Should I choose a sonic or rotary electric toothbrush?

brosse à dents électrique sonique ou rotative

If you're here, it's because you're still deciding between using a sonic electric toothbrush or a rotary toothbrush. Indeed, there is no doubt that these two types of toothbrushes clean your teeth much more effectively than manual toothbrushes. As you may also know, they last much longer than manual toothbrushes and are sometimes even refillable. However, you need to know more about each one in order to make the right choice for you and which one is recommended by health experts.

Here's a guide to help you decide whether you should use a sonic or a rotary toothbrush.

What is a sonic electric toothbrush or a rotating toothbrush ?

A sonic electric toothbrush is a toothbrush that emits sonic vibrations. The brushing sensation and softness of the bristles are much more pleasant and less aggressive than electric toothbrushes. They have several power modes and brushing rhythm according to the dental sensitivity of each one. After several months of use, they are much more effective in terms of plaque removal and whiteness. On the other hand, a rotary toothbrush is a toothbrush that has a small, round brush head that allows you to make circular movements by alternating the direction of rotation.

The characteristics of each of these toothbrushes

In order to know if one of these toothbrushes is better for you than the other, it is important for you to know the main differences between each one. Indeed, the functioning of these two types of toothbrushes is totally different.

Here are the characteristics of each of these toothbrushes:

The characteristics of the sonic toothbrush


  • The sonic toothbrush has an oval head that looks like a manual toothbrush
  • The bristles of this brush vibrate at a very high speed to remove plaque that is stuck to the gum line
  • A brushing motion reaches teeth and molars better than a rotating toothbrush
  • Provides over a thousand strokes per brushing
  • Sonic vibrations create micro-bubbles of water that clean between teeth and provide a fresh feeling in the mouth
  • You only have to move the brush head through to reach every area of your mouth


Features of the rotating toothbrush


  • It has an oscillating-rotating brush head that spins at high speed and also pulses in most cases
  • The bristles of this toothbrush not only remove plaque from the enamel but are also bonded to the enamel
  • The round brush heads are conveniently shaped to go around each tooth
  • To brush your teeth, you must press the brush head against each tooth and molar
  • It only allows you to brush each tooth individually
  • The power of rotating toothbrush heads is due to both high speed and fast pulsation

The benefits of these two types of toothbrushes

It's also important to know the benefits of both types of toothbrushes to see which one is best for you. However, the most important thing is to compare the brushing efficiency of the two toothbrushes.

Here are the benefits of both types of toothbrushes:

The benefits of a sonic toothbrush

  • The sonic vibrations clean both the surface of the teeth and the sides thoroughly and gently.
  • It ensures that even hard-to-reach interdental spaces are cleared of plaque and bacteria.
  • Vibrates 75 times faster than a traditional manual toothbrush
  • It will produce vibrations at a very high speed, around 30,000 movements per minute
  • It allows you to brush just as effectively even if you have braces
  • You don't have to use force like with a traditional toothbrush to get a particularly effective brushing result.

The advantages of the rotating toothbrush

  • It has a small round head that slides easily into the oral cavity and can reach hard-to-reach areas even for small mouths
  • It generally adapts to all mouth morphologies
  • It offers a complete and very efficient brushing to eliminate food remains that can get stuck between the teeth
  • It allows you to maintain good control of the pressure exerted on your teeth if you use it properly
  • They are suitable for people with gums that are sensitive to hot or cold
  • They usually have an integrated timer, ideal for keeping up with brushing time, but also an ergonomic handle to make it easier to hold

Different brushing techniques allowed

The toothbrushing technique is not the same depending on the toothbrush you use. Whether you use one or the other, it is important to know how to use it properly so as not to damage your teeth and gums. It is important to follow all the instructions for use to the letter.

Here are the different brushing techniques allowed:

The toothbrushing technique with a sonic electric toothbrush


Here is the brushing technique with a sonic toothbrush:

  • Moisten the bristles of the brush head
  • Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the toothbrush
  • Place the bristles on your teeth at a 45° angle towards your gums
  • Press the on/off button to start brushing your teeth
  • Apply gentle pressure and slowly move the brush head back and forth along your teeth, letting the brush do the work
  • Continue this motion throughout the brushing cycle.


The toothbrushing technique with a rotating toothbrush


  • Brush your teeth in small areas at a time, making sure to use a rolling motion
  • You must go from the gums to the teeth, from pink to white
  • Clean with the same care the gums, the tongue and the palate
  • If you have braces, rotate the toothbrush around each band
  • Brushing too hard can damage gum tissue, cause tooth sensitivity or lead to tooth loosening
  • So be sure to brush each area of your teeth gently

The oral problems that these toothbrushes address

The sonic toothbrush

The sonic toothbrush is indicated for people with sensitive teeth and gums, people with dental appliances (braces, crowns, bridges, fillings ...) because of its soft, less rough movement and its superior efficiency compared to the rotary brushes.         

The rotating toothbrush


Brushing with this type of brush is strongly recommended for people with dental implants or bleeding gums. Indeed, the sonic vibrations eliminate tartar but also gum pockets that cause inflammation and bad breath (halitosis). 

You can use the Y-Brush sonic toothbrush which is a Toothbrush recommended by dentists, clinically validated that can remove 15% more plaque than a traditional toothbrush or a rotary toothbrush which is ideal when you have fragile and sensitive gums.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the difference between a sonic electric toothbrush and a rotary toothbrush. We hope that you have understood that the rotating toothbrush is not as fast and the operation is a bit complicated. It is therefore much more convenient to use a sonic toothbrush. Especially, if you are not comfortable with the use of a toothbrush. However, the choice depends on the oral problems you have.

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