What To Look For in a Toothbrush
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the toothbrush options? In the dental care aisle with so many choices, how can you be confident to grab the best one and move on? Is the one you get at the dentist office enough or do you need more features?
For something you use everyday, multiple times per day, you want to know you made the best choice for your mouth. Here are some features to consider when you are picking out your next toothbrush.
When you’re choosing a toothbrush, don’t underestimate the importance of comfort. If the toothbrush is difficult to use, you are less likely to brush your teeth for the full two minutes dentists recommend you brush each time. Choose a toothbrush that allows you to reach all areas of your teeth and mouth easily. When you find one you like, you may want to buy a couple so you have one ready when it’s time to replace it, when it wears out or in about 3 months.
Head Size and Shape
Being able to reach your back teeth or behind your teeth to brush effectively will be more manageable if the head of the toothbrush is a reasonable size. Consider the size of your mouth and choose a toothbrush that is small enough for your comfort.
The shape of the top of the toothbrush can also accommodate easier brushing. Some toothbrushes are angled or pointed on one end, allowing the end to reach those harder places in the back of your mouth or behind your teeth.
Choosing right size and shape is especially important for children. A child’s size toothbrush is well-suited for a small mouth and will allow a child to reach those back teeth more easily. Avoid getting a toothbrush that is too big and not maneuverable.
The bristles of your toothbrush do the brunt of the work when you are brushing. The stiffness of the bristles will leave an impact on your mouth over time. Avoid choosing a toothbrush whose bristles are too hard. These could scratch your gums and otherwise cause discomfort or even harm. You want your toothbrush to gently, but effectively, clean your teeth. Look for softer bristles. If you aren’t sure how stiff or soft they should be, ask your dentist what he or she recommends.
Here’s where the choices can seem unlimited. Do you need an ergonomic handle? How about a flexible one? Just keep in mind the end goal — to thoroughly and comfortably clean all your teeth twice a day for two minutes. If a unique handle will help you accomplish that task, then we say, “Go for it.” If not, then there’s no reason to spend any extra money on those features.
Some people prefer to have a scraper or scrubber for their tongue on their toothbrush, as they feel like it helps them to really clean their whole mouth. The American Dental Association maintains that there is no evidence that scraping or cleaning your tongue will actually help improve your breath through the removal of bacteria. However if a clean tongue helps you feel like your whole mouth is clean, and encourages you to brush, then look for that feature.
Electrical versus Manual
In a recent blog post, Dr. Timm shared her favorite products, including an electric toothbrush. She highly recommends electric over manual. If you are ready to make the switch, ask your dentist which one will fit your needs and budget.
Whichever toothbrush you use, remember to use it at least twice a day, for two minutes, and to replace it regularly. Talk to you dentist if you have any concerns about your toothbrush or are looking for something better.
If you have any questions for us, call and make an appointment or fill out our contact form.