“Best” is in the eye of the beholder. The best toothbrush is the one that meets your specific needs. Choices can be a sensitive subject as we all have our preferences but which ones really are the best for you? Ask yourself these questions next time you buy a new brush.
In the past, human beings brushed their teeth with items such as twigs and corn cobs. Today, we have our pick of a variety of brushes. But that variety can cause quite a conundrum: what shape, size, and bristle texture do we choose? And are electric or manual versions best? Finding the right one can be easy, and we will show you how you can do it.
- Shape: You might find it best to use a brush that is ergonomically designed, which means that it will fit your hand comfortably and is angled to allow easy access to each part of each tooth. The brush head must be small enough to fit in all areas of the mouth. To remove plaque from all tooth surfaces, you must be able to tip bristles properly.
- Bristles: Though hard bristles and medium bristles are options, and though they will seemingly clean your teeth better, they are bad choices. Stiffer bristles can cause tooth enamel wear and gum recession, both of which can become serious dental health issues. First of all, never use a hard bristled brush. In fact, you shouldn’t even use a medium-bristled one. Instead, use a soft, medium-soft, or extra soft toothbrush, and brush your teeth with gentle, circular strokes.
- Size: If your mouth is small, you should look for one with a smaller head and curved edges. One that is too large can cause you to scrape the soft tissues in your mouth, which can lead to mouth sores.
- Electric: They are thorough, but no evidence exists to show that they clean better than manual brushes. But they do make it easier to clean longer, which causes less fatigue and encourages people to brush for longer.
Manual toothbrushes are relatively inexpensive, so if you need to decide which one is best for you, purchase a few types that may work for you. Try different versions out so that you can decide which one works best. Finding a comfortable one will make the cleaning effort more comfortable and effective.
A toothbrush should be comfortable.
While there are benefits to owning an electric toothbrush, a manual brush meets most people’s needs. Select one that fits your hand comfortably. Many have rubber grips on the handles to keep them from sliding around in your hand. You should be able to use it without opening your mouth too wide. The brush head should not be so large as to make it difficult to reach areas in the back of the mouth.
Is it portable?
Some electric and sonic versions have large charging stations that don’t travel very easily. If your powered brush is too big to pack, pick up a travel brush from your local pharmacy or grocery store. Some travel versions come with toothpaste already in the bristles – just add water! Disposable versions usually are not as well made as regular ones.
Is it a soft bristled toothbrush?
Choose a brush with soft nylon bristles. Hard bristles can irritate your gums, and natural bristles made from animal hair will breed bacteria. Nylon bristles are easy to sterilize. Just pour steaming hot water over the head of the brush. If you have gum disease, choose one with extra soft bristles to avoid making tender, swollen gums even more painful.
Is it replaceable?
You’ll need new bristles every three to six months. Worn out bristles are less effective at cleaning teeth and are better at harboring bacteria. Frayed, splayed out bristles need to be replaced. Most powered toothbrushes have replaceable heads, while most manual brushes need to be replaced entirely. As long as the replacement heads for your electric brush, for manual, are affordable, this isn’t a problem.
Will you use it?
This is the most important question. The brush you choose should be one you’ll use two or three times a day, every day. Some people choose something that is eye catching in their favorite colors. Others favor high tech powered versions with lights and timers. Anyone you choose should make you want to use it! also, keep your toothbrush clean.
Using toothpastes and mouth rinses
Fluoridated pastes are strongly recommended for young patients up to the early 20’s and again after age 65. These age groups are more susceptible to decay than the 20-65 age groups.
For the middle age group, dipping your toothbrush into a mouthwash has some benefit.
If you’re not sure that you’re using your toothbrush correctly, don’t hesitate to ask about it at your next appointment. Remember, regular dental cleanings are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Have you seen us for cleaning in the last six months? If not, call us today at (847) 234-0517 to schedule your cleaning. Our office serves patients in Chicago’s North Shore.
Dr. Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist. He serves clients from throughout the United States