A manual toothbrush is one which is not powered by a source other than the user’s hand and arm. It is usually of plastic construction and supplied in a variety of colours. The user is advised to brush each tooth in a circular motion to properly dislodge fragments of food and plaque, and along with regular flossing, manual toothbrushes are just as effective as electrically powered models.
Manual tootbrushes are more of a natural way of cleaning teeth allowing the user to gradually feel their way around the mouth as they clean. Electric toothbrushes may encourage the lazy user forget what they are actually doing inside their mouths, which could mean they overlook crucial areas of cleaning. The manual tootbrush user is more likely to be aware of the need to floss regularly where as the powered toothbrush user may wrongly believe that flossing is not necessary for them. Manual toothbrushes are cheaper to buy and easier to find which could mean that they will be replaced more regularly than the expensive heads of electric ones.
What to Consider Before Buying?
In the search for the best manual toothbrush you will quickly become aware that most of the buying factors are personal to the user. Things like head shape and bristle firmness are key factors in determining the final decision:
There are generally three bristle choices; soft, medium and hard. Which bristle firmness is chosen will be a personal choice although many dental professionals have advised that a soft bristle is less harmful to tooth enamel and gums, particularly where the gums meet the teeth which can be forced away from the teeth using hard bristled toothbrushes.
Bristle shape can vary between brushes with some having rounded ends while others are very sharp. Dentists often suggest that a rounded bristle toothbrush is far better than one with sharp bristles to avoid unecessary abrasions or enamel damage during brushing.
Shape of the Head
Toothbrush head shapes can be rectangle, diamond and a variety of other shapes. Different shaped heads can allow access to hard to reach areas of the mouth with diamond shapes being especially effective at cleaning teeth to the rear of the mouth.
The Top 5 Manual Toothbrushes
Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrush Medium (3 Pack)
This pack of 3 Colgate toothbrushes consists of three medium rated bristle types with a tongue cleaner on the back of the brush heads. These toothbrushes received healthy 4.5-star Amazon reviews with most stating they were good value for money and of good quality. They were found to be more of a soft bristle than a medium which appeared to only have disappointed one user. In terms of price range each brush costs around 52p on average which is excellent value for a doorstep delivered item. Most users found the tongue cleaner helpful and the head design providing easy access to posterior teeth. Colgate the brand is pretty much unrivalled in quality and reputation dating back to the 19th Century.
Wisdom InterSpace Soft Toothbrush
Wisdom is another strong brand and the Wisdom InterSpace, although looking rather weird, is actually a toothbrush but with a special purpose. It is perfect for those with gaps between their teeth and those with dentures or braces because it is shaped to reach into difficult spaces and along the gum line. This brush is often used along with a regular toothbrush because of its specialist application and has received excellent Amazon reviews of an overall 4.5 stars. The price of this brush is £2 for one or just under £1.50 if you buy a multipack of 6. Which, added to the fact that it is probably not going to be the only brush you use, could work out costly.
Curaprox CS5460 Ulta Soft Toothbrush – Pack of 3
For those unsure about who Curaprox are; they are owned by the Swiss Curaden AG and have been Oral Care specialists for 44 years. Their Curaprox CS5460 Soft Toothbrush has the highest Amazon ratings so far at 5-Stars. The bristle density and softness offers an incredibly different experience than using any other of the toothbrushes reviewed here and it achieves amazing results. It has excellent benefits for those with sensitive teeth and gums as it less abrasive than most toothbrushes on the market. It isn’t cheap sitting at around £3.30 per brush but it sure is good.
Oral-B Pro-Expert Cross Action Anti Plaque Soft 35 Manual Toothbrush
Oral B is owned by the giant Proctor & Gamble which has a history dating back to 1837. This brush claims to remove more plaque than any of the other toothbrushes covered here due to their CrissCross bristle configuration which, Oral B claims, attack debris from several angles at once. There are even blue bristles that fade in colour halfway to indicate when it is time to change this ‘Pro Expert’ brush at a cost of around £2.77 with a recent special offer but usually priced at a staggering £3.99. The extra-long bristles are designed for further reach into awkward places but what do the users think? Well, Amazon reviews were quite varied even though it has a 4.5-star rating overall. It was mentioned multiple times that the bristles were not as soft as was expected and that they had become rather expensive, although most said that the brush was good.
Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Pro Flex Medium Manual Toothbrush
Another Oral B creation and the most expensive in our reviewed list coming at a snippet under £5 in the UK. Surprisingly enough though, the price was not even worth a mention to most users apart from the indirect reference to it by claiming it was great value for money. The bristles are the perfect firmness to ensure thorough cleaning without causing any stress to teeth and gums and a good brush to help with gingivitis. One would think that the price would be a negative but it obviously performs well enough to be worth the extra money.
Well, it was a difficult one but it appears that the out and out best toothbrush of the five reviewed is the Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Pro Flex Medium brush at a staggering price tag but too good not to have. The best value for money brush without compromising on quality in second place would have to be the Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrush Medium pack of 3. While for extra sensitive teeth (and everyone else) we would choose the Curaprox CS5460 Ulta Soft Toothbrush – 3 pack.