“Best” is in the eye of the beholder. The best toothbrush is the one that meets your specific needs. Toothbrush 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 toothbrush.
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 toothbrushes. But that variety can cause quite a conundrum: what shape, size, and bristle texture do we choose? And are electric or manual toothbrushes best? Finding the right toothbrush can be easy, and we will show you how you can do it.
- Shape: You might find it best to use a toothbrush 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.
- 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 a toothbrush with a smaller head and curved edges. A toothbrush that is too large can cause you to scrape the soft tissues in your mouth, which can lead to mouth sores.
- Electric: These toothbrushes are thorough, but no evidence exists to show that they clean better than manual brushes. But they do make it easier to brush longer, which causes less fatigue and encourages people to brush for longer.
Toothbrushes are relatively inexpensive, so if you need to decide which toothbrush is best for you, purchase a few types that may work for you. Try the brushes out so that you can decide which one works best. Finding a comfortable toothbrush will make the cleaning effort more comfortable and effective.
Is the toothbrush comfortable?
While there are benefits to owning an electric toothbrush, a manual brush meets most people’s needs. Select a brush that fits your hand comfortably; many brushes have rubber grips on the handles to keep them from sliding around in your hand. You should be able to brush without opening your mouth too wide or positioning the brush at an awkward angle.
Is it portable?
Some electric and sonic toothbrushes have large charging stations that don’t travel very easily. If your powered brush is too big to pack, pick up a travel toothbrush from your local pharmacy or grocery store. Some travel brushes come with toothpaste already in the bristles – just add water! You should always have a dental travel kit that includes Dr. Fondriest’s business card in case of dental emergencies.
Is it soft?
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 toothbrush. If you have gum disease, choose a brush 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 toothbrushes need to be replaced entirely. As long as the replacement heads, for electric, and the entire 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 eye-catching brushes in their favorite colors, while others favor high-tech powered brushes with lights and timers. Any brush you choose should make you want to use it!
Ask Dr. Fondriest if the brush you have is getting the job done. If you’re not sure that you’re brushing correctly, don’t hesitate to ask about it at your next appointment. Remember, regular dental cleanings are an important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Have you seen us for a 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.