Choosing the right toothbrush may seem like an easy task, but if you’ve ever walked through your local drug store to purchase a new toothbrush, then you know how overwhelming it can be to pick one amongst the rows and rows of brushes in various sizes, shapes, colors, and speeds. 32 teeth shouldn’t be so complicated, right? However, selecting the right toothbrush is no silly manner. In fact, the right toothbrush not only gets your mouth clean, it is your first line of defense in keeping your body healthy and strong.
Not sure where to start? Today we’ll discuss three critical factors to consider when choosing the right toothbrush.
Does size matter when choosing the right toothbrush? Yes.
A regular-sized toothbrush can not always reach the biting surface of your back teeth. As a result, plaque tends to build-up, causing decay. So, while toothbrushes are available in a range of sizes and shapes, it’s important to select a toothbrush that can easily fit into the back of your mouth to clean your rear molars. That doesn’t mean you need a bigger toothbrush. In fact, you may actually get a better clean with a manual toothbrush that has a small brush head.
Whether you prefer to use a manual or electric toothbrush, no one really needs hard, stiff bristles to clean their teeth properly. Effective brushing simply needs to remove plaque and food debris from the teeth. When choosing the right toothbrush, remember that you don’t need firm bristles in order to get a good clean. In fact, stiff bristles are much more likely to miss areas if your mouth as they are less flexible. Firm bristles (paired with aggressive brushing) also have the potential to damage the enamel on your teeth and hurt your gums. If you like the style of your current toothbrush but haven’t been getting the results you want, try switching to one with soft bristles.
Research shows that an electric toothbrush with an oscillating or rotating head does a wonderful job at removing plaque and reducing the risk of gum disease. In fact, research shows that people tend to yield better results from electric powered toothbrushes than manual toothbrushes. However, manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as electric toothbrushes.
So why do electric toothbrushes perform better?
- People are much more likely to brush for an adequate amount of time with an electric toothbrush. The ADA recommends that you gently brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, for a minimum of two minutes. An electric toothbrush typically has that 2 minutes built-in, making brushing less tiring so that you won’t stop too soon.
- Spinning or vibrating heads can often reach harder-to-clean places in your mouth better than a manual toothbrush. The extra motion of the bristles helps you remove more plaque and clean more effectively between teeth and around the gumline.
There are several varieties of electric toothbrushes:
- Rotating toothbrushes such as the Oral-B Professional Care series, Arm & Hammer Spinbrush or similar are typically the most familiar electric toothbrushes on the market for many, with a replaceable head that spins in circles while you brush.
- Vibrating manual toothbrushes like the Oral-B Pulsar, Quip or similar have the look and feel of a regular toothbrush, with a button to activate the vibrating bristles. If you’re nervous about switching to electric, a vibrating manual toothbrush is a great option.
- Sonic or ultrasonic toothbrushes like Philips Sonicare are called “sonic” because they spin fast enough to make sound waves that may help break up bacteria.
What about kids?
While it’s important to consider the same factors when choosing your child’s toothbrush, it’s also important that your kid actually likes what they’re brushing with. Colors and characters are all fair game as long as the toothbrush you choose is soft, the right size and does an effective job of cleaning teeth.
Electric toothbrushes are also safe for children, and you may find that your child enjoys using an electronic toothbrush more than a manual toothbrush (it also helps ensure that they are brushing long enough). But, what’s most important when choosing the right toothbrush for your kids is that they enjoy using it enough that they’ll brush often!
Want to know more about choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and ore? Dr. Katherine Garrett can help. Learn more about the complete list of services offered by Dr. Garrett by calling our office and scheduling a new patient appointment. We’d love to make your family part of ours!