The importance of dental hygiene cannot be understated, and it all starts with finding the right toothbrush. There are several types of toothbrushes to choose from, but the standard toothbrush of the correct size should suffice. So, how big should a toothbrush be?
Toothbrushes vary in size depending on age groups. Baby toothbrushes will measure 12.2 centimeters, toothbrushes for kids aged 3 to 14 will be around 16.6 centimeters, and adult toothbrushes will measure approximately 19.1 centimeters.
Of course, the actual size of the toothbrush will differ between brands. In the following sections, I’ll go into greater detail regarding toothbrush lengths, the variations between toothbrushes, and the differences between standard and electric toothbrushes.
Toothbrush Lengths and Dimensions
When looking at a toothbrush’s length, we are determining how long it is from the top of the head to the bottom of the handle. The length of a toothbrush will vary depending on which age group it’s designed for.
For the most part, toothbrushes fall into three main age groups—namely, babies, children, and adults. Let’s look at the dimensions of each toothbrush in more detail.
Baby’s toothbrushes are the smallest type since they need to fit inside the mouths of children aged 0 to 3 years old. Their bristles are generally softer and longer than the toothbrushes for the other age categories since parents need to be able to gently brush their children’s teeth without sticking the head too far deep into their mouths.
This type of toothbrush generally measures around 12.2 centimeters, has a 2.1-centimeter-long head that is 0.9 centimeters wide, and comes with a 2.6-centimeter-long neck and an 8.6-centimeter handle.
Children’s toothbrushes are not too different from baby toothbrushes. The main difference is their bristles are slightly rougher, which will help remove food remnants from the back teeth. The handles on children’s toothbrushes are longer so as to provide a comfortable grip for kids who can brush their teeth without their parent’s supervision.
The length of a children’s toothbrush is around 16.6 centimeters and has a 2.3-centimeter-long head that is about 1.3 centimeters wide, a neck that is 3.8 centimeters long, and a handle that measures roughly 10.5 centimeters.
Last up, we have adult toothbrushes, which are the largest of the three and come with stiffer bristles to assist in removing more gunk with each back-and-forth motion. They will generally have one or two tufts at the very top of the head to clean around wisdom teeth.
The overall length of an adult toothbrush will measure around 19.1 centimeters, and it will have a head that is 3 centimeters long by 1.4 centimeters wide. The neck will measure 4.2 centimeters long, and the handle is close to 11.5 centimeters.
Summary of Toothbrush Dimensions
|Toothbrush Age Group||Babies||Children||Adults|
Note: All figures above are expressed in centimeters.
When looking for a toothbrush, you’ll find that they come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles. So, how do you choose the best toothbrush when there are so many variables that come into play?
Luckily, you won’t have to consider what the “right” type of toothbrush is since the way and frequency in which you brush your teeth matter the most. That said, you should keep your eyes peeled for a toothbrush that feels the most comfortable in your hands and will encourage you to brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Let’s take a quick look at the variations in toothbrushes that may affect how comfortable it feels in your hand.
Size—The measurements described in the previous sections are only rough guidelines. You can certainly find long and smaller toothbrushes for each age group. If you have abnormally large hands, you might want to look for a toothbrush with a longer handle as opposed to one that is only average in length.
Weight—The size of the toothbrush will affect its overall weight. The larger the toothbrush is, the weightier it will be, and the less convenient it can be to brush your tooth at night.
Grip Style—Does the toothbrush come with rubberized grips or not? Is the grip rounded to fit the contour of your palm, or are they straight and jagged? You might prefer one style over the other, so you should choose the one that you feel more comfortable holding.
Bristle Softness—Soft-bristle brushes are less abrasive against your teeth and have a lower risk of destroying the enamel. However, medium or hard-bristle brushes can get in between and behind your teeth with minimal issues. Just make sure to apply less pressure when using stiffer bristles.
Bristle Patterns—The way the bristles are designed will affect how much surface area the bristles clean with each swipe. For instance, wavy bristles are great for getting in between teeth, whereas criss-cross bristles are used mainly to remove stains from flat surfaces.
Standard vs. Electric Toothbrushes
Roughly one-third of people don’t know how to brush their teeth correctly. That is a surprising figure, considering everyone learned how to brush their teeth as children. Brushing your teeth incorrectly doesn’t just refer to not brushing your teeth twice a day but also under or overbrushing your teeth.
As great as they are, standard toothbrushes are not particularly helpful as far as proper toothbrushing goes. It’s easy to apply too much pressure when brushing your teeth since you are in full control over how aggressively you brush. In addition, you might not be making the most out of the bristle pattern.
Many of the variables that determine how well you brush your teeth are thrown out the window when you replace your standard toothbrush with an electric one. Electric toothbrushes are designed to apply the right amount of pressure, and the head will spin/oscillate for the right amount of time before automatically turning off. The only thing you need to do is keep the brush moving to touch every part of your mouth.