When it comes to proper dental hygiene, one of the most important tools is your toothbrush. Nevertheless, it is important to select the right one for your needs. Here are a few factors to consider as you choose the best toothbrush for your teeth:
The Firmness and Arrangement of the Bristles
The firmness of various toothbrush bristles can differ. Usually, the degree of bristle firmness is displayed on the toothbrush packaging. You may notice a sign that indicates soft, medium or hard.
Although the term “hard” may suggest better cleaning power, that is not the case. A soft-bristled brush is generally the best option. The soft texture of the bristles can clean effectively but is still gentle enough to help preserve your tooth enamel and protect sensitive gum tissue. Medium and hard bristles can wear away the enamel and cause irritation to the gums, especially if you tend to brush your teeth forcefully.
In addition, the arrangement of the bristles on the toothbrush can impact how the brush cleans. Brush heads that have longer bristles around the perimeter of the brush may help the toothbrush clean the sides of your teeth more thoroughly, as the shorter bristles sweep against the grooved chewing surfaces. Also, toothbrushes that have a wavy configuration, using alternating long and short bristles, may help clean between the teeth better as you brush.
The Size of the Brush Head
The size of your toothbrush head should coincide with the size of your mouth. In most cases, a smaller head size is the best option. Your toothbrush head should fit comfortably into the tight spaces of your oral cavity. It may already be difficult to reach your back teeth, but a toothbrush with a large head can make cleaning your molars next-to-impossible. In order to ensure that you can reach areas of your mouth that are already substantially limited in space, choose a toothbrush with a compact head and a handle with enough length for you to maneuver the brush comfortably as you clean your teeth.
The Shape of the Toothbrush Head
The shape of your toothbrush head also affects the way that it fits in your mouth. Rounded corners can help ensure that you brush comfortably, even as the hard plastic components of your toothbrush head make contact with your inner cheeks and the other soft tissues of your mouth. In addition, if the top portion of the toothbrush head is smaller than the lower portion, the brush may fit more easily into the areas around your molars. This is especially important if your wisdom teeth have erupted. If your back teeth are not cleaned properly, they may start to decay, and the decay can spread to the other teeth within your mouth.
Manual or Electric?
Nowadays, there are a wide variety of manual and electric toothbrushes. A manual brush can certainly clean your teeth thoroughly as long as you observe proper technique as you brush. However, electric toothbrushes may be more suitable if you suffer from a condition, such as arthritis, that can make it difficult to manipulate a toothbrush effectively. In addition, if you prefer not to brush for long periods, an electric toothbrush may clean your teeth a bit faster.
As you make your selection, keep in mind your own preferences. If you dislike the sensation of vibrations in your mouth, an electric toothbrush may not be for you. However, electric brushes that have oscillating or rotating bristles may clean your tooth surfaces more effectively than a manual toothbrush.
Choosing a Toothbrush for Your Child
When choosing a toothbrush for your child, you should consider the same options that you would for your own. Ensure that the bristles are soft and the size of the toothbrush is fitting. In addition, consider your child’s input during the selection process. He or she is more likely to brush willingly if the youngster helps choose the toothbrush. Electric variations are also available for children.
Once you select your toothbrush, be sure to brush for at least two minutes twice daily. If you are unsure about proper technique or how effectively you are brushing, contact our office to schedule an appointment.