What type of toothbrush is best? Well, that depends on you. Picking the right toothbrush is an entirely personal experience. Your specific dental needs affect the type of toothbrush that will remove plaque, reach all areas of your mouth, and be optimal for your individual use. If you’re looking for a new toothbrush, here are some things you should consider to help you pick the best kind of toothbrush for you.
You will often see a variety of toothbrushes in the store, and you might be surprised to find that many have different types of bristles. Soft bristles are the most commonly recommended by dentists, as they are effective at removing plaque while still being gentle on your gums and teeth. Medium and hard bristles are available on some types of toothbrushes, and while they may remove slightly more plaque than their softer counterparts, the fact is that they are more likely to wear down your teeth and may damage your gums as well.
Some toothbrushes also have rounded bristles versus flat-topped bristles. Rounded bristles are more likely to be recommended by dentists as they are gentler on teeth while still offering plaque removal properties. Also, some toothbrushes have uniform bristles while others have bristles of different lengths and angles. These variations are often designed to help increase the surface area contact between the bristles and your teeth at any given time, which may be something you want in your toothbrush.
The Size of the Toothbrush Head
A larger toothbrush head means that it is less likely to be maneuverable in your mouth. The recommended maximum dimensions are usually around half an inch wide by an inch tall. Anything larger won’t be as effective. Many dentists now recommend smaller toothbrush heads, as they can get around to the sides and backs of your molars more easily. It’s also important to make sure that you get a toothbrush that has the appropriate dimensions for the age and size of the user. For example, bigger toothbrushes will be less effective for younger children.
Believe it or not, the handle can really affect how you use a toothbrush. If the handle is uncomfortable to hold, you might be more inclined to cut your brushing session short. However, an ergonomically designed handle or a handle that otherwise better suits your grip means that you’re more focused on brushing your teeth properly. Pick a toothbrush that has a non-slip grip that ensures you have control over your toothbrush even when it is wet.
Manual or Electric?
When you’re choosing the best toothbrush for you, this can be a big question. If you prefer manual toothbrushes, they can certainly be effective if you are brushing your teeth properly and for the right amount of time. If you have a hard time maneuvering a toothbrush or if you want to be more effective with your brushing routine than you already are, you might want to consider an electric toothbrush. It mostly boils down to your preference; the right kind of toothbrush is the one you are most likely to use. If you are more likely to use a battery-powered toothbrush over a manual toothbrush, you should probably go with the electric one.
Look for the ADA Seal
It’s important to make sure your toothbrush has been tested for quality and effectiveness. If you’re asking yourself “what kind of toothbrush should I use,” you should be looking for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal means that the toothbrush has been proven by the American Dental Association (ADA) to clean teeth effectively and safely.
Replace Every Three Months
Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head if you are using an electric toothbrush) every three months. No matter which of the many different types of toothbrushes you select, the bristles won’t last forever. A three-month-old toothbrush head usually has frayed bristles that have lost their integrity, so they remove 30% less plaque or more. Many toothbrush companies now make their bristles so that they fade or change color when they need to be replaced. Replace your toothbrush every three months to make sure you are effectively brushing your teeth.
Ask Your Dentist for Recommendations
For more specific toothbrush recommendations, feel free to ask your dentist, as they are highly experienced and familiar with your specific dental needs. They can evaluate your current brushing routine and the condition of your teeth to suggest the best toothbrush that will help you optimize your oral health. The knowledgeable and skilled dental team at the Covington Center for Family Dentistry can offer excellent recommendations, as well as a wide range of quality dental services. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (678) 306-6000 or contact us online.