A lot of patients ask their dentists whether electric toothbrushes are really better than manual brushes and there have even been studies into this question. Most studies come out on the side of the electric toothbrush. There are different types of electric brushes and some may be less effective than others, but in general they do remove more plague than a manual toothbrush.
It is possible to give your teeth a thorough cleaning with a manual brush, but why work so hard when an electric toothbrush can do the same thing in less time?
Electronic brushes with sonic vibration, like Sonicare, are not so easy to mimic with a manual toothbrush so they are more effective. Electronic brushes with smaller heads like Oral-B and Rotadent will get into areas of the mouth that larger toothbrush head simply cannot reach. For someone with braces or severe gum disease, these electronic toothbrushes will be far more effective than a manual brush.