How to Pick a Toothbrush

How do you know which brush is right for you?

With all the toothbrush options available, it is hard to know which one will best affect your oral health. The number of toothbrush options may be overwhelming, but there are several criteria that can be observed to select the best option for you. Essentially, finding a style that best fits your needs will help you stay proactive on maintaining proper oral hygiene.


Assessing the toothbrush

  1. Size of Toothbrush (head): Choosing the best-sized toothbrush head depends upon the size of the mouth of the person who will be using. Children do not need large toothbrush heads and may find them more difficult to use than ones created to fit their mouths. Most adults find that toothbrush heads that are one inch long and half an inch wide are the best fit for their mouth, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Trial and error is the best way to find the correct-sized toothbrush.
  2. ADA Approved: The American Dental Association (ADA) tests out different toothbrushes using their set of guidelines and those it finds to be most effective get the ADA seal of approval on their packaging. Looking for the ADA logo on a toothbrush can help to ensure that it is a quality tooth-brushing instrument. The ADA judges toothbrushes based upon effectiveness, quality of ingredients, whether packaging claims are verified and the manufacturing value. Toothbrushes that do not contain the ADA seal of approval are not necessarily worse products, they may just not have yet put in their application for review with the dental association.
  3. Bristles: There are three different bristle consistencies that can be typically found on toothbrush packaging including soft, medium or hard. While hard bristles are good for cleaning other things like pots and pans, they are not safe for cleaning teeth and gums. Hard bristles can cause irritation and inflammation to the gums, damaging them rather than keeping up their health. Soft bristles are the best choice for gum health because they are less likely to cause irritation and still clean the surface of teeth effectively.
  4. Electric vs. Standard: Electric toothbrushes come in battery-powered or a plug-in the wall type.  You can get the same oral hygiene results as battery-powered brushes with an extended period of brushing with a regular toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can be the best choice for people with disabilities or children since they require less effort on the part of the brush. Knowing one’s brushing habits is key in deciding whether or not an electric toothbrush will lead to longer or more frequent brushing that cannot be achieved with a standard brush.