Toothbrush 101: Choosing and Using the Right Brush

Brushing your teeth properly is the most important aspect of maintaining excellent oral health. Here are some quick tips for choosing and correctly using a toothbrush, as well as a few fun facts about the history of toothbrushes!

History of the Toothbrush

The modern toothbrush with nylon bristles was invented by Dupont de Nemours in 1938, but early versions have been used since approximately 3000 BC.

Some examples of items that were once used for tooth care include twigs in ancient civilizations and boar bristles attached to bone or bamboo handles in China. Boar bristles were common worldwide until nylon bristles were invented in 1938, and nylon bristles became particularly common in homes after World War II.

Although we tend to think of the electric toothbrush as a relatively modern invention, the first version was invented in 1960. However, today’s electric toothbrushes are far more common than early versions were.

Why is Brushing Important?

Proper brushing is important because it is necessary to prevent the buildup of plaque that can lead to a variety of problems, such as cavities and gum disease.

Dos and Don’ts of Brushing

Believe it or not, there is a right way to brush your teeth, and there are plenty of bad habits that make your brushing less effective than using a proper brushing routine.


  • Brush at least twice per day, as well as after lunch if your schedule allows it
  • Brush gently to protect enamel and gums
  • Make sure to brush for at least two minutes
  • Replace your toothbrush at least every three months


  • Skip brushing, particularly in the morning or at night
  • Brush too hard
  • Brush too quickly, as you won’t have time to thoroughly clean each tooth
  • Use your toothbrush for too long, as it becomes less effective over time

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth with a poor quality toothbrush does little good. Instead, be sure to take individual needs and general recommendations into account when deciding on the best toothbrush for you, rather than simply buying the cheapest toothbrush in the store. Some points that should be considered when selecting a toothbrush include:

  • Soft bristles, which are easier on gums and better for removing plaque than hard bristles
  • Small heads, which make it easier to reach back teeth than large heads
  • The shape of the head: personal choice between tapered or rectangular head–tapered heads may make hard-to-reach areas more accessible
  • Shape of the handle: ergonomic or non-slip grips are personal preferences
  • Electric versus traditional toothbrush

At Esthetix Dental Spa, we care about helping you establish good brushing habits. Contact us today to learn more about choosing the right toothbrush for you or to schedule an appointment!