Choosing a toothbrush shouldn’t feel like such a chore. At the same time, it shouldn’t be done without thought, either. After all, we use our teeth and our mouth every day. This can only mean that our dental and oral health must be one of our top priorities. 

Think about it this way, without the proper toothbrush, your teeth won’t be cleaned properly. You’re also more likely to develop gum disease, which, by the way, could lead to other, more serious physical health concerns. Thus, there is no such thing as an overestimation of the importance of oral hygiene. 

But how do we choose the right kind of toothbrush? Do we pick it by the color or aesthetics of the tool? Should we decide by selecting the more expensive ones? In the 1930s, consumers didn’t have much choice since the only available toothbrushes were ones with nylon bristles. Nowadays, it’s different. Drug stores have an extensive collection of different kinds of toothbrushes available. They even have manual and electric ones.

This fact makes some consumers all the more confused. Which leaves us with the question: Which toothbrush is the best kind? Here are all the things we should take into account when choosing the best kind of toothbrush. 

Size does matter

When people say size doesn’t matter, they’re most definitely not talking about a toothbrush. When it comes to dental hygiene, it is imperative to take the size of the toothbrush into account. An adult usually finds a toothbrush with a head that is a one-half inch wide and one inch tall to be the most effective and the easier to use. The handles also need to be long enough for comfort and efficiency. Of course, there are larger toothbrushes available for people who need them. However, if regular people use toothbrushes with too large heads, they usually have trouble cleaning the majority of their teeth and mouth. 

Choice of bristle 

You’ve probably noticed already that toothbrushes have soft, medium, and hard nylon bristles. Dentists usually recommend to most people using soft bristles since it’s the most comfortable and the safest choice. This is especially true for people who are extremely vigorous in their teeth brushing activities. Hard bristles, in this case, cause damage to the gums, root surface, and enamel. The bristle choice also depends on the strength of the teeth. Soft bristles and round-tipped toothbrushes are, for the most part, the best choice of bristle for the majority. Of course, medium and hard bristles are made for a reason. Sometimes, dentists recommend the use of either for some cases. Some people also choose either because they find them more comfortable. 

ADA recommended

Toothbrushes also need to undergo rigorous testing and quality control tests. For a more effective and safe choice, it would be best to ask your dentist for a recommendation. You can also choose the ones that have been approved by the American Dental Association. Once a toothbrush gets approved, it means that it has gone through strict testing to ensure that it provides the best cleaning and safety for your mouth. Look for ones with the ADA Seal of Approval the next time you’re shopping for a new toothbrush. The ADA Seal means that the bristles have safe tips, the handles are sturdy, the bristles won’t fall out, and that when used, the brush will be effective in reducing plaque and preventing the early stages of gum disease.

Manual or Electric

If you’re a bit confused about whether to get manual or electric toothbrushes, here are a few tips to help you better decide. 

Is it expensive?

Electric toothbrushes sure are effective, especially ones that are ADA approved. However, if it is one of your options, you also need to take expense into account. How much does it cost? Is it going to be five times more expensive than the disposable toothbrush? What about maintenance? Because while you can easily replace the manual toothbrush, you’re also going to have to replace the removable head of your electric toothbrush regularly. Sure, since it’s effective, you’re probably going to save money on dental bills down the road, but you have to ultimately decide if it’s worth it. 

Do you like it?

When you choose a toothbrush, you don’t only consider the cost. You also need to go for the one you agree with the most. Take your opinion into account, and make sure that whatever you choose is something that you’re comfortable with. After all, some people don’t like electric toothbrush because they get uncomfortable with the way it vibrates. However, for people with arthritis and other conditions that limit mobility, they will always go for the toothbrush that will help them the most. Since the manual toothbrush is out of the question, an electric toothbrush is. Kids are also mostly enamored with electric toothbrushes—especially ones that have features like a two-minute alarm and such. 

Is it effective?

There has been a lot of research conducted to figure out which one is better—the manual or electric toothbrushes. What researchers mostly look into is the effectiveness of the equipment in terms of removing plaque and reducing the chances of the development of gum disease. Overall, they’ve found out that there is no significant difference between their effectivity and that in this particular point of comparison, the electric toothbrush doesn’t come out ahead. However, they have found out that the electric toothbrush with the oscillating head is more effective than the manual toothbrush variety. 

Is it safe?

Toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Approval have been tested for safety, which is why they are the ones recommended by your dentists. However, some people have a particular type of toothbrush that is deemed safer for them. For example, if you are someone who brushes too vigorously, an electric toothbrush may make it safer for you to be gentle on your gums and teeth and get them clean at the same time. You’re probably going to damage your gums and teeth with the manual equipment. On the other hand, other studies suggest that electric toothbrushes increase the number of bacteria in the bloodstream. While this does not pose any risk for healthy people, it does increase the likelihood that people with heart conditions could acquire a potentially dangerous infection in the heart.