You’ve had a toothbrush for as long as you remember. But is it the right kind of toothbrush for you? How do you choose the best manual brush?
“The best brush is one with soft bristles,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix Cosmetic dental practice. “Hard bristles can harm teeth, and worse, they can harm your gums by irritating them,” she continues.
You should also check the bristles to make sure they have rounded bristles. A brush with flat bristles acts more like a scrub brush, and natural teeth don’t need abrasive action. Think of what you do when you spill something dry on the floor. You reach for a soft broom to make sure you get all the tiny pieces picked up quickly. “The soft toothbrush performs the same action in your mouth—rubbing the plaque away and dislodging small pieces of food stuck in your gums and between your teeth” Dr. Ford explains.
What size toothbrush is best? One that fits comfortably into your mouth and allows you to reach all of your teeth easily. The website WebMD advises, “For most adults, a toothbrush head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall will be the easiest to use and the most effective.”
No matter which brand of toothbrush you choose, look for one with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on it.
If you choose a disposable toothbrush, the ADA seal has important meaning for you. It ensures that the bristles have rounded tips, and that they won’t fall out of the brush (assuming you brush your teeth in a normal way). The seal also means the handle won’t break with typical brushing and that the toothbrush design will remove plaque and prevent gum disease with regular and correct use.
If you use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush, the ADA seal will also ensure “through clinical trials that the toothbrush is safe for use on the tissues of the mouth and teeth as well as any dental hardware that may be in place,” says WebMD.