Selecting A Toothbrush | What You Should Consider

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
February 26, 2019

Person choosing a toothbrush off the shelf

Walk into a store that sells dental care products and you’ll be inundated with a range of toothbrushes, from manual to electronic, and from soft to hard bristles. Sometimes, having so many options is a good thing; other times, it only makes shopping for the right product all the more confusing.

When it comes to shopping for a toothbrush, how do you know that you’re choosing one that will really keep your teeth and gums healthy, without causing irritation? To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled a short list of things that you should consider.

Take Your Oral Hygiene Routine to the Next Level with a Better Toothbrush

Here are a few things to think about when searching for a toothbrush that you can use twice a day to ensure your teeth and gums stay strong and clean:

  • Bigger isn’t always better, at least when you’re talking about toothbrushes. A brush head that’s too large might make it difficult to brush your teeth comfortably. On the other hand, one that’s too small may not be effective at thoroughly cleaning your teeth. Choose a size that makes it easy to access all of the hard-to-reach places in your mouth. Generally, if the head of a toothbrush is ½” wide and 1” high, it’s likely a solid choice.
  • Soft bristles are likely going to be the best way to go for the health and comfort of your teeth and gums. Although soft, the bristles will be able to brush away food particles and plaque, so you don’t have to go with hard bristles that might end up irritating your gums and wearing away your enamel.
  • The toothbrush handle should be long enough to make it simple to reach your back teeth, and it should be comfortable to hold. Some brushes even feature non-slip handles, making it easier to maintain your grip while you clean your pearly whites.
  • Check the packaging for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. It indicates that the toothbrush has been tested for quality and safety. This alone can help you narrow down your many options to those that can be trusted most.

What About Electric Toothbrushes?

Electric toothbrushes are great for those who are willing to spend more money on a high-quality product that will help them maintain super clean teeth and healthy gums. If you aren’t sure if an electric toothbrush is right for you, it’s a great idea to consult with your dentist, who can guide you towards a product that comes highly recommended.

Here are some things to look for when shopping for an electric toothbrush:

  • Want to make sure you don’t apply too much pressure while brushing? Look for a product that comes with a built-in sensor to let you know when you’re being too aggressive.   
  • Experts recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Having a timer built into your electric toothbrush is another great feature because it lets you know that you’ve put in the right amount of time every time you brush. Some products even come with apps and Bluetooth connectivity to ensure you’re brushing every area of your mouth for the appropriate amount of time. Nice, right?
  • Some electric toothbrushes are powered by batteries, while others are rechargeable. The type you choose is up to you and your budget, as well as whether or not you have room for the toothbrush charging station.
  • Something else to consider when shopping for electric brushes: you’ll need to replace the brush heads on a regular basis, just as you’d replace a manual brush. However, the replacement brush heads can be pricey, so you might want to factor those costs into your buying decision.
  • Because electric toothbrushes are high-tech products that often come with loads of features, including different brushing modes and brush heads, it’s a wise idea to shop for one that comes with a warranty. That way, your expensive investment will be protected in case anything goes wrong.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to go with a manual or electric toothbrush. You might find that you don’t like the feeling of an electric toothbrush vibrating against your teeth, or you might try one and discover that your teeth feel cleaner. Again, your dentist can help you if you’re really struggling to decide if an electric toothbrush is worth the price.

Keep Your Teeth Spotless Even While Traveling

Packing an electric toothbrush, complete with cumbersome charging station, for a trip might not be convenient. So, when shopping for a toothbrush that you can take with you while traveling, consider the following:

  • If you love the way your teeth feel after using your electric toothbrush and you really don’t want to go back to a manual brush while away from home, look for an electric brush that operates on batteries so that it will be easier to pack.
  • Rather than placing your toothbrush in a plastic bag, where moisture can allow bacteria to proliferate, look for a brush that comes with a ventilated cap that will protect the bristles while also allowing them to dry.  
  • Disposable toothbrushes are fantastic for freshening up when you’re on the go. They can be used just once, and they have the toothpaste built right into the bristles, so all you have to do is brush your teeth as you normally would—no water or rinsing necessary. How neat is that?!
  • Travel toothbrushes that fold up are also ideal if you want something that’s more compact. Those that feature antibacterial bristles can provide peace of mind if you’re concerned about any moisture that’s left behind before you fold up the brush and put it in your suitcase.

Are Those Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes Really Any Good?

We all want to do our part to help the environment, but we also don’t want to waste our hard-earned money on subpar products that won’t work even though they’re eco-friendly. So, are all of those environmentally friendly toothbrushes really worth trying?

  • Eco-friendly toothbrushes that are made of sustainable materials, such as bamboo, rather than plastic, can be just as effective as any other toothbrush, particularly if the bristles are made of high-quality nylon.
  • Toothbrushes that feature bristles made of other materials, such as charcoal-infused bristles, may not perform as well, or as gently, as nylon bristles. Remember, you don’t want your bristles to be too harsh on your teeth and gums, and you also don’t want them wearing out right away.

Still Stumped? Ask Your Dentist!

Wow, there are a lot of toothbrushes out there, complete with a range of features that you may or may not really need. It’s no wonder that so many people feel totally lost when shopping for something as simple as a toothbrush! So, when you’re in doubt about which product is right for you and your oral health needs, just check in with your dentist. He or she can offer you personalized tips so that you end up with the ideal toothbrush that you’ll actually enjoy using daily.


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