ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Choose the Right Toothbrush

Updated on May 3, 2015
Choosing the right toothbrush is important, but remembering to regularly and thoroughly clean your teeth is even more important.
Choosing the right toothbrush is important, but remembering to regularly and thoroughly clean your teeth is even more important. | Source

The sheer volume of different toothbrushes available seems to grow more overwhelming every day. Between bristle stiffness, power source, material and motion type, the days of simply grabbing a toothbrush off the shelf and moving on with your day are long gone. Fortunately, this simple guide can make it easy to choose the best possible toothbrush for optimal dental health.

"According to the American Dental Association, both electric and manual toothbrushes can effectively clean your teeth."

Toothbrush Head and Style

For most people, the head of the toothbrush, which is the part covered with bristles, should be only an inch or less long. A longer toothbrush head can make accessing the nooks and crannies of your mouth difficult, especially for smaller people or children. Keep in mind, too, that you might need to experiment with a few different brands and styles of toothbrush before you find one that is comfortable for you to use and that can effectively reach all areas of your mouth. You will find a broad variety of different handle types, head angles, bristle cuts and other factors, all of which will impact how comfortable and user-friendly you find using the toothbrush. In many cases, a 99 cent option from the corner convenience store just is not going to get the job done.

Different people will need different toothbrush head types to properly clean their teeth.
Different people will need different toothbrush head types to properly clean their teeth. | Source

Toothbrush Bristle Stiffness

Many people assume that the stiffer the toothbrush’s bristles, and the harder you brush with them, the cleaner your teeth will get. However, that can actually lead to additional sensitivity-related dental problems. A brush with soft bristles that you use carefully and regularly will actually do a much better job of protecting your dental health.

Soft toothbrush bristles are generally the best option since they are less likely to damage your gums or teeth.
Soft toothbrush bristles are generally the best option since they are less likely to damage your gums or teeth. | Source

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

According to the American Dental Association, both electric and manual toothbrushes can effectively clean your teeth. Proper technique and sufficient duration are far more important for the health of your teeth than whether your toothbrush is manually or electrically powered. That being said, some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush, either because of joint problems or simply due to the added motivation and ease of use of an electric toothbrush. However, others find that dealing with the batteries or chargers necessary to operate an electric toothbrush to be more of a hassle than the convenience is worth.

If you do decide to purchase a powered toothbrush, choose a “rotation oscillation” variety; they have been found to be the most effective type of electric toothbrush available. No matter which type of toothbrush you use, you should spend roughly one to two minutes brushing your teeth twice per day, being careful to clean all surfaces of your teeth.

You must replace the head of an electric toothbrush as often as you would replace an ordinary manual toothbrush.
You must replace the head of an electric toothbrush as often as you would replace an ordinary manual toothbrush. | Source

Natural Toothbrushes

You may have heard of the “natural toothbrushes” that are beginning to increase in popularity. The bristles of these toothbrushes are usually made from a unique type of tree root or similar product that occurs in nature, instead of the nylon found in most toothbrushes. So far, however, very little research has been done to determine how effective these types of toothbrushes are, although there are indications that they may wear out faster than ordinary toothbrushes.

You should replace your toothbrush as soon as its bristles begin to fray or bend.
You should replace your toothbrush as soon as its bristles begin to fray or bend. | Source

When to Replace a Toothbrush

Many people use their toothbrush for far too long without replacing it. Ideally you should swap out your toothbrush (or your toothbrush head, if you use an electric option) as soon as the bristles begin to fray and bend, which in most cases will be about every two to three months, but can sometimes be more often, especially with children’s brushes. If you get sick before your toothbrush wears out, you should still replace your toothbrush as soon as you feel better. Not only will a worn out toothbrush often do a poor job of cleaning your teeth, it can also tend to hold bacteria that can cause tooth and gum diseases. In fact, Oral B reports that a three month old toothbrush will remove as much as 30 percent less plaque than a brand new toothbrush.

If you find it difficult to locate a toothbrush that meets your needs, you may need to ask your dentist for advice. If you need a new toothbrush before you are able to visit your dentist, looking for an ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Approval on the toothbrush box can help steer you toward higher-quality options.

Which kind of toothbrush do you prefer?

See results

References

Delta Dental: “How to Select a Toothbrush”

Academy of General Dentistry: “How Do I Choose and Use a Toothbrush?”

Reader’ Digest Best Health: “Dos and Don’ts of Choosing the Right Toothbrush”

American Dental Association: “Learn More About Toothbrushes”

Men’s Journal: “How to Choose the Best Toothbrush”

Oral-B: “Choosing a Good Toothbrush 101”

WebMD: “Choosing a Toothbrush: The Pros and Cons of Electric and Disposable”

Colgate: “Choosing the Right Toothbrush”

Oral-B: “Using the Right Toothbrushes”

1-800-Dentist: “How to Pick a Toothbrush”

What type of toothbrush have you found to work best for you?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sassydee profile image

      Delilah 

      3 years ago from los angeles, ca

      Cool I'm glad my question inspired you to write this informative hub

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)