Which toothbrush should I use?
In the late 1930s, when nylon bristle toothbrushes were first invented, people didn't have many options. Now, it's different. Most stores that sell oral hygiene products offer an extensive selection of toothbrushes on their shelves, including manual and electric toothbrushes. In addition, there is a vast array of toothbrushes to choose from: tapered heads, round, big, small. And then there are bristles to consider: soft, medium or hard. Generally, people base their toothbrush selection on the color, design, claims made by the manufacturer, or the price.
Brushing your teeth is one of the easiest methods to prevent tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. But when was the last time you put any substantive thought into selecting your toothbrush? Is there really a difference between toothbrushes for kids and adults?
Let's look at important elements in selecting the optimal manual toothbrush.
Who is the toothbrush for?
If it's a child, get them a child-sized brush. We all know children enjoy brushing their teeth as much as bathing so help make the event more enjoyable by getting a toothbrush with a favorite cartoon character on the handle or their favorite color. Also look for a toothbrush specifically designed for children, with a larger handle for your child to help them control the toothbrush better.
How hard should the bristles be?
You can choose soft, medium or hard. Most dentists agree that a brush with soft, round-ended or polished bristles is the best as it is gentler on gums, but still achieves the goal of clean teeth.
What size head should I get?
Many people would choose the largest head, thinking that it would cover more of the surface of your teeth. Actually, a small head is often best to make it easier to clean those hard to reach places. A small brush head can also help to save your gums from damage.
Why use an electric toothbrush?
There are several advantages to an electric toothbrush. The heads are small, which help you clean hard to reach places. And the electric toothbrush does the motion for you. This guaranteed motion is especially helpful for seniors and adults with arthritis. And using an electric toothbrush will help clean the gum line more thoroughly.
To ensure your toothbrush has undergone rigorous quality control testing for cleaning effectiveness and safety, ask us for a recommendation. As long as you brush your teeth regularly, and the American Dental Association recommends this to be twice daily for 2 minutes each time, using the proper brushing technique, you should be able to reduce plaque build-up and keep your gums and teeth healthy with either a manual or powered toothbrush. Finally, we recommend you change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every two to three months. Toothbrushes with frayed bristles can damage your gums and will be less effective in cleaning teeth.
Still can't decide?
Give us a call at Smiles by Design in South Austin at 512-282-4271 and we'll be happy to give you solid advice as to what toothbrush is best for you.