How to Select the Right Toothbrush

With so many styles and brands of toothbrushes to choose from, you may wonder if you’re using the best one for your teeth and gums. Flexible necks, pointed bristles, non-slip handles—which feature is best for you? This guide will help you shop with confidence the next time you replace your toothbrush.

Selecting the Right Toothbrush

First, look for a toothbrush with soft bristles. You should find this labeled on the packaging. Most people benefit from using soft bristles because they are gentle on teeth. Hard bristles can wear down tooth enamel and irritate the gums, causing them to recede.

Then, choose a toothbrush with a small head. This makes it easier to reach all the surfaces of your teeth, including behind your back molars.

Other features—such as the type of handle, shape of the head, and style of the bristles—come down to personal preference. Manufacturers may tout one as being better than another, but it simply depends on which one fits your mouth comfortably and allows you to brush your teeth effectively.

How Often to Replace Your Toothbrush

You should buy a new toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles start to appear frayed. Also, plan to replace your toothbrush after being sick. The bristles can collect germs that could cause you to become ill again if you continue using the same toothbrush. For this reason, it’s wise to keep a backup toothbrush or two in your medicine cabinet.

What About Electric Toothbrushes?

While a manual toothbrush gets the job done, you may want to consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush. A 2014 Cochrane study found that the increased speed at which electric toothbrushes operate allow them to remove 21 percent more plaque after three months of use for an 11 percent reduction in gingivitis cases.

A powered toothbrush also makes oral care easier for children and people with arthritis or braces. Many powered toothbrushes have built-in timers to make sure you brush for the recommended 30 seconds per quadrant, or two minutes total.

The next question you might have is what type of electric toothbrush to use. The bristles may clean by vibrating or oscillating; there may be a pressure sensor or different cleaning modes; and displays or timers may aid in the effectiveness of your brushing. As with manual toothbrushes, the options seem endless. The choice you make comes down to preference and any personalized advice you receive from your dentist.

If you decide to switch to an electric toothbrush, keep in mind that the recommended timeline for replacing the head still applies—that is, you should use a new toothbrush head once every three months or when the bristles start to deteriorate, whichever comes first.

If you’re still undecided about which toothbrush to use, consult our Hazlet dentist. We’ll recommend the best products to help your family achieve a lifetime of healthy smiles! For more tooth brushing tips, or to schedule preventative dental care, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477 today.