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Picking the Right Toothbrush

Published on May 23rd, 2017

Like everything else in our supermarkets, convenience stores, and online shopping sites, there is a massive variety of toothbrushes to choose from. There are hard bristles, soft bristles, in-between bristles. There are electric brushes and manual brushes. There are brushes with tongue scrubbers and brushes with big heads and brushes with small heads. There are brushes with handles that are longer than others and some that have the bristles arranged in special patterns to optimize cleaning. There is a brush in every shape, every size, and every texture you can think of. With all of these options, how are you supposed to know what kind of tooth brush to buy? The choice can seem overwhelming. As dentists, we recommend a few key points when choosing a toothbrush. They are below.


  1. Bristles – One of the most important things (and nearly all dentists out there will agree on this) is that your toothbrush has soft bristles. Not only can hard-bristled toothbrushes actually do more damage than good when brushing your teeth (i.e. wearing down your tooth enamel), but they also lack the flexibility of a soft bristle to bend and reach underneath the gum line, where a lot of those pesky sugars and plaque sit.
  2. Handles & Heads – You’re bound to hear some debate on this topic. Some dentists say longer handles are better and some say a bigger, flatter, wider toothbrush head is better. The fact of the matter is that these points don’t matter quite as much as you might think. What matters is that you buy a brush that fits in your mouth and that is comfortable for you to use. Don’t get lost in all the features of grips and curves and groves and shapes. A good toothbrush is one that you use regularly, and one that has soft bristles.
  3. Electric vs. Manual – Which is better? Well, we believe that electric toothbrushes can be extremely beneficial to your oral health. The added motion provided by a motor in an electric toothbrush does help eradicate plaque. However, this doesn’t mean that manual toothbrushes are bad. This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with the old standby toothbrush. What matters more than whether or not you CHARGE your toothbrush is whether or not you USE your toothbrush (and how often).

What’s important about toothbrush buying isn’t so much the shape or the type or whether or not it’s electric. There are two things to keep in mind about your toothbrush as far as we’re concerned. The first is that it has soft bristles that can bend and flex to reach different parts of your teeth and underneath the gum line. The second is also a key point: Replace your toothbrush when it needs to be replaced. Buy a new tooth brush every couple of months, and also after illness. Your toothbrush, like anything else, gets worn down to the more you use it. When the bristles become worn and frayed, they don’t work as well—so make sure you buy new relatively frequently!

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