If you brush for two minutes twice daily, floss, and maintain your bi-annual dental checkups, you already have a lower risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay. However, there are characteristics of toothbrushes that will make your oral hygiene routine more efficient and comfortable. Keeping reading to learn more about how to choose the best toothbrush for you and your family.

Types of Toothbrushes

There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and electric. They are both effective in cleaning teeth, and deciding on which to use is more of a personal preference.

  • Electric toothbrushes vibrate and assist with the cleaning action. Some high-tech models have pressure sensors that go off when you are brushing too hard, along with timers on when to replace the brush head. Lastly, this is often the better option for individuals with arthritis or similar conditions since electric brushes relieve hands and wrists of constant movement. 
  • If you have current recession, the electric toothbrush will help prevent future wear due to the existing sensors and very soft bristles. 
  • Manual toothbrushes are easy to transport, cheaper, and more comfortable for those who aren’t fans of the vibrating sensation.  Our hygienists can help you get the most out of your manual tooth brush and certain angulation that help remove plaque in difficult areas, such as 2nd molars and wisdom teeth.


ADA Seal of Approval

When choosing a new toothbrush, whether manual or electric, it’s important to check the label for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. The ADA seal is an official confirmation that experts have evaluated the toothbrush for safety and effectiveness. In summary, what manufacturers must prove to receive this qualification is:

  • All parts of the toothbrush are safe.
  • The bristles aren’t too sharp and won’t fall out easily.
  • The toothbrush is durable.
  • It’s safe for kids to use without an adult’s supervision.

Electric toothbrushes will also have to go through a series of clinical studies and tests. In addition to the toothbrush products, the factories in which they are made must meet FDA standards.

What Does a Toothbrush Need to do?

Brushing dislodges debris in the tooth and is most effective when using circular motions. The toothbrush itself is made up of several components, each having a specific role in the process.

  • Bristles on the head of the toothbrush should be soft unless otherwise recommended by a dental professional. Hard or stiff bristles can damage your enamel and gums and cannot bend like soft ones, making it more difficult to clean hard-to-reach areas. Talk to your dentist about which bristle type is best for you.
  • The heads of toothbrushes should be relatively small to reach all tooth surfaces. Some people have wisdom teeth that don’t require extraction, and these small heads can easily and comfortably brush behind them. The back teeth are more prone to calculus formation, which is a form of plaque, because of their closeness to the salivary glands. Choosing a toothbrush head that is the right size ensures all areas of your mouth get cleaned equally.
  • Handles are primarily for your comfort level. There are ergonomic toothbrushes that are made to have special grips. However, this won’t impact the quality of cleaning.

Who Should Use What Type of Toothbrush and Why?

As mentioned above, some individuals have conditions such as arthritis that make gripping and wrist movements more difficult. An electric-powered toothbrush will eliminate these difficult motions. Some people have sensitive gums, and extra soft bristles help avoid discomfort or irritation. The type of toothbrush you choose depends on your oral health, preferences, and recommendations by your dental professional. Remember, the type of toothbrush is less important than maintaining a good oral hygiene routine of brushing with proper technique, flossing, and consistent checkups. 

Book an Appointment with Smile Solutions of Maine

From preventative dentistry to cosmetic and restorative dentistry, our experienced team provides high-quality dental services to the Waterville and Winthrop, Maine, area. Call today to schedule a consultation or teeth cleaning.