In our Arlington, TX dental office, we often offer advice about proper tooth brushing habits – places to watch out for, how to brush with braces, and how to brush a loose tooth. Many times we are asked more detailed questions about toothbrushes. What kind to buy, what about electric toothbrushes, and how often should they be replaced, are among the top questions we hear.
So here is an outline of the top 8 tips for choosing the right toothbrush for your needs:
1. Manual Brushes
Manual toothbrushes are found in nearly every bathroom across the country. Besides being the most affordable, they are also available in several different colors and designs. Choose your favorite and spend two minutes using it to completely clean your teeth.
2. Battery Powered Toothbrushes
A battery powered toothbrush is a better alternative than a manual toothbrush, but not as effective as a sonic brush. The battery powered brushes work by either spinning or moving bristles back and forth. For many, a powered toothbrush is a good alternative to a manual toothbrush. Especially for those who have difficulty brushing or who have limited manual dexterity.
3. Sonic Toothbrushes
Sonic technology is used in the rechargeable power brushes available at most retailers. Sonic brushes utilize a wave-like pattern to remove plaque, access difficult areas and massage gum tissues. Research shows that these toothbrushes are the best option for obtaining the cleanest mouth possible.
4. Children’s Toothbrushes
You’ll know a children’s toothbrush when you see it. They are the ones with bright colors and cartoon characters on the handle. These brushes are more than just a load of fun features; they are also smaller and designed especially for a child’s smaller mouth.
5. Bristle Texture
Although there are several varieties of toothbrushes available, most dental professionals agree that a soft-bristled brush is best for most teeth. They do an excellent job of removing plaque and debris from your teeth and they aren’t too harsh. Medium and hard bristles are best for cleaning dentures and other appliances.
6. Type of Bristles
The most common type of bristles on the market, and probably the kind in your toothbrush right now, are synthetic bristles. Synthetics are usually either nylon or polyester. Natural bristles are another type, though far less common. Natural bristles are usually made of boar’s hair. These brushes are not widely used as they are not as resistant to bacteria and the bristles tend to fall out of the brush.
7. Size of the Brush
When it comes to the size of the brush, a good rule of thumb is to pick the size that is most comfortable for you. Small-headed brushes are usually the best choice. They can better reach all areas of the mouth, including the hard-to-reach back teeth.
8. Toothbrush Designs
Oftentimes, the details of the brush are a major consideration for being able to do an effective job of brushing your teeth. The type of handle is an important point to consider – maybe you are more comfortable with a non-slip grip or flexible neck. And what about the shape of the head – do you prefer tapered or rectangular? And even the style of bristles – there are rippled, flat or a dome shape.
Above all, pick whatever is most comfortable for you. The best toothbrush is one that fits your mouth and allows you to reach all teeth easily.