Finding the “right” toothbrush can seem confusing as you look at a full wall of options at your local store. Everyone knows that you should brush your teeth twice a day and floss between meals, but are there pros and cons for each type of toothbrush? We hope this article helps to demystify the toothbrush dilemma and may even help solve some associated brushing discomfort.
Things To Consider When Shopping For A New Toothbrush?
- Soft vs Hard Bristles
- Manual Toothbrushes vs. Electric Toothbrushes
- Toothbrush Size, And Why It Matters
- When To Throw Out And Replace Your Old Toothbrush
What Are The Benefits Of A Toothbrush With Soft Bristles?
Some people think brushing harder can lead to a better, more effective deep clean, but this is simply not the case. When used with too much force, toothbrushes with hard bristles can injure your teeth by weakening the enamel and causing dental erosion. Instead, we suggest brushing at a comfortable force and waiting at least an hour to brush after you’ve had acidic foods or drinks. The acid in some foods can soften tooth enamel and make it more prone to damage from your toothbrush.
Brushing forcefully with hard bristle toothbrushes can also irritate your gums and cause gum tissue to recede exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, gaps can form between the teeth and gum line making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss. To avoid these issues, the American Dental Association recommends using a brush with soft bristles and not applying too much force while brushing.
Are Electric Toothbrushes Better Than Manual Toothbrushes?
Today’s market offers a wide range of toothbrushes for purchase with countless options of both manual and electric toothbrushes available. To be clear, manual toothbrushes are perfectly capable of keeping your mouth healthy when used correctly. Choosing an electric toothbrush is ultimately a matter of preference and has a few comforting benefits.
Some ways electric toothbrushes are more practical are:
- Less waste: While manual toothbrushes need to be thrown out entirely, most electric toothbrushes only require that users replace the head. Purchasing head replacements in bulk can also have financial benefits, especially when the whole family uses compatible devices.
- Cleaner results: Depending on the model, an electric toothbrush can have the ability to make your mouth cleaner than a manual brush. Certain models of electric toothbrushes have bristles that are programmed to scrub your teeth and tongue thoroughly for adequate time and pressure.
- Less work: One of the best benefits of a motorized toothbrush is the fact you do not have to do the work because the toothbrush can handle the bulk of the effort. This feature is especially beneficial for people with arthritis or other limited mobility issues.
How Does Toothbrush Size Impact My Brushing Habits?
When it comes to toothbrushing habits, one of the most common issues is skipping the hard-to-reach areas. Two of the areas that most people commonly neglect during their daily tooth brushing routine include the inside of their teeth and along their gum line. It’s important to remember to brush all areas thoroughly as plaque and bacteria will build up in any area that is left stagnant.
In order to comfortably reach all the surfaces of your teeth, it’s important to choose a toothbrush with a long enough handle that you can comfortably grip as you go about your oral hygiene routine. Another thing to look out for as you shop is the size of the toothbrush head. If the head of the toothbrush is much too large, you may not be able to comfortably clean all the nooks and crannies of your smile. Find a toothbrush that is comfortable to use and can reach behind the final molars without causing discomfort.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
The American Dental Association advises that everyone replace their toothbrush every 3-4 months or when the bristles have become visibly damaged. Damaged bristles will affect the cleaning surface area leading to missing certain areas.
In following these guidelines, you can expect to replace your toothbrush at least 3 times per year. For sanitary purposes, it is also recommended to replace your toothbrush if you have been sick or if someone else accidentally used your toothbrush. Sharing toothbrushes can pass bacteria, viruses, and other foreign particles.
While daily brushing and flossing are crucial, it is also important to visit Chestnut Dental twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. Even with good oral hygiene habits every day, only a dentist can offer a professional cleaning and an expert exam to address any issues you may have missed.