What sort of toothbrush should I be using?

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between electric and manual toothbrushes? Which is more effective, and how do I choose? These are questions Dr. Patrick Meaney and the team at Moss Vale Dental are often asked. There are lots of options to consider.

Manual toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have been around in one way or another for a long time and have the benefit of being both inexpensive and portable. Most of us have a rough idea of how to operate one. If used twice daily in conjunction with decent toothpaste, regular flossing and have twice a year check-ups at the dentist you should feel pretty confident that you have your oral hygiene regime under control. We’re always happy to offer some tip and tricks to making manual brushing more effective and even have a few gadgets such as end tuft brushes that can help with tricky areas perhaps around implants or orthodontic appliances.

The down side of manual toothbrushes are that often we don’t use them properly. We miss surfaces, brush too hard or not long enough and sometimes don’t replace them often enough (seasonally is good). Choose soft bristles and a smaller head that can reach back teeth. Check out Patrick’s blog from October here https://www.drpatrickmeaney.com.au/do-you-do-it-right/ for his take on how long you should brush your teeth. 

Electric toothbrushes

Perhaps you’ve received an electric toothbrush as a gift or bought one on special? If you are thinking about whether it’s time to unpack and charge it up the staff would definitely encourage you to do so.  We like the timer functions, added cleaning through pulsing or ultrasonic effects and their efficiency if you have limited dexterity. Electric toothbrushes are used quite differently to manual ones. You have to let them do the work. So if you have one already, whether it’s new or old, we can show you how to use it most effectively. Why not bring yours with you to your next hygiene maintenance appointment for a little technique tune up!

Toothbrush choices for children

Kids often need all the encouragement they can get when it comes to daily brushing. Manual toothbrushes certainly do the job perfectly well―especially if an adult gives their teeth a quick once-over after junior has had a go. Electric toothbrushes can add a bit of novelty and some even offer apps (for adults as well) that review brushing times and techniques. Whatever it takes!


Whilst Patrick doesn’t receive any endorsement he recommends the Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrush. https://bit.ly/2QXYnDy

We keep the toothbrushes and their replacement heads in stock for you to purchase. 

Is one toothbrush more planet-friendly than the other?

The plastic handles on manual toothbrushes are an environmental concern. They take 500 years to degrade and we discard 100 Million of them each year in Australia alone (is that 100 megabites??). You may choose to use a bamboo or wood handled toothbrush which degrades in 30 years but be careful in selecting these as some of them tend to be hard-bristled. “Eco friendly” options are often available in paper packaging rather than plastic. Toothbrush recycling options are limited at the moment. Electric toothbrushes still generate waste when the heads are replaced, they consume energy and create battery waste. However, the handles last for years so reduce disposable waste and packaging. No perfect solutions as yet but please keep brushing!

Manual or electric is a personal choice however it is all up to how they are used to make them most effective. Please ask us for some advice on techniques at your next hygiene maintenance appointment.

If you would like some further advice, contact the team at Moss Vale Dental to discuss your options and to make an appointment for your next check up – call (02) 4689 3111.



57-59 Elizabeth Street

Moss Vale NSW 2577

02 4869 3111

Call us today!

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 - 17:30

Book Appointment