It’s one of the many paradoxes in life, that what should be such a simple choice can become so complicated. There may have been a time when a toothbrush was just a toothbrush, but those days are over! Everything from the shape of the toothbrush head to how hard the bristles are can vary a lot from brush to brush, but how do you know which one is best? If you’d like some clarification on this matter, a family dentist talks about what to look for and how to make sure you’re getting the job done right every time you brush!
Why Does Your Toothbrush Matter?
The recommendation is always the same: brush for two minutes, at least twice a day. If you’ve already done the hard part by committing to this habit, your next step is to make sure that you’re maximizing your time and getting as much benefit as possible out of your efforts.
The right type of toothbrush will do just that because it’s so much more effective at cleaning your teeth. You can easily understand this idea if you’ve ever taken on a DIY painting project. Sure, you can use just about anything to put paint on the wall, but the right tools are going to make the job a lot easier and ultimately give you a better result.
What Should You Look For?
When you’re looking for a toothbrush, some of your decisions are purely a matter of personal choice, but there are other features that you should always look for.
First, always choose soft bristles. It may seem like hard bristles will do a better job, but they can actually do more harm than good. They can cause irreversible harm to the gum tissue that supports and protects your teeth. This is also known as gum recession.
If you’re using proper technique and brushing for the entire two minutes, soft bristles will thoroughly clean your teeth without harming the soft tissues in the mouth.
Second, in general, a small toothbrush head will be easier to maneuver and reach into the smaller corners of the mouth. Some adults with a particularly small mouth will actually do better by using a child’s brush!
Finally, an electric toothbrush is practically guaranteed to do a superior job than what you can do otherwise. They provide anywhere from 6,000 to 30,000 brush strokes per minute – try doing that with your manual brush!
You’ll easily be able to tell a difference in how clean your mouth feels after you use an electric brush. You’ll also maintain that clean feeling for longer, so you won’t get that “fuzzy” feeling so soon.
In addition to these tips, always change your toothbrush head about every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed and worn. Also, be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist for help with your technique, as that will also make a big difference in how well you do!
About the Author
Dr. Gary Sherman has over 30 years of experience as a general and cosmetic dentist, and has spent much of that time creating long-term relationships with many of his patients. In addition to providing outstanding dental care, he enjoys helping his patients take great care of their teeth and gums in between visits. He can be reached for questions via his website, or at (516) 538-1100.