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Oral Care Product : Toothbrush

Toothbrush is an important product for maintaining good oral health. Choose the right toothbrush to ensure comfortable use, It helps to clean dental plaque and food particles from all teeth surfaces through effective brushing thus preventing oral diseases. Please follow these tips on choosing the appropriate toothbrush.

Types of Toothbrush

There are 2 types of toothbrushes:

  • Manual/regular (diagram 1); or


    Diagram 1: Manual toothbrush

  • Automatic toothbrush (also known as powered/mechanical/electric toothbrush; diagram 2)


Diagram 2: Automatic toothbrush

Manual Toothbrush

Manual toothbrush comprises of (diagram 3) :

  • Handle / holder – this part is held during toothbrushing. Children, the elderly or disabled individuals may find bigger size or larger diameter handles helpful when brushing teeth.
  • Bristle – several types of bristles are available such as hard, medium, soft, and ultra/extra soft. Choose soft toothbrush because the plaque and food particles can be removed easily. Toothbrush (even with hard bristles) cannot be used to remove tartar / calculus.
  • Head – the part that holds the bristles. Choose toothbrush with appropriate or smaller head to ensure optimal brushing especially for back teeth (last molar area) which is more difficult to reach.


Diagram 3: Main parts of manual toothbrush

In terms of size, there are 2 main types of toothbrush – for adult and children which comes in various head shapes, textures and handles.

Manual toothbrush can be used easily, cleaned and dried, long lasting and inexpensive.

Automatic Toothbrush

Automatic toothbrush is usually powered by battery that can be replaced or charged from time to time. The brush will rotate upon pressing the start button. The rotation speed is either fixed or can be selected depending on the product (Diagram 4).


Diagram 4: Main parts of automatic toothbrush

If you plan to buy an automatic toothbrush, make sure that you ask the sales person/promoter on how to use it, the brush function/movement, size of battery or is there a need to charge the battery (built in battery) from time to time and whether the brush is replaceable? Do some comparisons between products to choose the most appropriate type for you.

Automatic toothbrush can also be used in the following situations:

  • Disabled individuals
  • Patient with physical limitations who have difficulties in using the manual toothbrush
  • The elderly who requires assistance from carers
  • Patients with particular cases as advised by the dentist of dental specialist.

Choose tooth brush with suitable size and shape that can be inserted in the mouth comfortably and easily used.

Toothbrush Care

  • Clean the dirt on your toothbrush with water after tooth brushing.
  • Keep the toothbrush in standing position and allow it to dry.
  • If several toothbrushes are kept in one container, please ensure that the brushes are not in contact with each other.
  • Avoid storing the toothbrush in a closed container.
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Mustaffa b. Jaafar
Reviewer : Dr. Faizah bt. Kamaruddin