How to Choose a Toothbrush: Finding the Right Fit For You

Wooden toothbrush on wood slice on white backgroundYou probably already know that brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day is one of your best defenses against tooth decay, but in a world of unlimited choices, this deceptively simple task can get a little confusing. Should you be using a manual or electric toothbrush? Hard bristles or soft? Plastic or bamboo? And how do trends like charcoal and coconut oil fit in the mix? 

Don’t worry, Cumming family dentist Dr. Jordan has the answers! Check out our toothbrush guide to learn everything you need to know about choosing a toothbrush

How to Choose a Toothbrush

Soft bristles or hard?

One of the most important choices you can make when choosing a toothbrush is the type of bristle. For most people, a soft-bristled toothbrush is always the best choice and will still allow you to clean your teeth well. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can actually damage your enamel and gums, especially if you’re one of the many people who brush your teeth too hard

The shape of the bristles matters, too. Opt for angled or multi-level bristles, which help the brush get down into all parts of the tooth. Most people’s teeth have some natural irregularity on the surface, and it’s important that your toothbrush can reach the bacteria that can hide there. 

Manual or electric? 

While many folks feel that powered toothbrushes give them cleaner teeth, it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re brushing with the proper technique. As long as you brush for two minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, you’re good! However, there are some instances when a powered toothbrush is preferred. If you fall in one of these categories, a powered brush might be a smart addition to your dental routine. 

  • People with braces or other orthodontia
  • Kids
  • Elderly people
  • People with disabilities or limited dexterity

Toothbrush materials

We’re living in a golden age of toothbrushes, with so many options you might not know where to start. Plastic is by far the most prevalent toothbrush material, but bamboo toothbrushes are making a comeback, too. That’s right, a comeback—because bamboo is actually what some of the earliest toothbrushes were made from!  

Toothbrushes as we know them today were invented in China in 1498, with bamboo handles and boar’s hair bristles. You can now buy toothbrushes like this in stores, and they are gaining popularity for being biodegradable and eco-friendly. (There are also options with bamboo handles and nylon bristles, but keep in mind that they are not fully biodegradable. Wood toothbrushes are biodegradable but not as eco-friendly as fast-growing bamboo.)

So, which material is better when choosing a toothbrush? Either works, just make sure to select one with the ADA Seal of Approval, which means it fulfills the standards set forth by the American Dental Association. The same goes for charcoal-infused toothbrushes and any all-natural oral health items. With both plastic and biodegradable toothbrushes, you should replace them every three to four months when the bristles begin to show signs of wear and tear. 

While we’re currently closed due to the COVID-19 situation, we look forward to seeing you again. Stay safe and well, and keep on brushing and flossing in the meantime.

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