Choosing a new toothbrush is no easy feat. We know it’s important to brush and that we must change our brushes every three months or when it shows wear to help keep our teeth clean. But when faced with the options at the store, all of the toothbrushes can be overwhelming. We put together a few tips to help you make the best decision about your toothbrush purchase.
First, decide between an electric toothbrush or a manual one. We’ve blogged about this before, so remember that it is a personal preference. Electric toothbrushes are the more expensive option, but there are some studies that suggest they do a better job at removing plaque.
One of the most important things about your toothbrush is making sure the size fits your mouth. The average adult mouth does well with brushes that are half an inch wide and about an inch long, but, sometimes, the compact size will be the best option for you. If the brush feels uncomfortable or can’t reach all areas of your mouth with ease, it is probably too big for you. Smaller sizes can be better for getting to those tight spots in the back of your mouth. Head shapes vary between tapered and rectangular. Again, whatever allows you to reach all of your teeth most easily is the option you should go with.
Be careful with bristles. You can choose between a soft, medium and hard nylon bristle brush. A common misconception is that brushing harder or with more vigor is better for your teeth. In fact, soft-bristled brushes and a lighter touch have been proven to remove plaque more effectively. Choose a softer bristled brush and use a gentle touch when brushing. Brushing too hard can damage your tooth enamel, your gums and your root surfaces.
Toothbrushes sometimes come with rubber, non-slip grip handle options to ensure you have a secure hold on the brush. Companies also make varieties with tongue scrapers attached. These are personal preferences to help you feel most comfortable.
Don’t forget to change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick to avoid collecting and spreading germs. Of course, make sure your dentist approves your toothbrush choice and that the toothbrush you purchase has a seal from the American Dental Association. This ensures the brush has been tested and is safe for effective oral use. The handle and bristle materials are all vetted thoroughly for your safety.