The Insider’s Guide to Healthy Hawaii: How to Choose the Right Toothbrush for You

Oral health starts with daily brushing. Learn how to pick the best brush.

Medically reviewed in February 2022

Deciding which toothbrush is best for you isn’t as easy as it seems. There are more options available than ever. Manual or electric? Firm or soft bristles? How do you know which brush is right for you? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Manual or electric?
According to the American Dental Association, there’s no real difference between electric and manual toothbrushes when it comes to cleaning your teeth. Manual brushes work as well as they always have. They're a great alternative that won’t break the bank.

On the other hand, electric toothbrushes are usually more expensive than manual ones, but affordable models are becoming more widely available. They take the guesswork out of choosing the best brush head because most have only one option. Electric is a great choice for people with braces or limited dexterity.

What type of bristle is best? 
Typically, soft bristle toothbrushes are best. Medium to hard bristle brushes can scrub away enamel and may be too abrasive for gum tissue. Forget the classic flat bristle brush and opt for one with varied length bristles instead, which are better for removing plaque.

How long should you brush?
Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush isn’t as important as the time you spend using it—two minutes, twice a day. Many electric toothbrushes have timers on them and pulse at regular intervals, ensuring you spend equal time on all areas of your mouth, including the hard-to-reach spots.

Regardless of the model toothbrush you decide on, take comfort knowing that regular brushing is the first step in oral health.

This content originally appeared on Well-Being Hawaii.

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