Right from early childhood, you are brushing your teeth, but have you ever thought is this the right toothbrush for you?
Your oral health needs extra care and emphasis because it is a significant determinant of your overall well-being. If neglected, oral problems, such as gum disease may end up causing severe conditions of the heart and even diabetes.
The first step towards good oral hygiene is the regular brushing of teeth. You may not have considered the importance of choosing a toothbrush, but you must realise the pivotal role a toothbrush plays. A simple step of brushing your teeth twice a day can save you from potentially fatal diseases. Therefore, you must choose your toothbrush with care and after thoroughly analysing various points. Earlier, there were very limited options of toothbrushes available, but now there are plenty of varieties, materials, and differently operated toothbrushes in the market.
You might get perplexed when you envisage such a wide range but here is a compilation of things you should keep in mind before purchasing a toothbrush that will help you in choosing the best toothbrush for your teeth.
Tips for choosing the toothbrush
There are some characteristics recommended by the High Wycombe dentist at Conway House, that you should generally look for in a toothbrush. These will help in better cleaning of teeth and better compliance.
- Size: The size should be sufficient to reach every part and surface of your teeth. A flexible neck and a short head are considered adequate for cleaning teeth effectively. The average adult size toothbrush’s head is around half an inch in breadth and 1 inch in height. There should be no hindrance or difficulty in manoeuvring it around your mouth. It should have a long handle that can reach up to the back teeth or the molars. A long handle will also make the grip of your toothbrush better, and it would be easy to hold and move.
- Bristles: It is another very crucial aspect when choosing a toothbrush. The bristles are mostly made up of nylon, but their strength varies. If you go to purchase a toothbrush, there will be three main categories – soft, medium, and hard nylon-bristled toothbrushes. Most people prefer soft bristles as they are comfortable and safe as they do not cause any damage to the gums, enamel, and soft tissues. It largely depends on the vigour with which you brush. If you brush very hard, even soft bristles can abrade your gums. There are further advanced toothbrushes with rounded tips of bristles to further minimise the damage.
- Mode of action: The 2 types of toothbrushes on the mode of action are – Manual (disposable) and Powered (electric) toothbrushes. There is no clear evidence of the superiority of one over the other. Both types are equally effective in cleaning your teeth. Powered toothbrushes may be a good option for kids or older adults with musculoskeletal problems who need assistance while brushing. There is another kind of powered toothbrush with a rotary head called a rotation oscillation toothbrush. You should just be regular in following your regime, and your oral health will surely stay in great shape.
4. Cost: The cost of electric toothbrushes is much higher than that of manual ones. The sole reason for this is the intricate working of powered brushes and does not imply that they are better than manual toothbrushes. But on the other hand, electric toothbrushes are a long term investment. You have to replace the manual toothbrush from time to time or at least get the head changed every 4-6 months or as soon as the bristles start looking worn out, but an electric toothbrush can easily last for years.
5. Preference: The best toothbrush for you is the one you feel most comfortable using. Some people may not prefer the vibrations produced by an Electric toothbrush, while others may find it quite appealing. Some may prefer to clean their teeth with hard bristles as it helps in thorough and fast cleaning while others prefer soft bristles as they are comfortable and soothing. People with braces mostly prefer an electric toothbrush as thorough cleaning with a manual toothbrush is challenging. Ultimately, it is all a matter of choice.
6. Efficiency: Various studies have been conducted to find out the efficiency of manual vs electric toothbrushes. By far, there has been no proof of the better efficiency of one over the other. Both toothbrushes clean the teeth equally well and prevent gum diseases if a strict oral hygiene regime is followed. However, the rotation oscillation toothbrush in which the head goes back and forth and also rotates on its axis has some advantage over manual toothbrushes.
7. Safety: Each type of toothbrush has to undergo specific safety and efficacy checks. Your dentist will recommend you to use a toothbrush with a verified safety seal. Safety for a manual toothbrush is the durability of bristles and that the tips are designed in a way not to damage the gums and other structures in the mouth. Also, the ability to remove plaque and tartar is considered before the approval.
For an electric toothbrush, the safety measures considered are to approve its usage on human tissues.
Toothbrush for children
The anatomy and physiology of children’s teeth are different from those of adults. They have unique requirements, and the toothbrush for them should be chosen with extra care as they have softer organs and the teeth are temporary.
There are plenty of colours and varieties of manual as well as electric toothbrushes for the kids. Some even have inbuilt music to entertain the child and convince them to brush their teeth regularly.
It would be best if you always chose a toothbrush with a verified safety seal. Children mostly prefer electric toothbrushes as they are more attractive, and less effort is required for brushing. Choose an appropriate size that can fit conveniently in your child’s hand and reach all the surfaces adequately. A short head to smoothly go inside your child’s small mouth and a larger handle to allow proper handling is preferred. Moreover, you should involve your child in the process of selecting the toothbrush as it will provide additional stimulus and encourage him to use it regularly.
At Conway House, our specialist in paediatric dentistry, Dr Emma will help your child learn more about oral hygiene. She is well versed in dealing with children with dental anomalies and encourages them to take adequate care of their teeth.
After choosing the right toothbrush, it is equally important to use it the right way. Our professional hygienists and dentists in High Wycombe can help you in recognising the proper way of brushing your teeth. It may sound very insignificant, but the majority of people are not aware of the recommended practices of cleaning teeth. Please book an appointment with our dentist at Conway House and give your teeth the best care they deserve. Also, bring your child to our practice and help him learn good and correct oral hygiene practices from a young age.