4 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Toothbrush

4 Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Toothbrush

A toothbrush is an essential oral care tool that helps remove food debris, bacteria, and plaque from the mouth. Dental plaque accumulates on teeth when bacteria feed on sugary food particles, creating a filmy substance that irritates gum tissue and contributes to tooth decay. Regularly brushing and flossing teeth is an important part of oral hygiene, but your routine may not be helping as much as you think if your toothbrush isn't up to par. Let the following guide assist you when it’s time to purchase a new one.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Toothbrush

1. Bristle Type

Look for toothbrushes with bristles labeled "soft" rather than "medium" or "hard" since they are kinder to gum tissue. Firmer bristles contribute to gum recession, especially when combined with aggressive back-and-forth brushing techniques. As the gums receded, sensitive tooth roots are eventually exposed, which can make it painful to brush or floss. Use gentle circular motions with the toothbrush to help prevent these issues. 

2. Head Size

oral care

Choose an oral care implement with a head that’s less than 1 inch tall and a 1/4 - 1/2 inch wide for optimal cleaning. Larger heads can make brushing the top, bottom, and sides of teeth challenging due to decreased maneuverability; this allows plaque deposits to remain in the mouth. Use a standard size head unless your dentist recommends a different one to accommodate your mouth.

3. Handle Comfort

Consider handle options when picking out a new oral care tool. If you have arthritis, opt for a toothbrush with a nonslip grip and flexible head since these features make holding and handling the implement easier. The brush should feel comfortable and sturdy in your hand so you can stay focused on cleaning your teeth instead of worrying about maneuverability.

4. ADA Approval 

Check for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the toothbrush package. This symbol indicates that the bristles have comfortable tips and won’t fall out prematurely and that the handle isn’t overly flexible. The ADA seal also means the brush removes plaque efficiently to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

This checklist item applies to electric and manual toothbrushes. Some people prefer electric modelsdue to arthritis or other mobility issues, such as carpal tunnel. These versions are also slightly more effective at plaque removal.


If you need further recommendations, discuss the right toothbrush for your oral health during a checkup at Hulse Dental. This family dentistry office provides residents of Greater Onalaska, WI, with a full suite of general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services, such as routine cleanings, teeth whitening, crowns and implants. Call (608) 783-1306 to make an appointment with Dr. Hulse, or visit this dentist online for additional information. Connect on Facebook for more dental care tips.

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