Nobody likes going to the dentist, not even for a routine checkup. The thought of having to undergo a procedure can, for some, cause so much anxiety, despite the best assurances of their dentist that it will be relatively painless. Yet many procedures and millions of man-hours spent on anxiety and stress could be avoided every year if we all gave careful and educated consideration to one simple question, “What type of toothbrush should I use?”.
When we go to the drugstore to pick up a new toothbrush, the choice can seem overwhelming. Electric or manual? Hard or soft bristles? Big or small head? The list of options is seemingly endless, yet the majority of people usually make their decision based on factors that are completely irrelevant to good oral health, such as color, or price.
This is a serious mistake. Every individual mouth is different and needs different care, and the wide range of brushes available reflect this diversity, so it’s worth taking the time to find the brush that works best for you and sticking with it.
Types of toothbrushes
There are two main different types of toothbrushes, and they are:
These are the most popular choice, used by a majority of Americans.
Electric toothbrushes are more expensive and are suitable for people with dexterity problems, such as the very young, the very old or people with disabilities. They can also be easier to use for people who need to wear dental appliances such as braces.
Studies have shown that, if used properly, there is no real difference between the results achieved by manual or electric toothbrushes, so the choice between them is down to your convenience and budget.
When you are making your toothbrush pick, there are other, more important factors to consider.
Types of toothbrush bristles
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends soft-bristle brushes as these will effectively clean your teeth without damaging either their enamel surface or your gums. While medium- and hard-bristles might seem the better choice for removing plaque, they can actually do permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Soft bristles are especially recommended for children, who have a tendency to brush over-vigorously.
The shape of a toothbrush head
The head should fit comfortably in your mouth and be able to reach all your teeth. Finding the ideal head size for you is a matter of trial and error. Once you’ve found one you are comfortable with, watch your mouth in the mirror while brushing. If you can reach all your teeth without discomfort or drastic facial grimaces, you have a winner, if not, buy a new brush and try again.
The handle should be non-slip and allow you to easily manipulate the toothbrush to get to the hard-to-reach corners. Again finding the right size is a matter of trial and error.
The ADA tests toothbrush models to ensure they do what they are supposed to. When you buy a brush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, you can be sure that:
- There will be no bristle shedding with normal use
- There will be no sharp or jagged bristles that could damage the inside of your mouth
- The components of the brush are safe for use
- The handle is durable
Your toothbrush is your primary weapon in your fight against tooth decay and gum disease, so picking one is not something you should do lightly. At Doral Sedation Dentistry, we encourage all our patients to choose wisely.
We can help you make that choice — schedule a checkup today, and we’ll help you avoid a more complicated procedure in the future.toothbrush pick, types of toothbrush, what type of toothbrush should i use