Picking a toothbrush sounds so simple, right? But take a quick glance at the toothbrush aisle of your local grocery store or pharmacy, and you’ll see that it’s anything but. Years ago, there weren’t many different types of toothbrushes to choose from. Today, there are a dizzying array of toothbrushes. Some promise deep cleaning, others say they’ll improve your breath, while others even claim to whiten teeth.
Although all of these claimed features are interesting, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist if they make sense for you and your individual needs. So let’s take a look at some toothbrush basics so that you can make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy a new one.
Selecting the right toothbrush, and using it correctly, can help protect your teeth and gums from tooth decay and gum disease. So be sure to follow these guidelines and pick a toothbrush that you like, which makes it more likely that you will use it to brush your teeth regularly!
It may seem counterintuitive to pick a soft toothbrush; after all, your household brushes are probably armed with strong bristles to make cleaning easier and faster. This is close to being the opposite when it comes to selecting a toothbrush. A soft-bristled brush is actually easier on your gums. When brushing your teeth, you want to clean them, not make your gums bleed!
When it comes to the size of the head of a toothbrush, you may feel that bigger is always better; however, that is not always the case. If you have a small mouth, for example, a large toothbrush may actually make it more difficult for you to angle your brush correctly and reach distant areas. So pick a toothbrush that matches the size of your mouth.
Today’s toothbrushes are often colorful, sometimes even glittery or translucent. But don’t get tricked by shiny objects. What you really want to be looking for is a handle that comfortably fits in your hand and maneuvers easily. And a non-slip surface can be helpful for those with arthritis.
Don’t think that we forgot about electric toothbrushes! They are actually almost as popular as manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes are proven to be very effective and remove more plaque than traditional manual brushes. In addition many patients feel that electric toothbrushes make brushing more fun. They can also be a great choice for anyone with arthritis or limited mobility. So getting the best toothbrush sometimes comes down to simply selecting one that you will actually use!
When you find a toothbrush that works for you, don’t forget that even the best toothbrush will eventually lose its effectiveness. It’s bristles will become frayed, and it can become a bacteria motel sooner than you realize. So replace your toothbrush frequently – at least every one to three months.
Thanks for your support!
– Dr. Houlik