Choosing the Right Toothbrush
Using the right toothbrush can make your daily oral care routine more enjoyable—and more effective.
A toothbrush is personal, which is why they’re available in a variety of sizes and shapes. If you have a large mouth, you may prefer a full-sized toothbrush head. If you have a small mouth, opt for a compact head. And some adults even prefer youth or child-sized toothbrushes because they find them easier to use for brushing behind the back teeth.
If comfort is important, try a toothbrush with a non-slip grip, which makes it easy to use even if wet. Additionally, the handles on many Oral-B toothbrushes have been modeled based on research into the five different ways that people hold their toothbrush while brushing.
A manual toothbrush works well if you are a diligent brusher, but more and more people are opting for electric toothbrushes.
As with a manual toothbrush, the best electric toothbrush for you is the one you like and will use every day. Electric toothbrushes come in different sizes, too. In general, the replaceable heads of electric toothbrushes are smaller than the full-sized head of a manual toothbrush, so if you are used to a full-sized head, the electric toothbrush may take some getting used to.
Get a Better Clean with an Electric Toothbrush
Keep in mind that one of the benefits of the smaller head size on an electric toothbrush is that it is better able to clean each tooth individually and get to the hard-to-reach places of your mouth. Many different styles of brush heads are available, from polishing brush heads to brush heads for sensitive teeth. There are a number of varying bristle movements powered toothbrushes utilize. Oscillating/rotating technology is the only technology independently validated as better than manual brushing in reducing plaque and gingivitis.
The bottom line is that if you choose the toothbrush that is the right size and style for your mouth and your oral care needs, you’ll be able to clean your teeth more completely and help prevent bacterial buildup and the development of plaque.
Remember that regular replacement of toothbrushes contributes to maintaining a consistently high level of oral hygiene because clinical research shows a new toothbrush can remove up to 30% more plaque than one that's three months old.*
*Research with a flat trim manual toothbrush.
Choosing the Right Toothbrush Head
One way to be sure that you have the best toothbrush for your needs is to learn about different types of brush heads. The brush head is the top part of the toothbrush where the bristles are attached. You want to choose the type of toothbrush head that fits your mouth and lets you reach all of your teeth.
Some specialized types of brush heads include:
Angled: An angled toothbrush head helps reach the insides of your teeth, especially the insides of your lower and upper front teeth. These areas can be susceptible to tartar buildup because, for some people, they’re harder to reach with a standard toothbrush head.
Compact vs. Full Size: A compact toothbrush head is smaller than a full-size and has fewer bristles. Some people, especially those with small mouths, find compact heads easier to use. But other people simply prefer a full-size brush head, so you may want to try both and choose the one that works best for you.
You’ll also be able to choose brushes that have ergonomic handles or no-slip grips to make them easier to hold, along with a variety of bristle configurations to help clean around and between teeth, depending on your trouble spots. Always use a soft bristled toothbrush and if you have recession, you may want to consider an extra-soft bristled toothbrush.