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Close up of many types of multicolor toothbrushes on white background

Manual Toothbrush

Manual toothbrushes are the classic, handheld toothbrush that you use twice daily. A manual toothbrush will have the following:

  • 1″ head length
  • .5″ head width
  • Wide handle for better grip
  • An American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval will guarantee that your toothbrush has strong, clean bristles that will not fall out. Also, the bristles on an ADA brush will be soft enough to prevent gum damage.

Manual toothbrushes will also come with either rectangular or diamond-shaped heads. Diamond shaped heads are a bit better for reaching to the back of the mouth for optimum dental health.


Bristles come in a variety of arrangements, including:

  • Block — Standard rectangular arrangement
  • Criss-cross — A criss cross pattern is made to lift plaque off the surface of the tooth
  • Wavy — A wavy brush should access adjacent areas around the tooth
  • Polishing — Surface stains can be easily removed with polishing bristles
  • Multilevel — These bristles can reach the hardest areas or the mouth

Additionally, bristles come in varieties of strength, including:

Hard bristles

A bristle with a harder structure will dig up a greater amount of plaque and other residue found in the teeth. Also, because of the durability of the bristle itself, it can reach into tighter corners without completely collapsing.

Soft nylon bristle

These bristles will be rounded at the tip, creating a softer, gentler toothbrush. This is a great toothbrush for those with more sensitive gums and teeth. While it may not provide the dental health that hard bristles do, it will get the job done.


Manual toothbrushes have the following kinds of handles:

  • Classic — Straight and rectangular toothbrush
  • Flexible — These handles allow for greater maneuverability without too much effort
  • Angled — An angled toothbrush can get into hard to reach spots in the mouth
  • Gripped — The right grip can prevent a toothbrush from slipping out of your grasp


If you require a more thorough clean or have a particular condition which restricts movement, electric toothbrushes can help. Electric toothbrushes are designed to move the head of the toothbrush for you rapidly. You get a better clean with less work.

Electric toothbrushes often have one of three motions:

  1. Ultrasonic — Many small sonic movements, but in rapid succession
  2. Rotational — The head will move around the tooth in a circular manner
  3. Unidirectional — The head will move up and down or side to side

Electric toothbrushes tend to be more expensive. Electric models get a better clean, but you do pay a price.

Also, if you have children, an electric toothbrush can be a cool way to get them to brush their teeth. There are a lot of different and colorful models that function as a toy while they are brushing.


Superbrush is a manual brush that can clean the front, top, and back of the teeth at the same time. This is accomplished by attaching three heads to the end of the handle. The three heads are all arranged in an inward fashion, encapsulating the tooth when applied.

Rounded Head

For hard to reach places or even small mouths, a rounded tip may be the best option. Rounded tips are laid out in a circular bristle pattern as opposed to a large rectangle. Because of this, the surface area of the brush is smaller, allowing for the brush to go into tight corners.

Want to Learn More?

The team at Lakeway Cosmetic Dentistry can help you with your oral hygiene regimen. You can get a check up along with advice on a brand new toothbrush. If you want a complimentary consultation and live in the greater Austin area, contact us now to get started.

Get started on your healthy, beautiful smile today!