A close up of the woman holding a toothbrush

Choosing The Right Toothbrush

At first, there was only one choice: a frayed-end stick used around 3500 BC.

Today, we face multitudes of toothbrushes on market shelves. If you have problems making decisions, you might wish for ancient times.

Since frayed sticks will never receive an American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, take some easy-to-follow steps to choose the best type of toothbrush for your oral care needs.

How to Choose the Best Toothbrush

Follow this handy step-by-step guide:

Step One – Decide on Manual or Electric/Battery-Powered: As long as you spend two minutes each time you brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, it doesn't matter. However, you might be better off with a powered toothbrush if you:

  • Have limited manual dexterity
  • Tend to brush too vigorously
  • Need help ensuring you brush for the proper amount of time
  • Get advice from your dentist to do a better job of cleaning your teeth.

Many powered toothbrushes alert you when you've brushed for two minutes—some signal when you've brushed each of the four quadrants of your teeth for 30 seconds.

Step Two – Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance: This is a no-brainer as it's always best to use a toothbrush backed by the American Dental Association.

The ADA seal ensures that independent experts vouch for the brush's safety and effectiveness. The standards ADA-approved toothbrushes meet often go beyond what government regulations require.

Step Three – Select the Best Type of Bristles: Most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled toothbrush is best for teeth, especially for removing plaque and debris.

A soft toothbrush should do the job when brushing your teeth thoroughly for two minutes.

Medium and stiff bristles might be too hard on gums and enamel. Unless your dentist recommends brushing with a medium or hard toothbrush, stick with the soft brush.

Step Four – Choose the Size of Toothbrush Head: Small-headed brushes can better reach all areas of the mouth – including hard-to-reach back teeth.

You might also check with your dentist to determine if you need any particular toothbrush on which the bristles are patterned or tapered on the head.

Step Five – Pick Out a Brush Handle That's Best for You: Depending on your situation, you might require an angled, non-slip grip, or flexible-neck handle.

Step Six – Opt for Your Favorite Color Toothbrush: This is the fun part. Once you narrow down your choices to your best toothbrush, go wild!

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

It's important to change toothbrushes after recovering from a cold. Otherwise, your brush bristles might collect germs leading to reinfection.

Otherwise, replace your toothbrush or powered toothbrush head whatever comes first:

  • It begins to show wear-and-tear.
  • You've used it for three months.

Tip: When you pull out a new toothbrush or powered brush head, note in your calendar three months from that day to change your brush.

Taking it step-by-step, choosing the most effective and most comfortable toothbrush (i.e., the best ) should be a breeze.

Unless you select a powered brush, the manual toothbrush you use will most likely be an ADA-approved small-headed, soft-bristled brush with a proper grip in your favorite color. Or you can go ahead and buy a selection of brushes in different colors. After all, you'll use at least four toothbrushes a year.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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