We have all been taught about the vital importance of good oral hygiene since early childhood. Even very young children learn about good tooth brushing habits, starting in day care and kindergarten sessions. Although, on early trips to the dentist, we were instructed to brush with a circular and vertical motion and to brush the gum line carefully, many of us still select toothbrushes according to the type of bristles we personally prefer rather than following expert dental advice concerning brushes.

Soft bristles vs. hard bristles—which is the better choice for practicing good dental hygiene? Since most people today use both electric and manual brushes for cleaning and polishing their teeth, it is important to choose the best bristle type for both, especially because you will be using them faithfully each day.

Toothbrushes with nylon bristles first arrived on the consumer market in the late 1930s when there was very little variety in toothbrush models. Today, pharmacies, convenience stores and even small travel and gift boutiques carry a wide selection of oral hygiene products including multiple toothbrush styles, sizes and shapes. Whether you need a new disposable (manual) brush or an electric (powered) one, you can easily find a good selection right in your neighborhood.

Due to the fast-paced daily lifestyles that many people have today, it is easy to neglect replacing toothbrushes when their bristles become worn and shaggy. We often pay more attention to replacing the batteries in our powered brushes first since without power, they will cease to function. Yet the bristles of electric toothbrushes need periodic replacement, just like our manual ones do, so your toothbrushes should be prominent items on your most essential grooming aids list for regular discarding and replacing, as needed.

Practical Tips for Selecting a New Toothbrush 

Type of Bristles

When you visit your local pharmacy or convenience store to buy a replacement head for your electric toothbrush or to choose a new manual brush, you will most likely find a display of brushes with soft, medium and hard bristles. Most consumers choose a brush with soft nylon bristles for comfortable daily use, especially if you tend to brush vigorously. Unless you have unusually strong teeth and gums, you may damage your gums and the root surface of your teeth or your tooth enamel when using bristles that are too firm.

For this reason, a soft-bristle brush is the safer choice. Using a brush with soft, pliable, less abrasive bristles; you can brush briskly and thoroughly without having to worry about causing harm to teeth or gums. It is also best to choose a toothbrush designed with rounded-tip bristles, which will also protect your gum line and tooth surfaces from damage due to overzealous brushing habits. After any dental procedure or surgery, your dental specialist will give you instructions for brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth while gums and tissues heal.

Toothbrush Size

You should choose a toothbrush with a head that you can easily maneuver around inside your mouth to access all your teeth surfaces. For adults, a brush head measuring one half-inch in width and one inch tall is generally easy and effective for regular use. Although larger brush heads may look more effective, they can be difficult to position, especially for reaching the back molars or wisdom teeth (if you still have them).

Choose a toothbrush model with a handle of enough length for comfortable handling and operation. Beware of those convenient manual travel brushes with detachable handles. When cleaning your teeth with these brushes, the handles can easily become detached, which can present a slight danger of choking on the brush itself. Although the likelihood of choking for adults is slight, children may be in greater danger when brushing with these two-piece manual models.

If you want assurance that your favorite choice among toothbrushes has passed thorough and rigorous quality control testing for high degrees of safety and efficacy, ask your dentist for advice on top performance models. You can also check the packaging of brushes for sale in your neighborhood stores to determine which ones have gained official approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). All brushes approved will display the ADA Seal of Approval on their external packaging and product information inserts.

Common Mistakes in Tooth Brushing Habits

After choosing the right toothbrush design for safe, healthy cleaning and maintenance of your teeth and gums, check with your dentist or dental hygienist to ensure that you are using healthy brushing techniques. Common mistakes that many people of all ages make when brushing their teeth with both manual and electric brushes include the following:

Brushing Too Vigorously

We all need to remember that brushing harder is not necessarily better. If fact, scrubbing your teeth can be harmful to your tooth enamel and gums. Especially if you have the habit of scrubbing when you brush your teeth, focus on the mental image of massaging rather than scrubbing. There is really no need to scour your teeth like you are cleaning the tile flooring, your bathtub or shower walls. Since dental plaque is soft and pliable, by thoroughly, but gently massaging your teeth and gums and penetrating beneath the gum line with your soft-bristle brush, you will see much better results than any amount of scrubbing will produce.

Neglecting the Gum Line

Because bacteria can collect along your gum line, it is necessary to brush along and just beneath the gum line. Many dentists recommend using your soft-bristle brush at the gum edge, bending and extending the bristles underneath the gums. If you position your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line, this process will be easier. While still in the ‘mouth-cleansing mode’, be sure to brush your tongue as well. When you finish, your teeth will be sparkling clean, and your entire mouth will feel revitalised and refreshed.

King of Prussia Specialists Offer Expert Dental Hygiene and Care

When you contact the highly accomplished and experienced dental specialists at King of Prussia Periodontics & Dental Implants offices located in King of Prussia, PA, you will receive ultimate quality dental consultation, advice and comprehensive dental services. This well-respected dental practice offers the dental expertise of Dr. Marissa Crandall Cruz, Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology, Dr. Mana Nejadi, former Director of the Predoctoral Periodontics program at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Rimple Sandhu, an active member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology.

Comprehensive dental care services provided include Cosmetic Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Periodontal Disease Treatment and Maintenance, TMJ Disorder Treatment, Waterlase Dental Laser Surgery and Dental Hygiene Therapy.

Learn more about the many excellent dental care services provided by these dental specialists by visiting their website: www.kopperio.com or contacting them by phone at: 610-783-7800.


Melvin is an Entrepreneur, Life Coach, and Chinese Metaphysics Practitioner. He holds an EMBA and he is a passionate and engaging teacher, known for his unique combination of science, research, and spirituality.

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