When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush, many people don’t think too much about it. Let’s face it — if you’re in the market for a toothbrush, you probably think to shop based on pricing, availability, or color.
In this blog, we round up our top 7 toothbrush tips for finding the best one for you.
1. Decide if You’d Like Manual or Electric
Think about the pros and cons of either a manual or electric toothbrush — oftentimes, it comes down to cost.
Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every three months (or more if the bristles become matted or frayed). If you choose an electric toothbrush, also consider choosing one with a replaceable head because of how often it must be changed. It could be more cost-effective to replace just a brush head, rather than the entire toothbrush.
Manual or electric toothbrushes are both effective in cleaning your teeth. But, electric toothbrushes can do a better job of cleaning your teeth than manual ones (1). Dentists recommend brushing twice daily — ideally once in the morning and once before bedtime — for at least two minutes each time. Many electric toothbrushes have timers to help you meet this goal.
Two minutes allows for thorough cleaning of all surfaces of your teeth and gums, including plaque removal and optimal oral hygiene.
2. Pay Attention to the Bristle Type
Toothbrushes most often come in soft, medium, and hard bristle options. Hard toothbrushes do a great job at cleaning your teeth and removing more plaque than the other bristle types — but they can also remove part of your tooth structure like tooth enamel, gum tissue, and root surface (1, 3)!
Toothbrushes with harder bristles are generally deemed too abrasive for teeth, and it’s widely recommended to use a soft or sensitive brush head.
3. Choose the Right Size
The size of your toothbrush should correlate to the size of your mouth and should allow for easy access to all surfaces of your teeth (3).
Your toothbrush should be a size that allows you to reach the sides and backs of your molars (the teeth located in the very back of your mouth). If the toothbrush is too big or too heavy, you may not be able to comfortably maneuver the toothbrush around your mouth. You also risk hurting yourself by using the wrong toothbrush.
4. Opt for a Well-Made Handle Design
When you’re looking for a new toothbrush, you should also consider the way the toothbrush feels when you hold it.
The handle should be comfortable to hold and have a good grip to help you effectively control the brush. When you’re toothbrush shopping, choose a handle that feels nice and is easy to use.
5. Make Sure It’s Ada-Approved
When choosing a toothbrush, it’s best to have expert recommendations. This could mean your dentist or the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.
ADA-approved toothbrushes have undergone rigorous safety and daily use testing. ADA testing measures include that:
- All toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
- Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges and endpoints.
- Handle material demonstrates durability under normal use.
- Bristles won’t fall out with normal use.
- The toothbrush can be used without supervision by the average adult to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque (2).
Toothbrushes need to be reevaluated every three years to maintain their ADA seal of acceptance.
6. Decide Your Budget
Everyone’s budget is different, and the price is an important factor to consider when shopping for a toothbrush. Choosing a toothbrush that can effectively clean your teeth is more important than the type of toothbrush it is.
Keep in mind — electric toothbrushes cost much more than manual toothbrushes and both types should be replaced every three months. So, the price of the replacements might help you decide which one to go with.
7. Pursue Your Personal Preferences
The above toothbrush tips are great to consider, but ultimately the choice is yours to make. Your choice of toothbrush should make for a welcome and accessible oral hygiene experience, not one you dread.
The more likable your toothbrush, the more likely you’ll use it — and use it consistently. The main thing to remember is that brushing twice daily is most important (3).
Bonus Tip: How to Brush Your Teeth – The Right Way.
Surprisingly, many people don’t brush their teeth correctly. Effective brushing involves correct positioning of the toothbrush, coverage of all tooth surfaces, and consistent, gentle strokes.
Here’s our guidelines for brushing your teeth the right way:
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. This angle allows the bristles to reach the area where your teeth meet your gums, ensuring effective plaque removal. To pay even more attention to the gum line, where plaque accumulates, flossing serves as an additional defense against plaque (4).
- Use gentle pressure, moving the toothbrush in small circular motions on the outer surface of your teeth. Focus on a few teeth at a time and gradually move to the next set.
- Clean the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. For the inner surfaces, tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes to clean the inside of your front teeth (4).
- Brush your tongue. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes. Spend an equal amount of time on each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left), 30 seconds for each section.
- Avoid brushing too aggressively. Brushing too hard leads to gum irritation and enamel wear. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and let the bristles do the work.
- Rinse and clean your toothbrush. After brushing, thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with water to remove any remaining toothpaste or debris. Store it upright to allow it to air dry between uses.
Now that you know the proper way to brush your teeth, it's essential to make it a routine and keep it up consistently. Remember, forming this habit will improve your dental health and overall well-being.
Prioritize Your Oral Health
Ready to upgrade your brushing routine? No matter which toothbrush you choose, you can always change your mind later. Considering the different options first might save you money and get you on the road to proper oral health sooner!
Don't miss out on the secrets to a healthier smile — contact Greentree Dental to start your best oral hygiene journey today.
- Cleveland Clinic: Keeping Your Mouth Healthy with Dr. Sasha Ross
- ADA: Toothbrushes
- WebMD: Choosing a Toothbrush
- Popular Mechanics: Let Science Guide Your Tooth Brushing Routine