26 Jun The 5 Top Things to Consider When Buying a Toothbrush
For many of us, choosing a toothbrush is as simple as breathing oxygen. They all brush the same, right? Not exactly. The truth is that not all toothbrushes are created equal.
To choose the best toothbrush, you should be looking at factors like the size of the brush head, shape and type of bristles, and whether it’s been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). In honor of National Toothbrush Day this month, we’re exploring the top 5 things you should consider when choosing the best toothbrush.
You need to consider:
- The size of the brush head
- The type of bristles
- Rounded vs. straight bristles
- ADA approval
- Mechanical vs. electric toothbrushes
Choosing the right toothbrush is more important for oral health than you think. By following these 5 tips, you’ll never have to wonder which toothbrush to choose again!
Tips for Choosing the Best Toothbrush
1. The Size of the Brush Head
The size of the head of your toothbrush is important since it can greatly affect the quality of your brushing. Brush heads come in a variety of sizes, but the best size is a head that’s one inch tall and half an inch wide. This should allow you to clean the top, front, and back of your teeth with the greatest reach for maximum cleaning.
Larger brush heads are available but are not ideal for most people. They can actually make it more difficult to get at those hard-to-clean places like the molars in the back of your mouth. Buy a larger head if necessary, but only if your dentist recommends it.
You should also buy a toothbrush that’s easy to grip. Look for one with a handle long enough to comfortably hold in your hand. The recommended two minutes of brushing is going to feel a lot longer if your hand isn’t comfortable when brushing your teeth twice a day!
2. The Type of Bristles
Toothbrush bristles come in three different types – soft, medium, and hard. This is true regardless of whether you use a manual toothbrush or a mechanical one. When it comes to the density of your bristles, soft nylon is almost always the way to go. That’s because they won’t do any damage if you tend to bare down too much while brushing your teeth.
Your teeth may seem hard to you, but they can actually be weakened by sugary foods, acidic drinks, or by poor oral care. Using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles can make things worse by damaging your gums, root surface, and the enamel that protects your teeth. Like a larger brush head, only use these if your dentist recommends it.
3. Rounded vs. Straight Bristles
You may have never realized that the tips of toothbrush bristles come in two different shapes – rounded and straight. While it may not seem like a big deal, the shape of your brush’s bristles actually has a huge impact on your oral health.
While straight bristles may leave your mouth feeling just as clean as the rounded variety, they may be doing more harm than good. Bristles with sharp, jagged tips are more likely to damage your gums by cutting them, which can increase your chances of infections and inflammation.
That’s why you should make sure to buy a toothbrush with rounded bristles. Not only will they help protect your gums from infections and inflammation, but they’re also the best option if you have sensitive gums.
4. ADA Approved
It’s always best to buy a toothbrush that’s been approved by the ADA. This certifies that your toothbrush has gone through strict testing to ensure that it provides the best cleaning and safety for your mouth. Ask your dentist if you’re not sure which brush to choose. You can also look for one with the ADA Seal of Approval the next time you’re shopping for a new toothbrush.
This is true whether you’re buying a manual or an electric toothbrush. For manual toothbrushes, the ADA Seal of Approval means that the:
- Bristles have safe tips
- Handle is sturdy enough for recommended daily use
- Bristles won’t fall out if you brush as frequently as recommended
- Brush reduces the accumulation of plaque and gum disease in their early stages
The ADA Seal of Approval guarantees the same thing for electric toothbrushes. On top of that, it guarantees the disposable brush heads have gone through exhaustive safety tests and clinical trials. This is to show that the brush is safe enough for teeth, mouth tissue, and dental hardware such as braces.
5. Manual or Electric Toothbrush?
Choosing a manual or powered toothbrush depends on your personal preference. They both do an excellent job cleaning your teeth. The most important factor is that the toothbrush you choose helps you brush for the recommended 2 minutes, twice per day, with the proper technique.
The biggest factor for most people is cost. Toothbrushes powered by batteries and electricity will cost more, and that’s not including replacement brush heads. On the other hand, you may find them worth the cost if they help you clean your teeth more thoroughly.
Practicing good oral hygiene at home with the proper toothbrush is an important way to ensure your dental and overall health for years to come. Another important practice is a semi-annual teeth cleaning. Make sure you’re discussing your oral hygiene practices with your dental care team on a regular basis, including which toothbrush is best for your dental health.