Toothbrush technology has evolved significantly from the time ancient civilizations used twigs with frayed ends. A trip to the drugstore toothbrush aisle will reveal row after row of all brush shapes, sizes, colors and features. Quite frankly, the options are overwhelming!
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to which model you choose. In fact, the best brush is simply the one that you will use regularly and easily. That being said, here are a few considerations from Dr. Darian Hampton, a family and cosmetic dentist in North Dallas that serves Carrollton, Plano and the nearby areas.
Manual vs. Electric
Both manual and electric-powered toothbrushes safely and effectively clean your teeth. An electric toothbrush simulates the brushing motion by itself, requiring less power from the user; it also vibrates in a manner that mimics a professional cleaning. Children, older adults and anyone with a physical disability may find electric toothbrushes easier or more comfortable to use than a non-powered toothbrush.
In general, brushes with soft bristles are good for removing plaque and debris from the teeth. Extremely soft bristles are also good for babies’ and children’s teeth. Pick the style of bristles (flat, dome-shaped or rippled) that feels most comfortable to you.
A small brush head is easier to maneuver to reach the back teeth. Both tapered and rectangular-shaped brush heads can clean teeth effectively.
Choose a handle that is comfortable to grip and move through the mouth. You should be able to comfortably hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums to get the best results.
To earn the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, a company must show scientific evidence that their toothbrush is safe and effective. According to the ADA, a toothbrush will qualify for the Seal of Approval if:
- All components of the brush are safe for use in the mouth
- Bristles are not sharp or jagged, and won’t fall out with a normal amount of use
- Handle material has been shown to be durable with normal use
- The toothbrush can be used by the average adult to significantly decrease mild gum disease and plaque
Electric toothbrushes must meet additional safety requirements, including undergoing at least one clinical investigation to show the product is safe for use.
Browse all ADA Accepted toothbrushes.
Replacing Your Toothbrush
A worn toothbrush can be hard on the gum tissue. According to Colgate, it’s time to replace your toothbrush around the three-month mark (or if it starts to look noticeably worn before then). A worn toothbrush will not clean the teeth as effectively as a new one.
If you come down with a bad cold, you should swap out your toothbrush for a new one after you recover, to get rid of germs.
Contact Dr. Hampton
We recommend that, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, you see Dr. Hampton for two professional cleanings/exams per year. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call 972-695-4594 or send us an email