how to find the right toothbrush

How to Find the Right Toothbrush

Too often, people are brushing their teeth with toothbrushes that are not the proper size or are made with materials that are doing more harm than good. That’s why we are here – to discuss the most important qualities in a toothbrush and the ones that are more based on your personal preferences. Choosing the right toothbrush is the first step to a healthy smile. It not only allows for proper cleaning, but prevents your teeth and gums from undergoing unnecessary harm.


Toothbrush Head Size and Bristle Texture

A toothbrush that is too big can cause strain on your jaw and a toothbrush that is too small is just inefficient. If you find yourself struggling to open your mouth wide enough for the toothbrush, you should probably look at getting a toothbrush with a smaller head size. If your toothbrush is too small, it isn’t necessarily going to hurt you, but it will take you longer to sufficiently brush your teeth. Imagine trying to erase a whole page worth of notes with just the tiny eraser at the end of your pencil. Basically, you have the right toothbrush if the head should allows you to reach every surface of every tooth, but it doesn’t cause any strain.

Up next, let’s talk about bristles. All dentists can agree that soft bristles are effective in getting rid of bacteria, plaque, and other unwanted substances on the surface of your teeth. Furthermore, if you or your child has super sensitive gums, extra soft bristled toothbrushes are an option. However, there are still companies out there making toothbrushes with coarse bristles, which can weaken the enamel on your teeth and cause gum lesions. You may argue that these toothbrushes are cheaper and that it is better than not brushing your teeth at all, but just trust us – your teeth and your gums will thank you for going with a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Plus, they really aren’t that more expensive.

When it comes to choosing the right toothbrush for you or your child, head size and bristle texture are the most important qualities. Improper sizing and harsh materials can both do more harm than good for your overall oral health. It’s essential to choose a toothbrush that is fit properly and has soft bristles.


Toothbrush Grip, Shape, and Style

Head size and bristle texture are the most important qualities when looking for a toothbrush, but walking into your local convenience store, you will find there are still so many other options and features that you may be questioning. What about the handle size? Does having a certain grip matter? What about wave shaped or v-shaped bristles? For adults, the answer to these questions are: it’s up to you and what your personal preferences are. There is no scientific finding that proves a certain type of handle, grip, or bristle shape works better than the others. So whatever is more comfortable for you and allows you to fully reach and clean all surfaces of your teeth is the right toothbrush for you.

Pediatric dentists may recommend a larger handle and extra gripping for children, as they are generally easier to hold onto. Also, you will notice that most brands have age guides to determine which size is best for your child. However, every child is different and they may be more comfortable with a toothbrush that is technically outside of their age range. If you have any questions or a need for recommendations, you can always ask one of our dentists at Snodgrass-King Dental at your next visit.


Electric Toothbrushes or Manual Toothbrushes?

Technology has come a long way in the dental industry, including the development and advancement of electric toothbrushes. But are electric toothbrushes actually better than manual toothbrushes? Which is the right toothbrush for you? The American Dental Association (ADA) states that both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease. Each type has its own set of benefits. It ultimately depends on your own or your child’s own specific needs.

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are generally recommended for those with limited mobility, such as those with arthritis, carpal tunnel, and developmental disabilities. Additionally, most electric toothbrushes have built in timers. Two minutes seems like forever to children and it can be challenging to judge what two minutes feels like. If this is something you or your family struggles with, an electric toothbrush is a great option. Other pros of electric toothbrushes include waste reduction, additional assistance for those with orthodontic appliances, and improved focus.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes have their own set of benefits as well. The most prevalent ones being affordability and availability. Electric toothbrushes can cost up to $250 per brush and then more for the replacement heads. On the other hand, manual toothbrushes generally only cost $1-$3 per brush. Plus, you can find them pretty much anywhere. From grocery stores to gas stations and even pharmacies. Electric toothbrushes are usually only found at select retailers and sometimes you may have to get them directly from your dentist. 

There are pros and cons to both electric and manual toothbrushes. It truly depends on the needs and struggles of your family. If an electric toothbrush could help your family develop healthier oral habits and it fits within your budget, then go for it. If you have a tighter budget and your family has already developed a solid brushing and flossing routine, then don’t fret. 


Visit Us Today

We hope you found these tips and insights helpful, but the most important thing is finding out what works best for you or your little ones. If you have any questions about which toothbrush your child should be using or are seeking recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Snodgrass-King Dental.

We are open and excited to be seeing patients! Our facilities have been sanitized from floor to ceiling, and we will continue to follow all ADA, CDC, and local health department guidelines. We understand the concern you may have regarding COVID-19 and want you to know that we share those concerns and are ensuring your safety in our offices. For more information on what to expect at your next appointment, visit our website at

Snodgrass-King Dental Associates has 5 locations across Middle Tennessee (Mt. Juliet, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Cool Springs). Contact us today to see if we can help jump-start and be a resource in you or your child’s healthy, dental lifestyle. We offer a variety of services for both children and adults. We can also address any orthodontic needs for children, teens, and adults. If you have any questions, call us today at (615) 771-1111.