Food, Health and Wellness

How to decide between an electric or manual toothbrush

Food, Health and Wellness Mary Swick

Your smile is often that first thing that a person will notice about you. If you want a healthy, bright smile, or are simply concerned about having a fresh, clean mouth, then you may be considering switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush. The big question is “should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?” We’re here to give you all the details you need to make this decision. 

The Importance of Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth has many benefits, and not brushing can have serious consequences for your oral hygiene and overall health. Below, discover 3 great reasons why you need to prioritize brushing your teeth every day:

  1. Prevents tooth decay, tooth loss, cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. 
  2. Removes plaque and tartar, the primary cause of tooth decay and gum disease. 
  3. Stimulates gums, which keeps them healthy and prevents gum disease.

If you really want to make dental health your number one priority, check out Caser Dental Insurance. They have several policies that are perfect for expats in Spain who want to keep their smile fresh and beautiful. 


Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?

There are different pros and cons when it comes to using an electric or manual toothbrush. While you may be more comfortable with your normal toothbrush and brand that you’ve always used, read below to discover some of the differences between these two styles of brushes:

Manual Toothbrushes

  • Most studies show that manual toothbrushes are just as effective at cleaning teeth as electric toothbrushes. 
  • They are cost-effective, costing anywhere from 2-5 euros. 
  • They can be found in nearly every store, from gas stations to pharmacies. 
  • Although they tend to be less eco-friendly than electric toothbrushes, there are new brands making recyclable bamboo toothbrushes. 
  • You are more likely to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush, possibly removing tooth enamel or causing damage to gums. 
  • You are more likely to brush for a too short amount of time with this type of toothbrush, since it does not include a timer. 

Electric Toothbrushes

  • Micro-movements, rotations, and vibrations help better remove plaque buildup. Many electric toothbrushes have rotating or oscillating heads.
  • If you don’t like the vibrating sensation, you will not like an electric toothbrush. 
  • Some electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer to help you brush for the recommended time.
  • Require less manual work, which might be useful for people with carpal tunnel, arthritis, or other disabilities. 
  • Replace only the toothbrush head, which causes less waste. 
  • Electric toothbrushes are much more expensive, costing anywhere from 20 euros to hundreds of euros.
  • Replacement heads are also more expensive, with multi-packs ranging from 8-50 euros. 
  • Require batteries or a plugged-in cord to operate.  
  • Most pharmacies and supermarkets carry electric toothbrushes, but it might not be the same brand you use. You can easily find electric brushes and heads online. 

If you’re in the market for an electric brush, discover this list of 2019’s top electric toothbrushes


How often should I replace my electric or manual toothbrush?

Experts recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. This is because the bristles tend to fray or become contaminated by germs. 

In the case of a normal toothbrush, you would need to dispose or recycle the entire thing and purchase a new one. With an electric toothbrush, you simply need to replace the head. 

The other little details

All this talk of toothbrushes, but we can’t forget about the other elements of good dental hygiene: 

Flossing prevents the buildup of plaque and bacteria, removes food debris and buildup between your teeth, and reaches areas that your toothbrush cannot.

Mouthwash can keep your breath fresh, as well as offer ingredients to strengthen teeth or treat conditions like teeth discoloration, halitosis, etc. 

Your pick of toothpaste can also be essential because it needs to contain fluoride, and there are variations for people with sensitive teeth. 


Tips for Brushing

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, ideally after breakfast and dinner (or right before bed). Some people brush after every meal, but dentists emphasize brushing at the beginning and end of each day. 
  • Time length of brushing varies, with doctors recommending between 45 seconds to two minutes. More than the amount of time spent brushing, you should focus on good brushing techniques to properly remove plaque and buildup. 
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove extra bacteria. 
  • Dentists recommend soft-bristle brushes instead of hard-bristle ones to avoid brushing too hard and damaging teeth and gums. 
  • If you find your bristles fray quickly, you may be brushing too hard. Consult your dentist. 
  • Take extra care when brushing if you wear braces or retainers. Different types of braces easily trap food in your teeth, leading to cavities or gum decay. 
  • Discover this free guide to dental facts and myths to stay educated on oral hygiene. 

So have you made up your mind between a manual or electric toothbrush? No matter what your decision, make sure to supplement your brushing with dental insurance. Read the free Caser guide on dental insurance below:

Download Free Guide:  How to choose good Dental Insurance

Mary Swick

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