Even when you know what you are looking for, the task can be daunting. There you are staring at a wall of toothbrushes in an aisle at the local drugstore. With the range in prices and features they offer, is there really any difference? And more specifically, which toothbrush is best for you?
The answer depends much on your own dental needs and personal preferences. Some information regarding a few of their common features will prove practical in helping you make this “simple” decision.
Most manual toothbrushes come with soft or extra-soft bristles. Anything harder than soft can be dangerous for both your teeth and gum tissue. In today’s stressed out lifestyle, people tend to transfer this energy even to their brushing habits, and this can lead to trauma or damage to dental tissues. Soft, or extra-soft bristles, then, are best. As far as the shape and length of bristles, it’s often a matter of personal preference. Longer bristles at the tip can help you reach further back on your last teeth.
Toothbrush Head Size
Ideally, it’s best to have a toothbrush with a smaller head so that it can easily be maneuvered around the teeth for proper cleaning. When the brush head is larger, it can be awkward to use, and thorough cleaning is a challenge.
Toothbrush Grips and Angled Heads
Angled brushes and grips can aid in the proper positioning while toothbrushing. Although useful, your dental professional can review with you the proper technique for your dental hygiene.
Tongue Cleaners on Toothbrushes
Some toothbrushes have an extra feature called a tongue cleaner. It may appear on the back of the toothbrush head as slightly raised soft bumps, or a raised smooth plastic piece. Since most germs in the mouth are found on the tongue, a tongue cleaner can be a useful aid to remove the germs that hide on the tongue, which are often the culprits of bad breath. A tongue cleaner is used by placing it towards the back of the tongue (being careful not to gag yourself), and gently moving it forward with light pressure. Some find it helpful to hold the tongue out with one hand and use the tongue cleaner with the other hand. Your dental professional can help you learn this technique.
Is Toothbrush Cost a Factor?
That depends…are you paying for the quality of brush, an extra feature, or a name brand? Name brands generally come with a higher cost, but often much research and trust is behind the name. Your dental professionals may have one they recommend for you.
Manual vs. Powered Toothbrushes
With manual brushing, you are in control of all the work, every stroke and movement, but this also requires good dexterity, and it can be easy to miss cleaning some areas. With a powered brush, the brush does most of the work for you; it just needs to be placed over the area of the tooth to be cleaned at the proper angle. This can be useful for people that have medical conditions that limit dexterity in moving the toothbrush. Users of powered toothbrushes often feel that their teeth are cleaner compared to when using a manual toothbrush. A caution, though, with powered toothbrushes: do not use it with too much force so as to damage the gum tissue. Powered toothbrushes also come in a variety of styles and prices.
Whichever toothbrush you choose, ensure that it is one that has the Seal of Recognition from the dental governing authority in your country to ensure that it meets certain safety requirements. It is always recommended to ask the input of your treating dental professional who is trained to help care for your personal dental needs. They can also demonstrate the brushing technique, toothbrushes and dental aides that would best work for you. What a welcome help to take away that confusion in the drugstore aisle!