There are different aspects to consider here. Manual toothbrushes need to be replaced at the same rate as electric ones but the electric ones are only replacing the heads – so less waste. However, the NiCad batteries in the electric ones do “die” and then they need to be recycled. The electric toothbrush also uses more raw materials per brush then the manual. I would say manual toothbrushes are better because they only use the energy from you not batteries.
I suppose that yes, a manual toothbrush would be better than an electric one. Obviously, with a regular toothbrush there are no batteries or charging involved.
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