Toothbrush Drill Down

Toothbrushes — for something so simple, there sure are a lot of choices. lists more than 400 different kinds. Consumer Reports ShopSmart helps you buy the right one.

It’s been said that you don’t have to brush your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.

But buying a toothbrush can be daunting. So many choices. Fat ones … skinny ones … brushes that surround your teeth … ones that hang up … or this one that sits up on the counter all by itself. And of course there are all kinds of electric toothbrushes that brush your teeth for you.

Oral-B is even promoting a Bluetooth-connected toothbrush

“And your toothbrush easily connects to your phone so that you can receive reminders…”

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says when you buy a toothbrush — most important are the basics.

“You want soft bristles. Hard bristles can damage your gums, and your tooth enamel.” said Jody Rohlena of Consumer Reports.

Also, angled bristles of different heights help reach spots that flat bristles can’t.

And a toothbrush with a bent neck can make it easier to reach behind and around your teeth.

As for the question “electric versus manual?”

“They both work equally well according to research. You just have to use them twice a day, for about two minutes each time.” said Rohlena.

So far more important than which toothbrush you buy is taking the time to use it. Don’t rush your brushing.

Remember to replace your toothbrushes every three months. Sooner, if you notice it’s fraying and wearing out.

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