disadvantages. Try it out and analyze from the experience to see if this works better for you or if you’d go the old-school way. If this product is affordable for you, give it a try. However, keep the drawbacks in mind to treat oral care better.


1. What are the disadvantages of electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes cannot deep cleaned if not appropriately used, can lead to tooth sensitivity, increase chances of cavities, or aggravate current condition. It can deplete dentin that lies below the enamel and weaken them.

2. What are the disadvantages of powered toothbrushes?

Powered toothbrushes are costly compared to regular ones. It is prone to damage as it is an electronic good and requires frequent replacement, which can be expensive in the long run.

3. Do dentists recommend electric toothbrushes?

Your dentist will allow you to use electric toothbrushes until you have weak teeth prone to damage to the sensation.

4. Is it OK to use an electric toothbrush every day?

Yes. You can use an electric toothbrush daily for plaque removal and manually clean areas that are hard to reach. You can also use it alternatively with manual toothbrushes to benefit from both.

5. Which toothbrush is better, electric or manual?

Electric toothbrushes do a better job if you consider plaque and gingivitis removal. But for regular oral care, your manual toothbrushes are just fine. Using both alternatively is the best way to approach this.