How to Choose a Toothbrush

Every day that I come into my practice here in Powell, TN the question comes up about how to choose a toothbrush to use on a daily basis. The answer is fairly simple for most people, but can get complex when you walk into a retail store these days.

Consumers walking into the health and beauty isle of their local big box store are hit with a staggering variety of what large companies think that their consumers want to buy. This confusion due to so many choices means someone buying a toothbrush will typically grab what is eye level in the store and be done with it. 

If used properly, a toothbrush should be replaced after only a few months of use, and/or after being sick with a cold or infection. Now we know that we have to replace our toothbrushes on a regular basis, and that there’s a lot of confusion when we decide to make the purchase. 

So it’s understandable that people want some help in this regard. What do the experts say about toothbrushes? Here are some things to look for at the store. 

The American Dental Association and I recommend people only purchase a toothbrush that is soft or extra soft. People tend to brush their teeth with too much pressure, and this can lead to gum damage and could cause other problems. 

A related aside: If your toothbrush is bent or the bristles are coming apart then you are brushing too hard. 

Secondly, look for a toothbrush that is a size 30 or 35. This represents the bristle count. People tend to choose a toothbrush that is large thinking you can get the job done faster, but that actually counters good dental heal practices. Dentists want people to be able to reach in all areas of their mouth and a smaller toothbrush will allow a cleaner mouth. 

The safest brush is one that has the ADA seal of approval or one that your dentist would give you at a regular visit. When you visit my office for your regular appointment, you can be sure that you’ll see which products I think are the best.

OK – here’s a quick re-cap:

  • Soft or Extra-Soft Bristles
  • Look for a smallish toothbrush that is size 30 or 35
  • Look for the ADA seal of approval
  • Notice which toothbrush your dentist gives to patients

So the next time you are at the store, check out the toothbrush area, and let someone else know how to choose a great brush for better dental health. They might just appreciate the help, and you’ll be helping them have better overall health through a healthier mouth!

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