There’s arguably nothing as attractive as a healthy smile. But many of us take our toothbrush for granted. We go to the store and pick one that’s on sale or has our favorite color. But, have you ever wondered what the ideal toothbrush is for you? Are electric toothbrushes superior over manual ones? Are soft bristles more effective than hard ones for eliminating plaque?
Here at AZ Family Dental, we can help you to make an informed and healthy choice if you’re asking questions like: “how to pick my toothbrush?” and “what is the best non-electric toothbrush?” There are so many options to choose from that finding the right brush may seem like climbing an uphill mountain. In this guide to choosing your ideal toothbrush, we look at what ones might work best for you and why.
You can’t overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene practices. Did you know that gum disease is one of the major risk factors for developing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease? Other crucial reasons for using the right toothbrush include:
The right toothbrush helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. By using it, you should find that:
The most important thing you can do for your gums and teeth is to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene. Healthy teeth make it easier to speak and eat properly — and look and feel good too.
There are two main types of toothbrushes — manual and powered.
Also, individuals who wear dental appliances could find a powered toothbrush easier to use. There is a variety of powered toothbrushes on the market. Many of these use different types of head movement, including:
Studies have shown that both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective when used correctly. In fact, there is no significant difference between the two. An electric toothbrush is often a better choice for the reasons stated in the previous section. Also, if you brush your teeth aggressively and are potentially damaging your teeth and gums, electric is a better choice.
Let’s look at the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a toothbrush.
A soft-bristled toothbrush is the type of toothbrush bristle recommended by the ADA. It also is usually the most comfortable for your mouth. A soft-bristled toothbrush is also typically the best choice if you have weak enamel (outer layer of the tooth), sensitive gums, or wear braces or a retainer.
Hard-bristled brushes (and some medium-bristled ones) may cause irreversible damage to your gums and wear away tooth enamel, especially if you brush vigorously.
Consider the shape of a toothbrush head before you purchase it. Some shapes will suit your mouth better than others. Don’t choose a brush that’s too wide or too large as it might not be able to reach the back of your mouth comfortably. When you’re brushing your teeth, take a look in the mirror. Ensure your brush reaches every tooth. If it doesn’t, purchase a new toothbrush.
Ensure your toothbrush handle fits comfortably in your hand and doesn’t slip. You don’t want to injure your mouth. You can choose from the following handle styles:
Only buy a toothbrush that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. You then can be assured that independent scientific experts have objectively evaluated your chosen brush. Seal of Acceptance qualifying factors include:
The ADA evaluates powered toothbrushes for:
Also, powered brushes are clinically studied to demonstrate that they’re safe for use in the mouth.
It’s crucial to use a brush that feels comfortable in your mouth. Soft bristles are best for most teeth, and the toothbrush head should not be too large.
A good toothbrush doesn’t need to cost lots of money. But, you should steer clear of unbranded dollar-store brushes, particularly if they don’t have the ADA seal of acceptance. They may seem like a bargain, but might not be. The toothbrush could be made from unsafe, inferior materials. It could come from a manufacturer who isn’t safety conscious. The brush might also be ineffective.
Remember, you’re putting your toothbrush in your mouth twice a day. It’s therefore worth paying a little more for one that comes from a reputable manufacturer.
A good toothbrush cleans your teeth properly and effectively removes plaque.
Keep in mind that a baby needs a toothbrush with a small head that fits comfortably into a tiny mouth. Children need smaller toothbrushes with larger easier to grip handles than adults.
Picking out a brightly colored and fun-looking toothbrush goes a long way to encourage your child to use it regularly. Some brushes may feature cartoon characters, and others even play music that helps your child know how long to brush. There are many different electric and disposable options available for younger mouths.
You should always help young children to brush their teeth. Ask the dentists here at AZ Family Dental in Glendale, AZ to give them a lesson on brushing if your child seems reticent about looking after their teeth. Remember, too to replace their brush at least every three months, possibly more often if they’re hard on it. And, always choose a brush with the ADA Seal of Approval.
Opt for soft bristles and a head size that comfortably fits your mouth when you’re choosing your toothbrush. Again, the ADA recommends that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and it’s also usually the best choice if you have specific considerations, such as sensitive gums or teeth, weak tooth enamel, or wear braces or a retainer.
If you’re in doubt about choosing the right brush for you or your child, speak to the AZ Family Dental dentists and ask for a recommendation. As an established practice with a 40+ year history, we provide our patients with excellent care, including advice on choosing the best toothbrush. And remember that even though you’re using an ideal toothbrush at home, it’s essential to see our dentist twice a year for a dental exam and professional teeth cleaning. Our well-trained staff offers a full array of dental services from cleanings to wisdom tooth removal.
You’ve been brushing your teeth for a long time now. But, are you sure you’re doing it effectively?
The ADA recommends that you brush for two minutes twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing for this amount of time has been proven to remove plaque well. The use of fluoride toothpaste remineralizes your teeth and reduces your risk of caries.
The ADA provides the following guidelines for good brushing:
For a visual demonstration of proper brushing, refer to our instructional videos on “How to Properly Brush and Floss.”
Take a look at these do’s and don’ts for now you know more about picking the best toothbrush for you:
Your toothbrush can wear down rapidly and can even harbor germs and bacteria if you don’t take good care of it. Bacteria and viruses from a person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush, continuing to cause ill health. Toothbrushes can sometimes harbor fecal coliform bacteria that’s been released into the air when you flush the toilet or touch a contaminated surface before you brush.
It’s even possible for healthy, normal microorganisms to create infection when they enter your gum tissue due to an ulcer or injury. Toothbrushes are not required to be sold in sterile packaging, so could harbor bacteria before use.
You might not give lots of thought to cleaning your toothbrush as you wet it and use it daily. But you can’t effectively clean your teeth is your brush is ineffective, dirty and worn. Follow the below tips to properly maintain your toothbrush.
Now that you know what to look for in an ideal toothbrush, know that the best toothbrush for you is the one you use every day. You might not enjoy the vibration of a powered toothbrush. On the other hand, you may find that you want to get in there and do the job yourself with a manual toothbrush. Regardless of your preference, when you enjoy using your toothbrush and see consistent results, your smile will remain healthy and bright for a long time to come.