Maybe because I’m a 5-feet-tall petite Japanese, I seem to have a problem with American toothbrushes. Their heads are gigantic and bristles are too hard. Even when I buy tooth brushes labeled as “compact head” or “soft”, they are still large and hard. And for some reason, American tooth brushes are getting even bigger every year. Soon, American toothbrushes would be bigger than my mouth.

Big tooth brushes prevent me from brushing my molars. I don’t think my jaw size is particularly smaller than others, because there are many other petite women in the United States.

Every time I go to a dental appointment, the dentist tells me “Don’t brush your teeth so hard. Your gum line is receding.” But when I have to use a big head toothbrush, I can’t avoid applying greater pressure, because I can’t move and turn the big head easily in my mouth.

I bought a toothbrush labeled “soft” and “compact head” at a drug store, but the bristles weren’t really soft and the head isn’t small at all. Are my gums more fragile than other average human beings? I don’t think so.

I miss Japanese toothbrushes. They are small and soft, and easy to maneuver in the mouth. So I started to bring a bunch of toothbrushes back from Japan, every time I went over there.

When my husband used a Japanese toothbrush, he loved it instantaneously. He agreed that a smaller head is easier to maneuver in the mouth and softer bristles are gentle to gums.

I recently found “Japanese toothbrushes” in Amazon. I found they were actually made in Korea, but they are the best toothbrushes I’ve ever found in the United States. If you are not happy with huge American toothbrushes, it’s worth to try them (the picture on the right).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.


6 Responses to Toothbrushes

  1. Corie January 28, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Hi, I enjoy your blog and appreciate the links to find Japanese food products and more! Japanese Ramen is also better than American Ramen styles. I only know because my Japanese friend brought samples from Tokyo for me to enjoy.
    If you would like to try an electric toothbrush, I highly recommend Sonicare toothbrushes. Because you hold the toothbrush against your gums and teeth and turn it on, there is no need to apply pressure to clean your teeth. You still have to break the habit of scrubbing, but it will really help with receding gums and sensitive teeth. When I forget my Sonicare and go back to a manual toothbrush, my teeth feel dirty in comparison. Every time I go to the dentist I am asked by the hygienist and dentist what type of toothbrush I use. They always say that my mouth is much cleaner than the usual customer due to the choice of toothbrush.

    • Corie January 28, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      They also have small heads, and a child size head that is really small!

  2. Jun Wangxin May 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    Could you tell me which kind of Japanese toothbrush you found? I wanna get some too! Thanks!!

    • Yuki May 28, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

      Hi Jun,

      If you are buying in Japan, you can pick almost any kind of smaller head Japanese brand toothbrushes. You can find plenty of them at any drugstore in Japan. If you are buying in the United States, order “abcOralCare, New Generation US Patented, Non Nylon, Tapered, Soft, and Ultra Fine Bristles” from Amazon. I’ve been using “abcOralCare” for years.

  3. Elaine June 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Have you tried Daiso, a Japanese store where just about everything costs $1.50? As far as I know, they are only in Washington (their flagship store is in Alderwood Mall) and California. I didn’t check their website before I wrote this message.

    • Yuki June 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Elaine,
      I’ve been to Daiso so many times in Japan. I didn’t know they have stores in the U.S. Many of their goods are decent, but I’ve never tried their toothbrushes. If Daiso sells a toothbrush for $1.50, it should last for a while.