Dentistry |3 min read

Toothbrush Tell-All: Tips to Choose the Right Toothbrush

We all know that we are supposed to brush at least twice a day for two minutes, right? But do you know if you’re using the right toothbrush?

First, let’s talk about some toothbrush fun facts:

  • Early forms of toothbrushes have existed for almost 5000 years.
  • The first toothbrushes were in the form of thin twigs with frayed ends.
  • Almost 500 years ago, toothbrushes were made with bone, wood, or ivory handles with stiff bristles made from animal hairs.
  • One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name Broxodent.
  • The first nylon-bristled toothbrush was invented in 1938 and was called “Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.”

Dentist in Mukilteo toothbrush tipsThat last fun fact makes us happy that we live in this century! However, there are so many toothbrushes to choose from. Which one should you choose?

Make sure the toothbrush you’re considering has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Toothbrushes need to pass a series of tests or requirements to earn this approval from the ADA.

Whether you should use a powered toothbrush or a manual one depends on your needs and preferences. Some don’t like the vibrations from a powered toothbrush, some think it’s too heavy, or some are just creatures of habit and a good ol’ manual works fine for them. A manual toothbrush will still get the job done!

Things to know when choosing a manual toothbrush:

A brush with soft bristles is recommended when choosing a manual toothbrush. Did you know that brushing with hard and medium bristles can cause damage to your teeth and gums? If used with side-to-side scrubbing and lots of pressure, they can cause gum recession and can scrape away tooth enamel, which can lead to some problems.

You will find a list of ADA approved manual toothbrushes here:

Powered toothbrushes are for all ages:

  • Kids will think it is fun to use a powered toothbrush and since they don’t have the dexterity yet, using a powered one may help them remove more plaque.
  • For the elderly, especially someone with arthritis, a powered toothbrush with a big handle (compared to most manuals) will be easier to hold.
  •  Anyone with a busy schedule will benefit with a powered toothbrush. Most powered toothbrushes have a two-minute timer. You’re too busy thinking about managing your schedule – having a toothbrush that tells you when you should be done brushing will be one less thing to think about!

When should you replace your toothbrush?

Your dentist in Mukilteo recommends you change your toothbrush every three months. If you notice significant wear and tear, a bad odor, or buildup before the three month mark, it’s time to change your brush. It’s also recommended you change it after an illness to prevent a second outbreak.

For more information, call our office at (425) 348-8484 to schedule your next appointment. Have Dr. Johnson check to see if you’re brushing too hard and get tips to help improve your at-home care routine. We look forward to seeing you soon!