Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI, FAGD

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901


Four Differences Between A Manual Toothbrush & A Powered Toothbrush

The very first thing we do each morning and the last thing we do at night are often the same: performing our personal hygiene regimens. This involves using a variety of different tools, such as soaps, moisturizers, loofahs, hair dryers, and brushes. The most essential of them would likely be your toothbrush. With so many brands and kinds to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which one is the most effective. Learning about the differences between manual and powered toothbrushes can likely help you find which toothbrush is right for you.   


At Hillcrest Dental in Charlottesville, VA, we believe in using the right tools to sustain the natural health of your teeth. Dr. Buckwalter, our dentist, along with the rest of our staff, care deeply for each of our patients, providing friendly service and personalized family dental care. Here are some differences that we consider are key in choosing a manual or powered toothbrush:


Initially, a powered toothbrush would seem more expensive than a manual, considering the additional technology it is comprised of. However, as they have advanced over time, their range of prices has become more varied, now being almost as inexpensive as a traditional toothbrush. Depending on the number or lack of features you desire, a powered toothbrush can go from $5 to $200, while a regular toothbrush usually costs a few dollars. In terms of price, an electric toothbrush is somewhat at a disadvantage, yet makes up for it in significant ways.

Easier to Use

The basic action of using a manual toothbrush involves simply shifting the brush along your teeth. This can eventually cause pain and discomfort on your wrist, especially for those dealing with arthritis or other conditions affecting their dexterity. A powered toothbrush, on the other hand, only requires you to hold and place the brush against your teeth as it mechanically rotates and spins, allowing you to clean your teeth almost effortlessly.


Manual toothbrushes are usually simple in their design, with a plastic or rubber handle and a brush at the end. Some brands have a set of bristles on the opposite side of the brush that is meant for cleaning your tongue, which can help get rid of old food particles that causes bad breath. They do come in various shapes and sizes that are meant to reflect a difference that makes them more effective and easier to use, but their essential features are usually the same.


For powered or electric toothbrushes, there is a greater amount of variations in different models, each one with different advanced features resulting in a higher price tag. These features include built-in timers, pressure sensors, rechargeable batteries, multiple brushing modes, and many more. These help you brush your teeth faster and more effectively, as well as providing you with a teeth cleaning tool of greater longevity than manual toothbrushes.

Cleaning Effectiveness

The most vital part of a toothbrush is whether it does well at cleaning our teeth. Any experienced family dentist will tell you that the number of times you brush a day is fundamental in keeping your teeth clean and healthy. However, studies have shown that powered toothbrushes are more effective at ridding your teeth and gums of plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. This is likely because of the features they have to ensure users brush their teeth properly, such as pressure sensors that warn against brushing too hard, and timers that tell users how long they should brush.

Hillcrest Dental: Personalized, Dependable Family Dental Care in Charlottesville, VA

While some toothbrushes may be better than others, it’s best to remember you need to floss and brush your teeth daily to keep them healthy and glowing. For all of your dental and oral hygienic needs, come visit us at Hillcrest Dental. We provide excellent, individualized family dental care through our welcoming staff, who love to meet and grow strong bonds with our patients, all in the hopes of becoming a part of your community, and vice versa.

Make an appointment with us online or call us at 434-973-2224 and let us help you keep your smile bright and beautiful. 

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.