Though it may seem like a small thing, choosing the right toothbrush for you can make a big difference in your oral health. We tend to think of toothbrushes as inexpensive, disposable items. While they may be those things, that does not diminish their importance in caring for your teeth and gums. A regular brushing and flossing routine, done effectively, is foundational in ensuring that your smile looks its best and lasts a lifetime.

So how do you go about finding the right toothbrush for you? As it turns out there are a number of things to consider when selecting a toothbrush.

The first choice you’ll need to make while searching for the right toothbrush is between a conventional manual toothbrush and an electric model. Both offer some advantages, and it really comes down to your needs and preferences. Regular toothbrushes are effective when used properly, affordable, and widely available. However, electric toothbrushes can be a good choice for people with limited manual dexterity, folks who tend to brush too vigorously or with too much pressure, or people who want to ensure that they brush for the right amount of time. There are a wide variety of makes and models each available, so shopping around and trying a few might be a good idea.

One thing to look for in every case is the ADA Sign of Acceptance, which indicates that a given product has been evaluated and approved by the American Dental Association. This ensures the quality and efficacy of the product in question, as tested by experts.

The next consideration is the bristles. Most dentists and oral health professionals recommend a soft bristled toothbrush, as soft bristles tend to be more effective at removing debris from the teeth and gums. Medium and hard bristles can be too rough on gums and teeth and may cause problems, especially for vigorous brusherss. Ask your dentist about what’s right for you, but typically a softer brush is the answer.

Size and shape are the next things to consider. Most people benefit from a toothbrush with a smaller head, as it makes it easier to reach all the nooks and crannies in the mouth during a thorough brushing. As always, ask your dentist but smaller is generally better in this case. As for grip shape and angle, that’s largely a matter of personal preference and what feels best in your hand. Different people have different levels of dexterity, grip, and mobility, so choose what feels best to you.

So, now that you’ve found the right brush for you, let’s move on to the questions of care and maintenance. Generally speaking, you should keep your brush clean, rinse it thoroughly after each brushing and let it dry completely to avoid bacteria growth. As a general rule, you should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show signs of wear and tear, or when it reaches the three-month mark. Using a brush that’s in good shape is a must–a worn one can do more harm than good.

We hope this helps you learn how to find the right toothbrush for you, and to care for your brush during its working life. If you have specific questions about toothbrushes, or any other aspect of your oral health, it may be time to make an appointment and come see us. We’re here to help ensure your smile looks its best!