Toothbrush 101: How To Choose & Take Care of Your Toothbrush

Smiling Woman with Braces

Keeping your teeth healthy and your gums clean is one of the most important parts of any oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing are the most common ways that we keep our teeth clean, this is why it’s critical that the tools we are using to keep our teeth clean (our toothbrushes) are suited for the job at hand. Whether you have braces, sensitive teeth, or are looking for the perfect toothbrush for your toddler, this definitive guide on toothbrushes will help you keep your teeth happy and healthy for years to come.

Plus, we’ll give you tips for taking proper care of your toothbrush and when to change your toothbrush. 

If you need help finding a toothbrush to clean in and around your braces, contact your Idaho Falls orthodontist, Randall Orthodontics for personal recommendations. 

Toothbrushes for Everyone

Keeping your teeth in good condition

Here are some of the basic guidelines to follow when choosing a toothbrush for babies and toddlers, teenagers and adults, those with sensitive teeth, and for people who wear braces.

Babies & Toddlers 

Baby Gum Brush. Even before your baby gets teeth, a baby gum brush can help them get used to the sensation of a brush in their mouth.

Baby Brush. Baby’s first toothbrush should be made with soft bristles and should be small enough to clean their baby teeth.

Toddler Brush – These toothbrushes are a little larger than baby brushes, but should still be made with soft bristles. There are even electric toothbrushes available for toddlers which can make brushing their teeth more fun! 

Here is a guide for the best baby and toddler toothbrushes to get started. Also, remember when brushing your child’s teeth to use a fluoride-free toothpaste until they are three years old or when your Idaho Falls orthodontist recommends it. And when looking for a toothbrush for your child, let them help you choose their toothbrush, this will increase their independence as well as get them excited about brushing their teeth.


Around the time your child grows out of toddlerhood, is the time that he or she wants to become more independent. For toothbrushes for kids older than five, look for slimmer grips than toddler toothbrushes that are designed for larger jaws

Teenagers & Adults

As our teeth and gums get stronger as we age, many people think that it’s necessary to increase the strength of the bristles in our toothbrushes. However, many of us also tend to apply too much pressure to the enamel of our teeth while we brush. For this reason, event adults and teenagers would benefit from sticking with a soft to medium bristled toothbrush. In 2020, these were the best toothbrushes for adults and older teenagers. 

Sensitive Teeth

When you have sensitive teeth and gums, brushing can be painful. When looking for a toothbrush for sensitive teeth, the main goal is to find a toothbrush that won’t cause any discomfort. According to this article, here are two of the best options for sensitive teeth:

  • Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush. This electric toothbrush has a mode for sensitive teeth and has a built-in pressure sensor that alerts you when you are using too much pressure.
  • GUM 509 Summit+Toothbrush with sensitive bristles. A non-electric toothbrush that is angled with soft bristles like this one helps to remove plaque buildup while being gentle on sensitive teeth and gums. 

Toothbrushes for Braces

Brushing with braces requires a little extra work and often a special toothbrush recommended by your Idaho Falls orthodontist. Once you get the hang of keeping your braces clean, brushing with braces is a breeze. The best toothbrush for people with braces are toothbrushes with toothbrushes with soft bristles and small heads that can more easily fit between brackets and wires. You may not even need to purchase a new toothbrush when you get braces, but your orthodontist in Idaho Falls will equip you with other tools that will help you to keep your teeth and braces clean. 

Tips For Taking Care of Your Toothbrush


girl brushing her teeth - Idaho Falls orthodontist

Depending on the type of toothbrush you end up purchasing, you may end spending a pretty penny. Regardless of the cost of your toothbrush, there are some ways to ensure that your toothbrush works properly for the time you have it. Follow these tips to keep your toothbrush looking and working its best:

  • Rinse Your Toothbrush. Every time you use your toothbrush, use warm tap water to rinse the bristles and the handle off. This will help to remove toothpaste, bacteria, and saliva from your toothbrush. 
  • Store Your Toothbrush Upright. Once you’re done rinsing your toothbrush, let it air dry by standing it upright. Don’t use a cap to cover the bristles until they are 100% dry, as any locked-in moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria. 
  • Replace Your Toothbrush. Every three to four months, the American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head. If someone in your home gets sick, you will need to replace that person’s toothbrush sooner. 
  • Don’t Brush Too Hard. Not only can brushing too hard damage the enamel of your teeth, but it will also bend and fray the bristles of your toothbrush. When the bristles are bent, broken, or frayed they don’t clean plaque of the teeth as well. Because of this, many people will continue to brush even harder thinking it will help to remove the plaque. It’s a vicious cycle. 
  • Wash Your Hands. If 2020 had a saying it would be, “Wash Your Hands”. Though we may not think about it, the bacteria that are on our hands gets transferred to our toothbrush and eventually your mouth, according to this article. To keep your toothbrush and yourself healthy and clean, wash your hands with antibacterial soap before you brush or floss your teeth. 

For more information about what toothbrush is best for you, we invite you to contact our Idaho Falls orthodontic office today. 

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