Picking out a toothbrush is a topic I discuss often on this Website. It’s simpl
y too easy to get confused by all of the choices out there in the toothbrush aisle.
There are dozens of brands to choose from, each offering their own promises: Fresh breath, deep cleaning, evening teeth whitening. Some are specially designed for orthodontics or dentures.
All of these features sound enticing, right?
Here are four tips to help make your quest for a new toothbrush a lot easier.
1. The softer, the better.
Stiff bristles do not clean your teeth any better than soft bristles. In fact, they can do some serious damages to your gums. You want to clean your teeth, not make your gums bleed. Always choose a soft-bristle toothbrush.
2. Reach for nylon.
There’s a whole slew of natural dental products available that are environmentally friendly. You may have even heard about something called a “Natural Toothbrush” with bristles made from the root of an Araak tree. Other types of natural toothbrushes have brown bristles that are reportedly softer than nylon bristles. While you may be curious to try a natural toothbrush, keep in mind that there has been little research on their effectiveness (or harmfulness). Natural toothbrushes may also cost more and wear out faster than standard toothbrushes. Until there’s more information about natural toothbrushes, it’s probably best to stick to an ADA-recommended toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles.
3. Bigger is not necessary better.
When it comes to a toothbrush head, you might think that bigger is better. That’s not always the case. If you have a small mouth, a toothbrush with a big head might make it difficult to angle your toothbrush to brush hard-to-reach areas. Reach for a brush that compliments the size of your mouth.
4. Make sure the toothbrush feels comfortable in your hand.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that “bright and shiny” is all you need in a toothbrush handle. What you should really look for is a brush that feels comfortable in your hand and is easy to maneuver. Also look for a non-slip surface, especially if you have arthritis.
Final reminder: Your toothbrush can eventually lose its effectiveness and even become a breeding ground for germs, fungus and bacteria. To get the most out of your toothbrush, replace it frequently — at least every 1-3 months.