African American mother and daughter brushing teeth

From the time we’re young, we are taught that using a toothbrush regularly is one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A toothbrush performs the same basic function….it cleans your teeth and gums by removing plaque and food particles.  In the late 1930’s when toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first invented, consumers didn’t have options like we do today.  Most stores that sell toothbrushes have an extensive collection of different types of toothbrushes on their shelves including manual and electric varieties. But which toothbrush is best?

The importance of 

Toothbrush Head Size 

One of the most important choices you need to make with your toothbrush is the head size you use.  If you use a size which is too big for your teeth, you will find it much harder to clean your gums effectively.  If you use a size to small, you will miss areas of your teeth and gums when cleaning.  A good toothbrush head should allow you easy access to all surfaces of your teeth.  For most adults, a toothbrush head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall will be the easiest to use and most effective and it should have a long enough handle so you can comfortably hold it in your hand.

Bristle Strength is 


When you go to the store to purchase a toothbrush you can select a toothbrush with soft, medium, or hard nylon bristles.  A soft bristle toothbrush is usually recommended because it removes the plaque and tartar from your teeth without causing damage to your teeth.  If you brush your teeth as though you are scrubbing the floor, medium and hard bristled brushes can damage your gums and tooth enamel.

If your toothbrush isn’t cleaning your teeth properly, it’s time to change it. Finding the right toothbrush is very important because brushing twice a day for 2 minutes can improve your oral health dramatically.

I hope this Tooth Talk will help you when picking out a new toothbrush. Next week’s topic will be on Electric Toothbrushes.  Happy brushing.

You can contact me by email or phone,, (615) 445-8700.

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