The Costs of Brushing with an Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush

manual toothbrush

One of the main factors influencing your decision on whether to buy a rechargeable toothbrush rather than a manual will undoubtedly be the cost of the toothbrush, because they are expensive gadgets. The more features, and additional gimmicks they have, the more expensive they become, although you don’t need to buy the most expensive electric toothbrush to achieve a really good brush, a lower end model with only one cleaning mode and a timer will do just as good a job.

This is how the costs compare over the course of two years between brushing with an electric toothbrush and a manual:

Cost of Electric Toothbrush vs Manual Toothbrush

  Electric $ Manual $
Price of Toothbrush



Brush heads / Manual brush Yr 1



Total Year 1



Total Year 2






Assumptions in the Cost of Electric Vs Manual Toothbrushing Calculations

Assumptions used in the calculations above were as follows:

  • A mid to low end rechargeable toothbrush with one brush head included in initial purchase
  • Brush heads and manual toothbrush are changed every 3 months
  • Year 2 is the cost of brush heads and manual toothbrush only
  • Cost of replacement brush heads for electric toothbrush is $12 and $5 for manual toothbrush

Looking at the above costs there is no doubt that the manual toothbrush is a lot cheaper over the course of two years, however, there is another significant factor that comes into play here and that can’t be quantified, and that is the dental costs you will incur as a result of poor dental hygiene resulting from adopting poor technique during manual brushing.

Electric toothbrushes are betterBecause an electric toothbrush carries out such a better job at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush, this will lead to a much healthier mouth and less gum disease and gingivitis. For you, this means less trips to the dentist to carry out routine treatments such as plaque removal, less fillings due to cavities caused by the build-up of plaque, and as a result a saving of what could possibly be hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year on dental care.

Based on the above calculations, after two years, the manual brusher will have saved a total of $94, that’s less than $50 per year, and unless they have their manual brushing technique down to a T and don’t rush their oral hygiene routine, it is likely that they will have paid more than that in extra trips to the dentist than the person using the electric toothbrush. Even one extra trip to the dentist for a routine clean for plaque removal will cost more than that. I know which type of brush I would choose, how about you?


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