Five Tips for Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Posted on 07/23/2018
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Toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes. Though they all function essentially the same, it’s common to wonder which kind is right for you or your children given the number of options. Beyond style, factors like cost and comfort are important to consider.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three or four months or whenever the bristles become visibly matted or frayed – whichever comes first. When it’s time for you to choose a new toothbrush, keep these five tips in mind.

Why is Choosing the Right Toothbrush Important?

Brushing technique and frequency are the most important aspects of maintaining good oral health and preventing periodontal disease. However, using the right toothbrush is also key. A brush that’s worn or the wrong size for your mouth can limit its effectiveness. Since periodontal disease and plaque buildup are risk factors for more serious health complications like heart disease and diabetes, it’s crucial your toothbrush is in good condition and a match for your mouth.1

What’s the Right Size?

Your comfort is key when choosing a toothbrush size. You should be able to reach all your teeth with ease. In general, toothbrushes with smaller heads offer optimal maneuverability and the best reach. One rule of thumb: the head size should allow you to brush one tooth at a time. A head that’s a half-inch thick and one inch long is often adequate for most adults.BallasDentalCare_electric-tooth-brush

Electric or Manual Toothbrush?

Electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective at removing plaque, so choosing between the two may boil down to your preference.2 The decision may also be predicated on physical ability. For example, people with limited dexterity due to arthritis or disability may find electric toothbrushes easier to handle.

In some cases, especially with children, electric toothbrushes may encourage brushing. If that’s the case, it may be the way to go, as brushing frequency is important. Keep in mind that electric toothbrushes often cost more than manual and will need replacement heads every three to four months.

BallasDentalCare_choosing-right-toothbrushSoft or Hard Bristles?

Bristle style is another option you’ll come across when toothbrush shopping. Nylon bristles are soft, medium or hard. They can also be angled, multi-level or flat. The ADA recommends soft bristles over hard because they reduce the risk of gingival, or gum, abrasion, and multi-level or angled bristles are more effective at removing plaque than flat-trimmed.

Look for the ADA Seal

The most important characteristic to look for when purchasing a toothbrush is the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Toothbrushes earn this seal by having:

  • Components that are safe for oral use
  • Bristles free of sharp or jagged edges
  • Bristles that won’t fall out with regular use
  • Durable handles

The seal also indicates the toothbrush is approved for unsupervised use and provides a significant reduction of mild gum disease and plaque buildup.

Does the Toothbrush Handle Matter?

Yes, even the toothbrush handle should be considered! While it doesn’t affect plaque removal, certain handles may provide better flexibility and grip, which helps with brushing technique. In general, you should choose the handle that feels most comfortable in your hand.BallasDentalCare_choosing the right toothbrush for children.

Choosing a Toothbrush for Children

It’s just as important children use the right toothbrush as adults. Look for these characteristics:

  • Soft, gentle bristles
  • Heads small enough for deciduous teeth
  • Appropriately-sized handles

Keep Your Smile Bright With Ballas Dental Care

Do you have questions about finding the right toothbrush or dental care in general? The professionals at Ballas Dental Care are happy to help you decide what’s best for a bright, healthy smile. We provide a wide variety of dental treatments for kids and adults, and we’re always accepting new patients. Call 314-432-5544 or contact us online to schedule your first-time visit.

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