Walking down the dental hygiene aisle of your local store can give the impression that selecting the proper toothbrush is a task similar to that of deciding on a college major or whom to marry. There are all sizes, shapes, and colors from which to choose, each one claiming that it does a better job of cleaning your teeth than the others – so how do you choose? Pick the blue one. Seriously though, there are things to look for when picking your toothbrush.
Bristles, bristles, bristles – which to pick?
Selecting hard or medium bristles can strip your teeth of their protective enamel, leaving them more sensitive. Selecting soft bristles is best. As far as the shape of the bristles, you should pick a toothbrush that is comfortable to use and the bristles can reach all your teeth’s surfaces.
Head and handle size
Next to choosing the bristle softness, the head size is the next most important consideration for your oral health. Looking at all of the options available and the claims that are leveraged by different toothbrush brands, it’s easy to be overwhelmed or unsure. Dr. Rogers, your hometown Spanish Fork dentist, recommends that his patients select a toothbrush with a head that is comfortable to fit into their mouth, small enough to be easily maneuvered to reach all surfaces of your teeth, with a handle size that is comfortable to use. All children should have smaller toothbrushes, which are often labeled by age recommendations on the packaging.
Manual vs. electric
With proper brushing technique (two to three minutes total, brushing all surfaces of every tooth as well as your gums, palate, tongue and inside of your cheeks), manual toothbrushes work as well as power toothbrushes. There are a few situations that make a power toothbrush preferable. Those with poor manual dexterity, with tightly spaced teeth, braces, or misaligned teeth often benefit by using power toothbrushes over manual.
How old is your toothbrush?
If the last time that you changed your toothbrush was the last time you visited our Spanish Fork dental practice, you probably need to do so right now. The average life of a toothbrush is one to three months before the bristles show signs of wear. In other words, if your bristles don’t look like they’ve been used and you can’t remember when you last changed your toothbrush, you not only need to replace your toothbrush, but make an appointment to come in and see us. It’s important to replace your toothbrush after you have been sick as well.