It’s All in the Brush: Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

by Justin Bernhaut on March 02, 2022

Everything you need to know when choosing your toothbrush

Brushing your teeth is, or at least should be, a part of all of our daily lives. The Australian Dental Association recommends at least a two-minute brush, morning and night, to effectively remove plaque and debris from your teeth and gums to keep those pearly whites sparkling. But for a lot of us, it’s not something we give much thought to.

However, according to dentists worldwide, it’s not only about brushing daily. When it comes to oral hygiene, there are a number of important factors involved in making your brush beneficial. How often you brush, how long you brush for, when you brush, and the kind of technique you use all impact how effective your brush will be. Reading these, you may think, I don’t have time for all that! Well lucky for you, we’ve got the top tips on how to ensure you get the best clean possible.

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are an easy and effective option to maintain oral hygiene. The high-speed brushing that an electric toothbrush provides allows for a more thorough clean, making your teeth, gums and tongue a whole lot healthier, while doing all the hard work for you.

However, despite being a great tool, the electric brush does not necessarily need to replace the good old-fashioned manual brush.

While a manual toothbrush does require a bit more effort and technique than the electric, they are an essential tool for the upkeep of your dental hygiene. One main benefit of the manual brush is that it allows you to control how hard and how fast you brush. So, for the optimal clean, it is recommended that you rotate between manual and electric. By alternating between the two brushes, you can ensure your teeth are receiving the best clean, without risking the ‘over-brush’, which can lead to gums receding and sensitivity issues, as a result of brushing too hard. Ultimately, there is a place for both brushes in our bathrooms, and alternating between the two is the best way to go.

How to Choose Your Brush

When it comes to an electric toothbrush there’s a lot to consider. While electric brushes do tend to be more expensive than the manual, there are plenty of reasons why you should invest. Studies show that overall, electric toothbrushes decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. Also, electric toothbrushes do the work for you! Whether you have limited mobility, or if you’re buying for your little one, who hasn’t quite worked out the technique yet, an electric brush takes ability out of the equation. 

Speaking of the little ones, electric toothbrushes can also be beneficial, as they typically come with a built-in timer, reminding the brusher when to move or when to stop. This means no more sending the kids back to the bathroom to brush for longer, the toothbrush does it for you! 

If you’re looking at buying an electric brush, there are two main varieties on the market; rotary and sonic. While they both essentially do the same job, the main difference lies in how they clean your teeth.

Rotary Electric Toothbrushes

Rotary toothbrushes typically have a round head, which rotates at a high speed to remove plaque from your teeth. It combines quick rotational speed with fast vibrations to get rid of all that nasty stuff that can build up on those pearly whites. The best way to use this kind of brush is to gently press it onto each individual tooth so that the bristles can really get in between the gaps and get the job done.

Sonic Electric Toothbrushes

Sonic toothbrushes usually come with a more oval-shaped head, which may look more like your usual manual toothbrush. The difference with this style of electric brush is that the brush bristles themselves vibrate at an extremely high speed, which means that they can remove more plaque than a rotary brush, due to the increased motion. To use this kind of brush, you can employ a standard scrubbing technique, as the oval-shaped head can cover more tooth area.

Which Brush is Best?

When it comes down to which brush is better, it’s really just personal preference. While the sonic brush does have a faster vibration, meaning increased plaque removal, when used correctly, the two do a very similar job.

Over on Wellbeing Island, in addition to our classic, compostable manual brushes (which you can find here), we have both sonic and rotary electric brushes available, perfect for little teeth. The choice is yours, but no matter which you land on, both these brushes will have your kid's smiles sparkling, and the days of hearing them complain about brushing their teeth behind you.

Kids Electric Musical Toothbrush Buzzy Brush

This battery-operated musical brush is our take on the rotary style brush. With a small, rotating replaceable head and an easy-to-grip handle that is perfect for little hands, this buzzy brush is perfect for young ones. The three modes of the brush; silent, instructional, and musical, allow brushing to become a fun activity, rather than a boring chore. In addition, the brush comes in zero-waste packaging, with a recycled handle, so you can benefit your child’s teeth and the planet, all in one!

Tickle Tooth Sonic Toothbrush

This sonic electric toothbrush is perfect for kids just learning how to brush. With an LED light-up brush head, you can make brushing fun and easy! This brush features a 30-second pulse reminder, to teach little ones when to move the brush to a different part of their mouth. Also, the Tickle Tooth Sonic Toothbrush comes with two varieties of brush head, a baby brush head, perfect for tiny teeth, and a kids brush head, so to minimise waste, and allow for optimal dental cleaning at all ages!

When it comes to oral hygiene, it’s all in the brush. For the most sparkling smile, alternating between manual and electric is the way to go. For all of our dental range options, including both manual and electric, click here.



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