By Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
Picking a good toothbrush can be daunting, what with dozens of different varieties available for sale. Work your way through this simple checklist to improve the odds of getting the toothbrush that’s ideal for you.
1) Consider your unique mouth size/shape, hardware and general health.
No two mouths are exactly alike in size and shape, and you might have all your teeth, dental implants, or anything in between. In general, however, look for a toothbrush with a smaller toothbrush head (no more than 1″ by ½” inches) that allows you to access all the hard-to-reach crevices of your oral cavity. Similarly, if you find it hard to control how hard you’re brushing for psychological or medical reasons, opt for an electric model that does most of the work for you, bearing in mind that electric toothbrushes aren’t always a good fit for those at risk for infection. Regardless of whether you choose a manual or electric model, the handle of the toothbrush should fit ergonomically in your hand, be easy to grip and be long enough in length to make reaching the back of your mouth easy.
2) Look at the shape of the toothbrush head.
Circular toothbrush heads, which most commonly are found on electric toothbrushes, often provide the most effective cleaning, as they are smaller and can get around the teeth and tongue better. If you can’t find a circular toothbrush head, try to find a rectangular one with a rounded tip.
3) Check the bristles.
Most dental professionals in Orlando, FL and elsewhere recommend softer, round-tip bristles, as they are gentler on your gums and tooth enamel. Assuming soft, round-tip bristles are best, look at the arrangement of the bristles, too. Select a toothbrush where the bristles are of varying lengths and angles, as this type of design means the toothbrush can clean where other toothbrushes might not be able to reach.
4) Verify that professionals stand behind the toothbrush.
The American Dental Association tests toothbrushes thoroughly to ensure they meet rigorous quality, effectiveness and safety standards. Pass on any toothbrush that doesn’t bear the ADA Seal of Approval.
5) Assess the price.
Generally, manual toothbrushes are cheaper than electric models. However, many electric toothbrushes are quite affordable, and you can reduce the cost by buying the disposable heads in multipacks. The golden rule is simply to buy the most effective toothbrush your budget allows.
6) Ask yourself if you like it.
If you don’t have a toothbrush you honestly like, you’ll be less likely to clean up, putting your oral and general health at risk. Pick the toothbrush that’s your favorite color, comes with accessories that make brushing easier for you or that otherwise speaks to different aspects of your personality.
You have many options when it comes to the toothbrush you use. With these basic guidelines in mind, you can filter out the best from the pack and find a model that’s effective, priced right, safe and fun to use.
Academy of General Dentistry (1996-2016). How Do I Choose and Use a Toothbrush?
Colgate-Palmolive Company (2016). Choosing the Right Toothbrush.
Procter & Gamble (2016). Choosing a Good Toothbrush.