How do I choose and use a toothbrush?

Which Toothbrush Is Best?
Generally, a toothbrush should have a long, wide handle (for a firm grasp) and soft nylon bristles with rounded ends so you won't hurt your gums. A toothbrush head should be small (1" by 1/2") for easy access to all areas of the mouth, teeth and gums. Be sure to brush on both sides of the teeth and the tongue. Change toothbrushes every three to four months before their bristles become frayed. Toss the toothbrush after an illness to avoid harmful bacteria harbored in the bristles.

Electric toothbrushes are a great option for those who have limited dexterity, such as older people or arthritis sufferers, and are effective for people with braces since the rotating heads can clean hard-to-reach areas.

Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes don't work that much better than manual toothbrushes, but they do motivate some reluctant brushes to clean their teeth more often. The whizzing sounds of an electric toothbrush and the tingle of the rotary tufts swirling across teeth and gums often captivate people who own electric toothbrushes.
They are advantageous because they can cover more area faster. Electric toothbrushes are recommended for people who have limited manual dexterity, such as a disabled or elderly person and those who wear braces. Sometimes, it takes more time and effort to use an electric toothbrush because batteries must be recharged, and it must be cleaned after every use.

When to Change a Toothbrush
Be sure to change your toothbrush, or toothbrush head (if you're using an electric toothbrush) before the bristles become splayed and frayed. Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections such as gingivitis and periodontists. Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months. Sick people should change their toothbrush at the beginning of an illness and after they feel better.