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Last Updated on February 28, 2023

Sonic Vs. Oscillating Toothbrush: Key Differences Explained

oral b pro toothbrush

We all know that brushing our teeth is a necessity. It is especially important for our health to brush our teeth and maintain good oral hygiene.

However, the industry is always improving and moving. Choosing the right toothbrush can be overwhelming, with all the different types available. How do we know we are picking the optimal brush for our teeth?

Today we have electric toothbrushes that are available in sonic and oscillating. Let us take a look at what makes them different and alike. And help you decide which one to choose.

Sonic Vs. Oscillating Toothbrush at a Glance

In a rush? Take a look at our quick rundown, but read on for the full detailed comparison!

Oscillating Brush Pros:

  • Vibration and Pulsation
  • Higher-End Models feature 40,000 Motions/Minute

Oscillating Brush Cons:

  • Fewer Brush Motions/Minute (1000 – 8000)

Sonic Brush Pros:

  • 20,000 – 50,000 Movements/Minute
  • Removes 30% More Plaque than Traditional Toothbrushes
  • Most models include a Brushing Timer
  • 30,000 Back and Forth Movement/Minute

Sonic Brush Cons:

  • Pricier model

Winner: The Sonic brush is superior with more motions per minute.

What is an Oscillating Brush?

You will find that this brush will have a circle shape. The bristles will move in a circular motion when it is turned on. Plus, when the toothbrush is turned on, the brush will also move back and forth to enhance the experience.

With the technology available today, many oscillating brushes are now built-in with vibration and pulsation as well. All these put together allow you to get a better and cleaner mouth compared to a traditional toothbrush. Keep in mind that the motion that this brush has will remove more plaque than any traditional toothbrush.

What is a Sonic Brush?

Many people prefer the sonic brush over an oscillating one. It makes a rotation motion with oscillating motions at the same time. Plus, it has remarkably high speeds that make it work more efficiently. This means that your food particles will break down more easily because of the power the toothbrush has. Keep in mind that it is not just food that is at risk for being broken down easier, it is plaque and many other items that can be stuck in small areas.

You may also find that the sonic brush is going to be more expensive out of the two options. You may find this brush in many colors so that it matches your bathroom theme.

What Does Sonic Mean?

This toothbrush simply means that it has high speed and movements. It has more movements per second than that of an oscillating toothbrush. The head of the brush does not need to rotate in order to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Sonic toothbrushes also utilize vibration to help remove food particles. The vibration that is used helps break free items that could be stuck on even when brushing with a traditional toothbrush.

Sonic Vs. Oscillating Toothbrush – What’s the Difference?

Power and speed

While these brushes sound quite alike, they are different. The sonic brush has significantly more power and speed. This means that it will make many back-and-forth movements to help make vibrations. This vibration is what breaks away the food and plaque, the movement dislodging plaque deeper down in the gums without even touching it. You will find that a sonic toothbrush will have up to 50,000 movements in a single minute.

You will find that this motion will allow you to cut down time on removing plaque in your mouth. You can save up to thirty percent more time because this brush will help eliminate plaque from your mouth. Plus, it will help scrape tartar away without scratching or flaking. This is beneficial because if tartar breaks off, it can be uncomfortable in your mouth.

Winner: Sonic


Keep in mind that there are some oscillating toothbrushes, however, most will have a pulsating manner for cleaning. Both brushes will use circle motions, however, the oscillating toothbrush will not have as much power or pressure.

Keep in mind that the oscillating brush will not have as many movements as a sonic brush will. However, despite that fact, the oscillating brush is great for getting rid of built-up plaque on the teeth.

However, we think the sonic brush takes the cake here! It offers a superior clean and more effective reach because of the way it vibrates and faster vibrations. This means that it will clean areas of your mouth that the oscillating brush cannot get to. The vibration produced by sonic brushes is going to make you salivate a little. This will allow the food and germs to move around and be removed when brushed.

