Electric or manual toothbrush: which one to choose and why

Electric or manual toothbrush: which one to choose and why

The toothbrush is essential to maintain good oral hygiene, but is it preferable to opt for the electric or manual one? Here's which one to choose and why

Toothbrushes are not all the same: there are those who prefer to opt for an electric toothbrush, while those who use the manual one. Both have been designed with the same function, that is to contribute – together with other tools – to maintaining a good cleaning of the oral cavity.

However, they both have peculiarities that it is good to know in order to choose the one that suits your needs. In fact, choosing one is not easy as there is no toothbrush that can be considered effective for everyone. Rather it is good to evaluate the one that best meets your needs, which change from person to person.

Precisely for this reason it is necessary to pay attention to the type of toothbrush on which you want to make your choice fall.


  • How the manual toothbrush works
  • How does the electric toothbrush work?
  • Electric or manual toothbrush: which one to choose?

How the manual toothbrush works

The manual toothbrush is the ancestor of the most modern electric toothbrush. It has an ergonomic handle made of plastic with some rubber details that facilitate its grip and an upper part for the head, on which the bristles are applied.

There are several models of manual toothbrushes that differ mainly in the shape and size of the head, as well as in the hardness or softness of the bristles. There are also manual toothbrushes with silver heads that have the function of reducing bacterial contamination – when they come into contact with water – thanks to the silver ions.

Equally numerous are the models that have a flexible head that facilitates tooth brushing and with a tongue cleaner positioned on the back of the head for cleaning the tongue.

Furthermore, this type of toothbrush can have natural or synthetic bristles. The latter allow a deeper cleaning as they are firmer and there is no risk of them breaking during cleaning. Furthermore, the bristles of a manual toothbrush can be:

  • soft. Ideal in case of sensitivity to teeth and gums or if you have a tendency to press hard;
  • medium. They have a medium hardness that allows a good oral cleaning, as long as this is done in the right way;
  • hard. This type of bristles, by their very nature, can damage gums and teeth if you don't pay particular attention. For this reason, it is advisable to use them on the advice of the dentist.

How does the electric toothbrush work?

Thanks to the success achieved in recent years in terms of effectiveness and practicality, the electric toothbrush boasts a respectable place in the routine for mouth hygiene. In fact, the number of electric toothbrush models available is growing. At the same time, cutting-edge technologies make it possible to have an increasingly performing mouth cleaning tool. In fact, new functions are added that further facilitate the brushing of teeth and gums, protect them from periodontal diseases and allow cleaning of the teeth that in some way approaches (but does not replace) that of the dentist. Among these are:

  • the pressure sensor that signals when significant pressure is exerted on the teeth;
  • the integrated timer that signals the time taken to clean each of the four dental arches;
  • the different brushing methods (whitening, gum protection, sensitive teeth, deep cleaning);
  • the different types of compatible heads;
  • the technology used (for example oscillatory-rotary, 3D multidimensional, sonic, magnetic).

Click here to discover the electric toothbrush with magnetic technology for professional cleaning

Electric or manual toothbrush: which one to choose?

So, electric or manual toothbrush? And above all how to choose it? The toothbrush is a strictly personal cleaning tool, so the choice must be made taking into account the needs of your teeth and specific problems that may affect them.

Both types of toothbrushes perform the function of cleaning the teeth well, even if what makes the difference is the way in which they are brushed. However, the electric toothbrush has some significant advantages that can be useful in different contexts.

Most electric toothbrushes perform about 5,000 to 30,000 oscillations on each tooth. Then there are some that can even reach 40,000 oscillations. Thanks to this oscillatory movement of the head, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned in a short time thus obtaining a complete cleaning even in the most difficult points. All this is also supported by scientific studies that have demonstrated greater effectiveness of the electric toothbrush in removing plaque and tartar, as well as in protecting the gums. In addition, this type of toothbrush is more practical for children, the elderly and people with disabilities, who may struggle to efficiently perform the brushing motion required when using the manual toothbrush.

On the other hand, the manual toothbrush can be useful, for example, in the presence of prostheses or following dental extractions, to clean the affected part in a more delicate way. It also features a slightly smaller footprint as it doesn't have to house the motor and doesn't have a charging base. As you can imagine, therefore, its cost is lower than the electric toothbrush and this is because its use requires all manual work.

Despite this, the purchase of an electric toothbrush is possible by taking into account even just a few tens of euros. There are so many models available and the price range changes according to the technology supported by the electric toothbrush. Once purchased, this tool can last for several years. Instead, what needs to be replaced every 3 months is the replacement head. There are different types based on the type of cleaning you want to carry out including those:

  • high precision that reach deep into the spaces between the teeth;
  • which in addition to reaching every area of ​​the mouth, have antibacterial bristles;
  • designed for those with very sensitive teeth and gums;
  • with a whitening and polishing function;
  • which exploit the sonic movement rather than the oscillatory-rotational one.

Most of these heads have bristles of different lengths and colors. This allows you to more easily reach every corner of the mouth, but at the same time an initial loss of color of the head indicates that it is time to change it.

As we have seen, in order to choose the most suitable type of toothbrush it is good to evaluate several factors including the health of the mouth, the presence or absence of dental pathologies, who should use it. In short, it depends on the type of use that must be made of it. The advice is always valid, so in case of doubts, you can ask for the support of your dentist who, better than any other, can offer valuable advice to take care of the health of our teeth.

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