How To Choose A Toothbrush

The average person spends over 1000 hours brushing their teeth over their lifetime. With hundreds of options on the market, how do you choose which brush is right for you and your needs? There are a few things to look out for, but many factors depend on making sure that you’ll actually use your brush the most. We hope that by reading some of the tips below,  you will be able to make the best choice.

Soft Bristles and Small Size

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One of the most important features to look for in a toothbrush is that it have soft bristles that will be gentle on your gums and teeth. Harder bristles can cause your gums to recede from your teeth, which can expose the root of the tooth and lead to them becoming sensitive or damaged. Hard bristles can also aggravate the gums and enamel as well. It is also best to find a toothbrush whose head can fit easily in you mouth and be able to brush one or two teeth at a time. That’s usually about 1″ long and ½” wide, though that varies with a person’s age and mouth size. You want a brush small enough to reach all those hard to reach places in your mouth

Manual or Electric

This is more a matter of personal choice than anything else. If using a powered toothbrush means you will be more apt to clean your teeth, then it’s worth the price of purchasing one. That being said, if you are someone who needs any help brushing your teeth, like those people with arthritis, with braces, or people with uneven teeth surfaces, a powered toothbrush might a better option. In either case you’ll want to make sure the toothbrush you choose is easy to handle and fits your hand well. There are models with rotating-oscillating heads, which your dentist might recommend, but other features like timers, colors, adjustable levels, timers and chargeability are completely up to you.

Handle Me

Another thing to look out for when choosing toothbrush is the handle. People hold their brushes differently, so mime how you might brush your teeth when you are picking out a new model and see what work for you. You’ll probably want one with nonslip handle, which makes it easier to grip, but there are many different options to choose from.

Angled vs. Straight

Again, this one is more of a personal preference, as angled brushes do not perform any better then straight ones. It is you, the brusher and how you brush, that matters more. For braces wearers, angled brushes may work much better at removing plague and debris from around the brackets and hardware. Otherwise, if you feel more comfortable and it helps you reach those tough spots, angles may be for you.

ADA Seal

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you buy a toothbrush that you will use frequently and encourages you to consider one that displays the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA Seal is given to a company when they produce scientific evidence that their brushes are safe and effective. We also want to remind of one last thing: remember to always replace your brush every 3 months or whenever it shows signs of wear. Research has shown that a new toothbrush can remove up to 30% more plaque then an old one!


If you have any questions about toothbrushes or oral care, contact McDowell Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today!