How to pick out the best toothbrush

In the late 1930s, when the toothbrush as we know it today was first invented, there weren’t many options available. Today, consumers are bombarded with choices as they browse the shelves for the right toothbrush. Here are a few tips on finding the best toothbrush for you and your oral health.


For the majority of adults, a toothbrush head that is .5 inches wide and 1 inch tall is the most effective for cleaning your pearly whites. Larger heads make it difficult to clean hard-to-reach places, like the sides and backs of your molars.


When deciding between soft, medium or hard bristles, it’s better for your teeth to choose the soft bristles. Brushing your teeth with hard bristles can damage the gums, root surface and tooth enamel. For added tooth protection, find a toothbrush with bristles that have rounded tips.


Not all toothbrushes are created equal. Look for a toothbrush that has earned the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This seal ensures that disposable toothbrushes have bristles and handles that will withstand normal brushing conditions, that the bristles are safe to use, and that the toothbrushes can reduce plaque build-up and gum disease effectively. For electric or powered toothbrushes bearing the seal, they must undergo rigorous testing to ensure safety and effectiveness. A recommendation from your dentist doesn’t hurt either!


In addition to looking for the ADA’s seal of approval, pick a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles. If they are old enough, allowing them to help pick out their own toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it might make brushing more appealing at bedtime. Just make sure it’s a small size for their tiny mouth!


If you are deciding between an electric or powered toothbrush and a manual toothbrush, ask your dentist for their recommendation as he or she knows your oral health history best. If you have mobility issues or problems with arthritis, an electric toothbrush might help you clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush.

There are many toothbrushes on the market, making it difficult for consumers to find what they’re looking for, but with these tips (and some advice from your dentist!), your next trip down the toothbrush aisle won’t be as overwhelming!