What is a toothbrush?

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The toothbrush is your best ally for good oral hygiene. However, you need to know everything about the toothbrush in order to understand which one you can choose. Be careful, you can opt for a manual or an electric toothbrush depending on the selection criteria you prefer to consider when choosing.

Here is a guide that will help you understand what a toothbrush is.

The definition of a toothbrush

A toothbrush is a small brush. It is a bathroom accessory that is intended for brushing teeth. It is presented in the form of a small brush at the end of a handle. It thus makes it possible to brush the teeth, the language and the gums in order to keep a good oral hygiene.

How a toothbrush works

It must allow to remove the dental plaque on your teeth which is generally transformed into tartar. It also allows you to avoid oral diseases such as: gingivitis, periodontitis or tooth decay. The shape and the texture of the toothbrush have their importance as regards the effectiveness of brushing and the resistance of the toothbrush.


The different components of a toothbrush

The toothbrush handle

This is the longest part of the toothbrush. It allows you to hold your toothbrush properly and safely while brushing. It's usually thick where you need to hold it. It is much narrower where you hold it closest to your head. In addition, the neck of the toothbrush is curved, which facilitates brushing movements to reach every corner of the oral cavity. The handle is mostly made of wood, plastic or bamboo. In addition, the handle may have grooves that prevent it from slipping. The handle may be ergonomic, which is generally more practical.

The brush head


The head of the toothbrush is the part you have to put in your mouth to brush your teeth. It is small in size and has a large number of filaments that are tightly attached. The shape of the head plays a big role in the effectiveness of brushing for good oral hygiene. Rounded brush heads reach the furthest areas of the mouth while covering the entire cleaning surface. Oval brush heads pulsate at high speed. Also, the children's toothbrush head is much smaller and more manageable to allow them to brush their teeth easily.

Toothbrush bristles or filaments


The bristles or filaments are also among the most important components of a toothbrush. They are usually very fine bristles about 2 cm long. They are attached to the head of the brush. These are very fine bristles about 2 cm long, firmly attached to the brush head. The material and hardness of the toothbrush bristles are very important because this is the part where they come into contact with the teeth and gums. There are different types of bristles: soft bristles that are not aggressive to the tooth enamel, medium bristles that allow you to clean between your teeth and hard bristles that allow you to remove more plaque but are aggressive. 

The materials of design of the toothbrush

1. biodegradable materials

  • Siwak: It is a simple and natural stick which is particularly intended for oral hygiene thanks to its natural active substances.
  • Neem: The neem plant contains beneficial ingredients that kill harmful bacteria.
  • Bamboo: The bamboo handle is bacteriostatic without bisphenol A which limits the proliferation of bacteria
  • Wood: The handle can be made of oak or walnut wood because it is a durable material with an artisanal design.  

2. Non-biodegradable materials

  • Nylon: This is a noble material that offers a real brushing sensation and not a massage.
  • Silicone: It is a stable material and very resistant to thermal change.
  • The plastic: It has for main advantages to be refillable and available in several colors.
  • The bioplastic from castor oil: It is a biosourced plastic made from vegetable carbon. It makes the toothbrush solid and indecomposable.

The Y-Brush toothbrush is a toothbrush with sonic vibration technology and 35,000 PA6.12 nylon filaments for effective brushing. The 45° bristle angle actively removes plaque and protects the gums.

The different types of toothbrushes

The manual toothbrush

The manual toothbrush
is without a doubt the most accessible in terms of use and price. Its main advantage is that it allows you to make about 600 movements per minute. It is enough to ensure you an effective brushing of the teeth if you have the good technique and that you follow all the recommendations of your dentist. You will be the one doing the brushing by manually vibrating the brush against your teeth. It therefore requires more effort on your part than a manual toothbrush. The efficiency will be less important with a manual toothbrush.

Here is the brushing technique with a manual toothbrush:

  • Start with the outer and inner surfaces at a 45-degree angle in small half-tooth wide strokes against the gum line
  • Then brush the chewing surfaces
  • Tilt the brush vertically to brush the inner surfaces using gentle up and down strokes with the brush tip.
  • Brush your teeth gently along the gum line

The electric toothbrush

The electric toothbrush is a toothbrush that allows automatic movements to obtain a better cleaning of the teeth. The movements are oscillating or rotating depending on the type of device or brush head. Its high speed effectively removes plaque and food debris from the teeth. It is a toothbrush recommended by half of the population because it allows to have a good daily dental hygiene. In addition, its design is becoming more and more effective over time, which makes it much easier to use. Both adults and children can brush their teeth well without too much effort.

Here is the technique of brushing with an electric toothbrush:

  • Start by dividing your mouth into 4 parts: the upper left and right quadrants, and the lower left and right quadrants.
  • Brush for 30 seconds in each area of your teeth without neglecting any area.
  • Clean the first quadrant (molars from back to front) by tilting the brush at a 45° angle towards the gum line.
  • Brush the outside of the teeth, not pressing the toothbrush too hard against the gums.

The choice of the toothbrush

An electric or a manual toothbrush?

The electric toothbrush is much more effective in terms of brushing than the manual toothbrush. Indeed, it allows to eliminate twice as much dental plaque as a manual toothbrush. It is very often equipped with a timer that tells you when the brushing time is up. It is also much more efficient in terms of safety because its pressure sensor tells you if you are pressing too hard on your teeth and gums. Moreover, it is the most suitable toothbrush for people with motor problems. All you have to do is let the toothbrush guide you.

Soft, medium or hard bristles


It is not recommended that you brush your teeth with a medium or hard bristle toothbrush because it can cause enamel abrasion and gum retraction. Soft bristles, on the other hand, fit better under the gums and between the teeth. In addition, they fit more easily into the rounded shape of each tooth, making it easier to remove plaque and food debris. For example, synthetic fiber brushes with soft bristles are aseptic, meaning they do not lose their elasticity when wet. On the other hand, an extra soft one is recommended for people with gum disease.

The head and the handle


It is important to choose a toothbrush with a compact head. It allows you to easily reach the most difficult areas, including the back teeth. You can opt for an interchangeable brush head that will allow you to avoid having to throw away your toothbrush. As for the handle, you should choose one that you find particularly comfortable. For example, a non-slip handle gives you a good grip even if the toothbrush is wet. Thick handles are ideal for people with motor difficulties.

We hope this guide has helped you understand what a toothbrush is and how it works. We also hope that you have understood the role of the various toothbrush components. All materials have an advantage, but nylon is the most effective in terms of brushing. We hope you will select a good electric or manual toothbrush. 

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