Choosing the Right Toothbrush
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 11/29/2018
Most dentist’s will provide you with a new toothbrush after each regular dental checkup. But when you need to replace that toothbrush before your next appointment or are simply interested in exploring your options, you’ll find that there is much to consider when choosing a toothbrush.
Soft-bristled toothbrushes for a gentle cleaning
When you are purchasing a new toothbrush, you’ll find that there are a variety of different bristles to choose from -- soft, medium, and hard. Most people choose (and most dental professionals recommend) a soft-bristled toothbrush, especially for those who are more vigorous about their brushing. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can sometimes damage your gums, expose the tooth root, and even break down protective tooth enamel.
One size does not fit all
You will want to find a shape and size — from the type of handle to the shape of the head — that is most comfortable for you. Select a toothbrush that can easily fit in your mouth and allow you to reach teeth easily, brushing one to two teeth at a time.
For adults, the most effective and easy-to-use toothbrush commonly features a head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall. This particular toothbrush size will typically make it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas like the sides and backs of your molars.
Manual toothbrush vs electric toothbrush
There is nothing wrong with using a manual toothbrush, but an electric toothbrush is a good alternative for some. There is no substantial difference between the two in terms of cleaning your teeth effectively, although electric toothbrushes can certainly make cleaning easier for those who have difficult brushing or limited manual dexterity.
How often should you replace your toothbrush?
It is best to replace your toothbrush every three months or when you first start to notice that the bristles are beginning to look worn or frayed. The quality of your bristles will determine how effective your toothbrush is at cleaning your teeth.
It is also recommended that you replace your toothbrush after you’ve recovered from a cold. The bristles can collect germs, so continuing to use that same toothbrush risks reinfection.