Oral Health Topics
Dental Products for Home Use
Even savvy shoppers can be baffled by the seemingly endless variety of dental care products. That includes the hundreds of manual and powered toothbrushes that are available. Choose products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance—an important symbol of a dental product's safety and effectiveness. Your dental office can also suggest toothbrushes that would be right for your needs.
A toothbrush should be replaced every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed. A worn toothbrush does not do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Children should have a child-sized toothbrush for ease of use. The variety of colors and designs can provide extra fun and motivation to keep children brushing.
People who have hand, arm, or shoulder problems that limit movement may find that a powered toothbrush is the best choice for them. Or they may find that by modifying a manual toothbrush, they can brush without assistance from others. A few tips:
- Attach the toothbrush handle to the hand with a wide elastic band.
- Enlarge the toothbrush handle with a sponge, rubber ball, or bicycle handle grip.
- Lengthen the toothbrush handle with a piece of wood or plastic, such as a ruler or wooden tongue depressor.
- Bend the toothbrush handle. To do this, try running hot water over the handle (not the head) of the brush to soften it.
Visit the Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums topic to learn more.
- ADA Statement on Toothbrush Care: Cleaning, Storage and Replacement
- Video: ADA Dental Minute: Dentistry Takes a Look Back: Early Toothbrushes