Selecting the Right Toothbrush

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If you read our previous blog on how to choose a toothpaste, we thought a toothbrush discussion was the appropriate follow-up! Like toothpaste, selecting the right toothbrush can be challenging and confusing. There are different shapes, sizes and bristles. There are manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes and so many differences between them all!


Below, we have complied some helpful tips for you to keep in mind when it’s time to make your next toothbrush purchase.



Does the size really matter?

As a matter of fact, it does! And in this case, smaller is usually better! A smaller toothbrush head is generally more effective at getting in hard to reach areas of the mouth. Being able to properly access the more challenging spaces in the mouth, such as back molars, generates a more thorough cleaning overall. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding upon toothbrush size is ½ “wide by 1” long.


Bristles – think feather soft…

Typically toothbrush bristles range from soft to hard. We recommend selecting a toothbrush with soft bristles. These are safer

for your teeth and gums and very effective at removing plaque and harmful bacteria. Stay clear from hard bristles that can actually damage the gums and enamel of your teeth.

This is also a good time to discuss grasp and the strength in which you should brush. Although it may seem that the harder you brush the cleaner your teeth become; this is a definite no, no! Brushing too aggressively can damage tooth enamel and gum tissue often causing gum recession.  It’s best to maintain a gentle grip. Try brushing by holding your toothbrush between your thumb and index finger. This naturally relaxes your grip.


Manual vs Electric:

Although this is a matter of personal opinion, we highly recommend the added benefits an electric toothbrush provides. Electric toothbrushes produce thousands more strokes per minute than a manual brush. That’s a lot more cleaning for a lot less work! Many electric toothbrushes are equipped with timers, ensuring you are dedicating a full two minutes each time you brush. Some also include pressure sensors that alert you when you’re brushing too hard. Interactive apps enhance compliance and make brushing fun for kids.

Choosing which electric toothbrush is also a matter of personal opinion. There are very basic models and also those equipped with all the tech bells and whistles. Prices vary depending on features but basic models are widely available, cost effective and do a great job at cleaning.

Oral-B electric toothbrushes rotate and oscillate while  Philips Sonicare use sonic technology that vibrates. Waterpik now makes the Sonic-fusion that is an electric toothbrush with a built-in water flosser – all excellent options!


Home Care Tips:

  • Select a toothbrush head on the smaller side with soft bristles
  • Brush twice daily for a full two minutes each time
  • Floss daily/Waterpik
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or after you’ve been sick
  • Schedule routine dental cleanings and exams every 6 months
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink lots of water to help wash away harmful bacteria


We hope this helped answer some of your questions regarding what to look for when selecting your next toothbrush. Don’t forget to talk to your dentist or hygienist at your next scheduled cleaning with additional questions or feel free to call our office at any time (828)252-9351.