We know the toothbrush aisle can be daunting. With the plethora of options available, how do you know which will work best for you and your oral health? Here are some tips so that when the time comes to swap out your toothbrush, you can be confident in the product you are purchasing.
Soft-Bristle vs. Hard-Bristle
The American Dental Association recommends the use of soft-bristle brushes. Soft-bristles are often the most comfortable for users. Medium- or hard-bristles can be abrasive to your teeth’s enamel, gums, and root surfaces and cause more harm than good.
There are different types of bristles available as well. Often brushes come with nylon bristles, however silicone toothbrushes are also an option. Some prefer silicone due to their softer and gentler feel, especially if your teeth are sensitive. Silicone can also be more environmentally sustainable if you are a fan of natural products.
Toothbrushes with a smaller head are better for reaching all areas and surfaces of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back molars. The correct brush head size may also depend on the size of your mouth and what feels comfortable. For most adults, a half-inch wide and one-inch tall head is typically easiest to use and most effective.
Recent models have handles ranging from straight, curved, angled, and contoured with soft grips to make them easier to use. In this case, it is really up to your ergonomic preference. We suggest the best grip for you is the one that is most comfortable to you.
Replacing your Toothbrush
Remember that it is important to replace your toothbrush every three months due to wear. Over time the bristles get worn down and stop cleaning teeth as well. Worn bristles also lose their smooth shape which can damage gums.
Germs can also accumulate on your brush, starting to introduce new bacteria into your mouth rather than ridding it of bad bacteria. This is also why it is important to get a replacement after an illness. Replacing your toothbrush regularly ensures your oral care is effective, clean, and gentle.
Replacing a child’s toothbrush may also make it more fun for them to brush their teeth! Children’s options come in fun colors or with popular characters, which can get them to WANT to brush.
Studies have shown that the difference between manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes’ ability to clean teeth and gums is insignificant. However, electric or power toothbrushes with heads that rotate in both directions can be more effective than manual brushing. For those with electric toothbrushes, remember that it’s just as important to follow good dental hygiene protocols – brushing for two minutes, two times a day.
In our opinion, if you follow a good oral health routine, you will have a healthier mouth with limited tooth decay regardless of whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, so it is up to your preference.
When shopping for a new toothbrush, look for either a manual or electric brush that has earned the American Dental Association Seal of approval when shopping. This seal ensures that the toothbrush has gone through safety testing and proven trials.
If you have any questions regarding which toothbrush may be the best for you, reach out to your dentist for a more specific recommendation during your next appointment.