Family and General Dentist in Seattle, Washington Shares How to Choose the Right Toothbrush For You
Updated: Feb 15, 2022
We live in a world of choices, with a glut of options in everything from restaurants to streaming subscriptions and even to toothbrushes! Here are a few simple factors that will help you choose the right toothbrush for you:
1) Always Choose a Soft Bristled Toothbrush.
Though toothbrushes also come with medium and hard bristles, most dentists agree that a soft bristled toothbrush is the way to go. Soft bristles offer less risk of damage to gums, gum recession, and worn tooth enamel. Always choose a soft bristled toothbrush with the ADA seal of approval.
2) Manual vs. Electric?
Though many electric toothbrush manufacturers claim otherwise, the truth is that as long as you are brushing correctly, electric toothbrushes don’t actually clean your teeth much better than manual ones! That said, there are definite benefits to both.
Electric toothbrushes sometimes motivate people to brush their teeth more frequently and for the proper amount of time, and if that is the case for you, it’s definitely worth the investment. Electric toothbrushes also tend to be much easier and more convenient to use for people with arthritis and other disabilities. The main drawback for electric toothbrushes is the price tag. Ranging from $5 to $200+, even the inexpensive ones are much pricier than manual toothbrushes. Conversely, manual toothbrushes are very cost effective. They are usually in the $1-$3 range, and most dentists give patients a free toothbrush after checkups, too.
3) Brush Head and Handle Types
Toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes, and you should choose one that feels best for you! Children’s toothbrushes typically have small brush heads and large handles to accommodate their smaller mouths and hands, and the same idea should apply to everyone. If a toothbrush head is too large for your mouth, you will have difficulty reaching the areas in the back of your mouth, where bacteria thrives. Make sure your toothbrush head can comfortably reach the back of your mouth.
4) The Most Important Factor: Brushing Correctly Twice Daily!
We all know that we should be brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each. Be sure to follow these proper brushing techniques, too:
∙ Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums (it’s the most effective angle to sweep away plaque and bacteria buildup from the gumline).
∙ Brush using a gentle back-and-forth or a circular motion. Remember, brushing harder does not equal brushing better!
∙ Make sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly, including the very back of your mouth and molars.
∙ Don’t forget your tongue! Lots of bad breath causing bacteria accumulate on your tongue.
More Toothbrush Tips:
∙ Replace your toothbrush every 3 months (when bristles begin to wear out and lose their effectivity), and after you’ve been sick (since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection or prolonged illness).
∙ Let your toothbrush air dry standing upright to keep bacteria at bay. Don’t use a toothbrush cap - it’ll make for a bacteria breeding ground!
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