Winner: Sonic


You will find that sonic toothbrushes get a deeper clean and the vibrations even help polish the teeth. This brush can clean areas that your manual toothbrush cannot reach. The advanced technology helps to dislodge liquids in your mouth and reach deep into the gums for a more thorough clean. This means you will have less bacteria in your mouth and less plaque. In return, this means that you are going to be at a lower risk for gum disease.

Oscillating toothbrushes do not have as wide a reach as the sonic. However, they are still a great step up from a manual toothbrush because they give a more refreshing clean. This toothbrush is great for both children and adults. It has been proven that an oscillating toothbrush can help remove plaque and even gingivitis when compared to a traditional toothbrush.

There is a significant difference found between those using the oscillating brush and those using a sonic brush. However, both of them showed extreme improvements over a manual toothbrush.

Winner: Sonic


Here is where the oscillating brush wins the round. It is a more affordable option than the sonic brush and still offers a powerful clean. It is up to you whether you want to spend those extra dollars for the improved power and reach or not.

Winner: Oscillating

The verdict?

Both brushes are a great option to keep your mouth clean, however we have to award first prize to the… sonic toothbrush.

Your oral hygiene is important, and the sonic brush has superior power, motion, and reach.

Keep in mind that any electric toothbrush is going to be better for you than that of a traditional toothbrush. In fact, studies have shown that traditional toothbrush users had thirty percent more plaque than those who used electric toothbrushes.

Why Are Electric Toothbrushes Important?

When you are deciding on using an electric toothbrush, it does not really matter what you get. However, the benefits are spectacular. You will find yourself with a cleaner mouth and better oral hygiene when you use an electric toothbrush of any type. Let us look at some of the benefits of having an electric toothbrush compared to a manual one.

Better Oral Health

Electric toothbrushes have more motion in them than manual brushes. This means that your mouth will be cleaner in general. You will have less plaque and bacteria in your mouth when you use an electric toothbrush.

Thorough Clean

Because you have removed plaque, you are going to feel cleaner. Your mouth will feel cleaner than it has ever before. Electric toothbrushes are great for people of all ages. Just makes sure that you are showing children how to safely use an electric toothbrush if you opt to get one for your children.

Fights Gum Disease

Many people have bacteria in their mouths that they do not even know about. This is because they use a traditional toothbrush. Gum disease happens more often than we would like to admit, however, with an electric toothbrush, you are going to be fighting gum disease at the source.

Fights Gingivitis

Gingivitis occurs because of bacteria being present in the mouth. With an electric toothbrush, you eliminate more bacteria than with a manual one. Gingivitis is something that can cause bad breath as well.

Helps Remove Bad Breath

When you are left with bacteria in your mouth, they multiply and grow. This process will cause bad breath. No one likes bad breath and if you are using a traditional toothbrush, you may find that your breath is worse than those who use an electric one.

Is a Traditional Toothbrush Effective?

You all know these toothbrushes, in fact, you might have some lying around somewhere. These brushes do not have as many bristles as electric toothbrushes. Plus, it is almost impossible to get the brushing motion that an electric toothbrush gets. That is why many people are switching to electric toothbrushes.

Keep in mind that you are only getting about 300 motions per minute when brushing manually. On the lower end with oscillating toothbrushes, you are getting at least 8,000. You can see why plaque builds up and bacteria can build up even if you brush your teeth.

There are many areas of the mouth that will harbor bacterial growth. These areas cannot be reached or penetrated by a traditional brush. That is why there are many people with gum disease and other problems with their oral health.

A traditional brush still does the job.

Keep in mind that not everyone can afford an electric toothbrush. Plus, people who are going away may simply opt for a toothbrush they can throw away when they are done. It is important that you never just do not brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth traditionally is better than not at all.

Wrapping Up

If you are thinking about switching to an electric toothbrush, do it! And we highly recommend considering a sonic brush. Take the time to consider everything written in this article before purchasing a toothbrush.

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