Choosing a Toothbrush: The Complete Guide
When it comes to a toothbrush, the most important thing is choosing the right one (how hard should the bristles be? Do you want electric or manual?). But almost as important is replacing your brush. Best is to replace your toothbrush every three months - unless you’ve been sick with a cold or the flu. In that case, you should replace your toothbrush as soon as you’re better.
Which toothbrush is best for you? The answer varies for each person.
You should choose a toothbrush based on your own personal oral care needs, your own preferences, and the features of each brush type. To understand how important this is, you’ll want to learn the key differences between toothbrush types and why they matter. Here’s a quick guide:
Why Picking the Right Toothbrush Matters
A quality toothbrush is at the core of a good daily dental care routine. Using the right toothbrush will contribute to the most complete dental care and keep your teeth and gums healthy in the long term.
The most important thing to realize is that not all toothbrushes are equal - because different people have different needs and preferences. Everyone has their own focal areas for dental hygiene, and the toothbrush you use should target those specific needs.
Your dentist can advise you on the best tool adapted to your oral condition. But generally speaking, your oral care practitioner may recommend you use a soft-bristled toothbrush for gentler cleaning.
If you have healthy teeth and gums and you’d like to manage plaque efficiently, you can consider soft bristles with extra-thin tips (tapered) for a deep clean below the gumline and between the teeth.
Find the best solution for you.
Have a look at our toothbrushes range!
Identifying the Right Toothbrush Features
When it gets down to choosing between brushes, start by looking at the common features of a toothbrush and why they’re important. Not only will this help you choose the right toothbrush, but it can even help you brush more frequently by making brushing simpler. Consider the following features:
Soft, Medium and Hard Bristles
There are three types of bristles: soft, medium and hard. The choice between soft and medium is often based on personal preference. Oral care professionals recommend the use of soft bristles to gently care for your teeth and gums. On the other hand, hard bristles can damage gum tissue and enamel. Some people with gum sensitivity can benefit from extra-soft bristles, which are gentler on the gums and ideal for sensitive teeth.
GUM® SensiVital® Toothbrush has ultra-soft bristles, ideal for sensitive teeth and gums.
A toothbrush’s head size should allow you to reach all your teeth while brushing. Most adults achieve good brushing results with a compact toothbrush head (rather than a long one), as it facilitates the handling and control during brushing and reaches your back teeth more easily. Your toothbrush’s head size will also affect handling and maneuverability, allowing for better positioning and control during brushing. When picking a brush, put them side-by-side to see the different sizes.
Bristle type, or the difference between rounded and thin (tapered) tips, can also play an important role in your toothbrush choice. Extra-thin bristles are cut in a special way and get thinner towards the end to reach deeper between the teeth and under the gum line and provide superior cleaning. Check out some examples, including the GUM ActiVital® Sonic Toothbrush.
GUM ActiVital ultra-tapered bristles are 50% more effective in reaching interdental spaces and reach 47 times deeper below the gumline.
Manual vs. Electric
Many people believe electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. In reality, both manual and power toothbrushes are effective, as long as your brushing technique is good. The choice between a manual and electric toothbrush ultimately comes down to your own individual comfort and preference.
Electric toothbrushes are best for people who need a little help brushing thoroughly, or for those with mobility issues (like arthritis) that prevent thorough brushing with a manual toothbrush. Additionally, those with sensitive teeth (or those who brush their teeth too hard, such as those who are stressed or in a hurry) may benefit from specialized electric toothbrush modes that put less pressure on the teeth, or ones that visually demonstrate how much pressure you’re putting on your teeth. Our GUM ActiVital Sonic Battery Toothbrush for example offers a great compromise between ease of use and efficacy.
GUM Toothbrushes range
A Reminder About Toothbrush Replacement
A proper toothbrush with all the right features might be great start, but it won’t last forever. Worn-out toothbrushes are less effective  at keeping teeth and gums clean. You should think about replacing your toothbrush approximately every three months or whenever the bristles look worn, splayed or frayed.
During your next dental visit, ask your dentist to recommend a brush for you. Nothing beats a professional recommendation from someone who knows your teeth even better than you do!
Learn more about GUM products and how you can achieve the best at-home oral care possible.