Your toothbrush may sometimes seem like just another item next to your sink, but it is actually one of the most important things you own. Good oral health is instrumental in achieving good overall health. That's something you just can't get without a reliable toothbrush by your side. With all that in mind, why settle for something substandard that may actually do more harm than good for your mouth? While it may seem like finding a toothbrush is a simple matter, not all brushes are created equal. Here's how to choose a toothbrush the next time you shop around. The Best Toothbrush For You: Electric or Non-Electric? One of the first questions people ask when looking for a toothbrush is whether they should use an electric or non-electric (manual) brush. It's a fair question, given how many dentists recommend electric brushes for a good cleaning. While the fact remains that any brush, electric or manual, will provide the basis for a good cleaning, electric toothbrushes do usually have the edge in terms of how deeply and thoroughly they can clean. However, electric brushes tend to be significantly more expensive and must have their heads replaced every few months, making the manual a much cheaper option. Additionally, it\u2019s important to look into the brand of electric toothbrush you intend to buy as certain brushes may be more reliable and effective. While this does apply to manual brushes as well, it's often less of an issue and the replacement cost is far lower. How to Choose a Toothbrush: Soft vs Hard Bristles The softness of the bristles on your brush makes a big difference in the long term health of your teeth and mouth. While a harder bristled toothbrush may be better at removing plaque, it's also good at removing the enamel of your teeth. Hard bristles also have a chance of irritating your gums if brushed too vigorously or in the wrong way. Though it may go against all your tooth brushing instincts, a softer bristled toothbrush is always the way to go in this scenario. If you're concerned about the strength of cleaning you'd be losing by switching to a soft toothbrush, simply brush your teeth for a slightly longer amount of time and practice other good oral hygiene tenants like flossing to make up the difference. Dental fluoride treatments from your local dentist are also a good way of helping to protect your teeth in these situations, as well. Choosing a Simple or Complex Toothbrush Toothbrushes can range from the simple to the complex. While all generally have a set of bristles, many of the more expensive varieties also add several extra features to help enhance your teeth cleaning. Bristles of different length or texture are a common form these add-ons take, purporting to better clean your teeth in some way. Tongue scrubbers are also popular and can be used to remove irritants, food and excess saliva from your tongue while brushing. While many of these features are useful, it's worth noting that the standard ADA-approved toothbrush is still your best tool for fighting tooth decay. This isn't to say these extra features are bad, only that they aren't strictly necessary for a clean mouth. In fact, some may even be extremely helpful, particularly those designed to work around or assist in cleaning people with things like corrective dental braces or those meant to support gum health. Finding the best toothbrush for you can be more challenging than it seems. Consider these three tips the next time you're out shopping for dental hygiene products to ensure you get the best brush for your mouth. Regular brushing is only one part of good hygiene, however. Make sure you get a professional cleaning every six months for best results. Dental care matters in protecting your health overall, so make sure to take care of your teeth. For your checkups and dental cleanings, contact Lovett Dental in Houston at to set up an appointment today.