How To Choose The Right Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth is crucial for a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing helps prevent bad breath, plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease. With so many sizes, shapes, and styles of toothbrushes out there on the market, choosing the right one can be confusing. Some brushes promise deep cleaning, fresh breath, and even teeth whitening. Others are designed specifically for dentures or orthodontics.
So how do choose the right toothbrush? Here, you'll learn the basics about effective toothbrushing, right down to the best toothbrush you should buy.
Types of Toothbrushes
When it comes to toothbrushes, there are infant finger brushes, toddler and child toothbrushes, and adult toothbrushes. There are two types of toothbrushes, manual and electric. Toothbrushes also have three different bristle styles — soft, medium, and hard.
Toothbrushes for Adults
The two main types of toothbrushes available for adults are manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes.
- Manual Toothbrushes — The best manual toothbrush for adults is a soft-bristle toothbrush that has the ADA seal of approval on it. Most dentists will agree soft-bristled brushes are best for removing debris and plaque from your teeth, without harming your enamel and gums. You'll also want to go with small-headed brushes which reach your back teeth more comfortably and allow you to brush back and forth easier.
- Electric Toothbrushes — For many, the electric toothbrush is a great alternative. It typically does a better job at cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have a hard time brushing or whose manual dexterity is limited. Plus, electric toothbrushes can remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes. Many dentists will highly recommend electric toothbrushes over manual toothbrushes because they clean teeth effectively with less effort on the user’s end.
Toothbrushes for Children
- Infant Fingerbrushes — These are recommended for infants and small toddlers who have teeth that are beginning to erupt. Finger brushes are typically made of silicone and have multiple grooves that can gently scrub germs away from the gum and tooth areas of your little one’s smile. Always make sure your baby toothbrush is BPA free.
- Kid’s Toothbrushes — Like adults, children should use only a soft bristle toothbrush. This is especially important for young children who are not yet familiar with how to brush properly and can help avoid injuries to the sensitive gum area. A hard bristle toothbrush may also be too rough for their developing tooth enamel. Kid’s toothbrushes come in a number of electric and manual options as well. You'll find a variety of toothbrushes in different colors and even some with your child's favorite characters from a popular cartoon and classic stories.
General Tips for Selecting a Toothbrush
If you are still struggling to choose a toothbrush that is right for your age, smile, and dental hygiene needs, here are a few tips you can follow when selecting a toothbrush:
- Size and Type of Bristle Head — Choose a toothbrush head size that fits into your mouth easily and one in which you can brush one or two teeth at a time — ideally, a brush size that's an inch long and a half-inch wide.
- Bristle Texture — Nylon is best, not natural. While you'll find many "natural" dental products and toothbrushes on the market claiming to be environmentally friendly with Araak tree root bristles or brown bristles, there hasn't been a lot of research conducted in the U.S. on their harmfulness or effectiveness for oral hygiene.
- Handle — There are a variety of handle types as well such as flexible neck or non-slip grip. Just find the one that's most comfortable to you and allows you to fit your toothbrush in your mouth and reach your teeth.
- Age of Family Member — Electric toothbrushes tend to be a great option for any age. You'll find several models designed exclusively for children with limited dexterity. They're also good for the elderly since most have a thick handle making them easier to hold (good for those with arthritis).
Brushing your teeth correctly is an important step in your oral hygiene routine, and selecting the best toothbrush is just as important. There are hundreds of toothbrushes available for infants, children, and adults. As long as you choose a toothbrush that has the right bristle type, can fit in your mouth, and effectively helps you clean your teeth, you can adequately keep tooth decay and cavities away.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.