Selecting a toothbrush may not sound like a difficult task. While it certainly isn’t rocket science, it does merit a degree of thought and perhaps experimentation before landing on the one that works best for you.
The most important aspects of any toothbrush you choose are how well and thoroughly it cleans and how comfortable it is for you to hold for what may seem like a long time. No matter what kind of brush you choose, remember that brushing the teeth for a full two minutes will ensure that plaque is fully cleaned from all the teeth to prevent oral infection.
Some people prefer electric toothbrushes, while others prefer the old-fashioned manual kind. There are a range of choices in each category.
In the regular toothbrush category, you have soft, medium or hard bristles to decide between. A popular misconception is that the harder the bristles the better the toothbrush will clean. Not so. In fact, both, the medium and hard bristle brushes can cause damage to the gums as well as the tooth enamel if used incorrectly. Proper brushing technique and a soft-bristled brush cleans effectively without damage to gums or teeth.
In the electric toothbrush category, there are battery-operated brushes as well as the rechargeable electric brushes. Battery-operated brushes only last as long as the battery. Typically they have less power than a rechargeable electric brush and do not tend to clean as effectively. You can keep an electric rechargeable brush indefinitely and simply change the head every 3 or 4 months. In this category, select either sonic or rotational electric brushes both of which are superior in plaque removal.
The size of the brush head, as well as the handle, is important. Make sure the head is not too large or too small. You want to be able to clean the back teeth and want to be sure the head is large enough to cover the entire surface area of the mouth in two minutes. For a typical adult mouth, a size 30 or 35 brush head works well.
Make sure the handle is comfortable to hold and light enough that you do not become tired holding it for the full two minutes. If you have arthritis in your hands, wrap a facecloth around the toothbrush to thicken the grip when the hands are stiff.
So brush away. And remember to floss too!