Sonic vs. Electric Toothbrush: Which Is Better for Your Teeth?

There are various kinds of toothbrushes you can use for your daily dental hygiene routine. It’s easy to get lost in the selection. This guide can help you decide between a manual and an electric toothbrush and dives deeper into the differences and similarities between sonic and electric toothbrushes. 

Manual vs. Electric and Sonic Toothbrush

While everybody agrees that brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time is crucial to maintain oral hygiene, the tools you use to do it aren’t as easy to agree on.

One of the biggest debates in the dental community is whether manual or electric toothbrushes are better for your teeth.

Both options have plenty of pros and cons. The habit of brushing your teeth manually is hard to break. And the fact that you don’t have to charge them is also great. 

However, studies find that electric toothbrushes clean your teeth and gums more efficiently. They have built-in timers that ensure that you’re truly brushing your teeth for two minutes. Many also have pressure sensors, that warn you of overbrushing.

The conclusion is that electric toothbrushes are better than manual ones. But, using either is better than using none at all.

Once you decided that you want to try an electric toothbrush the next question is whether you want a standard electric one or a sonic one. Let’s dissect which of these is better to truly get the instrument that’s best for your teeth.

The Difference Between an Electric and Sonic Toothbrush

While they may look the same from the outside, their functionality is completely different. 

The main difference between an electric vs a sonic toothbrush is that electric toothbrushes rotate, while sonic toothbrushes vibrate.

Sonic vs. Electric Toothbrush: Brushing Power

While both are better at brushing power than manual toothbrushes, a sonic toothbrush is more effective at brushing than an electric one.

Electric toothbrushes rotate at 1,300-8000 strokes per minute, while sonic toothbrushes vibrate at 24,000-40,000 strokes per minute.

Sonic vs. Electric Toothbrush: Cleaning Effectiveness

The sonic toothbrush doesn’t just clean the plaque off with its side-to-side vibrations. It also cleans hard-to-reach areas by emitting sonic pulses that disrupt the fluid built up between your teeth.

That means that a sonic toothbrush is more effective at actually cleaning your teeth than an electric toothbrush would be.

Sonic vs. Electric Toothbrush: Price

So far, the sonic toothbrush is clearly the winner between sonic vs electric. However, for this enhanced cleaning power, you need to be prepared to pay the price.

While a simple electric toothbrush can start from $10, a sonic toothbrush can easily fetch for $50-60.

That said, different brands and functionalities cost different amounts. Make sure you research the effectiveness and brushing stroke per minute value of the toothbrush before you buy.

Sonic vs. Electric Toothbrush: Ease of Use

Believe it or not, you need to brush your teeth differently with an electric vs a sonic toothbrush.

While the rotating head of an electric toothbrush does a lot of the work for you, you still need to move the toothbrush up and down your teeth, similar to a manual toothbrush.

On the other hand, the pulses of a sonic toothbrush don’t require that much effort to clean your teeth as effectively.

Ultimately, both a sonic and an electric toothbrush is easy to use. Much easier than a manual toothbrush. 

Which Toothbrush Is Better For You?

While overall the sonic toothbrush is better for your teeth, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to choose that one. The electric toothbrush is almost as effective with a much lower price tag. Not to mention that many people dislike the vibrating sensation of the sonic toothbrush.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Either one you choose will be better than a manual toothbrush.

However, neither choice means that you can skip regular dental checkups.

Neither Toothbrushes Save You From Dental Visits

Just because you’re using better tools to brush your teeth doesn’t mean that your dental hygiene is sorted for life. While both sonic and electric toothbrushes reduce the risk of tartar buildup and cavities, unfortunately, they do happen.

And if they do, you need to visit the dentist. Luckily, you won’t need to pay full price for your dental appointment if you have a Carefree Dental Card.

With the Carefree Dental Card, you can save 15-50%* off your dental bill at participating providers, per visit in most instances. For only $15.95/month for individuals and $19.95/month for families, this can mean great discounts on your cleanings, fillings, and other dental procedures. 

Get the best deal in dental by signing up for Carefree Dental.


* Actual costs and savings vary by provider, service and geographical area.

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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