4 Tips for Choosing the Best Toothbrush

December 15, 2011

Which toothbrush is the best? Unfortunately, there isn’t just one answer to this common question. The best toothbrush to buy is the one that’s best for you. We’ve developed a short checklist of things to consider when choosing a new toothbrush.

1. Is it easy to use? Like a fork or a pencil, a toothbrush is a tool. It should fit in your hand as comfortably as an eating utensil. Many brushes have rubber grips and contoured handles. Manual brushes are sufficient for most people’s needs. However, if you have limited mobility or dexterity, or if Dr. Greenfield recommends it, you may benefit from a power toothbrush. You can choose between sonic and electric toothbrushes with a variety of options. You should be able to brush without opening your mouth too wide or holding the brush at an awkward angle. Your brush should also be able to get at all the surfaces of your teeth, including any restorative work (like crowns or bridges) you may have.

2. Is it easy to clean? You should rinse and dry your toothbrush between uses. Wet bristles breed bacteria. Some brushes come with antimicrobial bristles, but these also need to be rinsed and dried. Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, even family members—you’ll spread germs and cavity-causing bacteria. If you get sick, sterilize your brush with steaming hot water.

3. Is it easy to pack? You should always have a toothbrush when you travel. If you use an electric or sonic brush, it may not be easy to pack in an overnight case. Travel toothbrushes are available just about anywhere you go; some even come with toothpaste already in the bristles. Avoid travel brushes with stiff bristles, as any brush you use should have soft nylon bristles.

4. Is it easy to replace? Power toothbrushes come with replaceable heads, while most manual brushes have to be replaced in their entirety. Replace brushes or bristles every three to six months, or sooner if you see the bristles are frayed or splayed. Worn-out bristles can irritate gums and scrape off enamel.

The brush you choose should be one you’ll use two or three times a day for two or three minutes each time. When you see Dr. Greenfield next, ask if the brush you’re using is getting the job done. The most common brushing problem is failure to get the very back molars. Remember, brushing isn’t the only step in protecting your teeth—you need to floss as well. Schedule your dental cleaning every six months during your checkup. Have you seen us for a cleaning in the last six months? If not, set up your consultation as soon as possible. Call our Lake Orion office today at (248) 693-6213 to make your next appointment.

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