Pretty much every toothbrush out there, except for the store brand toothbrushes, claim to be dentist recommended. But how can four out of five dentists recommend every different kind of toothbrush? The math doesn’t add up. How do you know what’s the best kind of toothbrush?
… it depends.
That’s probably not the answer that you were expecting, but the truth is that the best kind of toothbrush depends on the individual, their mouth, their brushing habits, and their oral health.
Manual vs. Electric
The jury is still out on whether electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease. So in the manual vs. electric debate, it boils down to user comfort and cost. Electric toothbrushes and replacement heads can cost more than manual, disposable toothbrushes, but they can also include useful features and add-ons like a water pick or a timer to ensure that you brush for the two full minutes suggested. Electric toothbrushes can also be beneficial for people with difficulty holding small objects, such as those with arthritis, while other users may find the noise or vibrations uncomfortable.
Whether manual or electric, your toothbrush bristles are an important consideration. Bristles generally come in soft, medium, and hard. For most people, soft bristles are the best choice. For those who are very vigorous brushers, having bristles that are too hard can result in overbrushing, which can cause damage to enamel and gums.
Size also matters, here. Too big of a toothbrush head can reduce maneuverability and prevent you from reaching the backs of your molars and other difficult to reach places in the mouth. For most adults, a toothbrush with a head that is one inch long by half an inch wide will be the right size, though smaller is available if you have a very small mouth. Young children should be using smaller toothbrushes as well, specifically the infant and children’s sizes that are appropriate to their ages.
More importantly than the make and model of your toothbrush is that you regularly replace it, or in the case of an electric toothbrush, that you replace the brush head. Toothbrush bristles can wear down, so the American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months (or when the bristles begin to fray). If you’re a hard brusher or your child chews on their toothbrush, you may be replacing the brush or head more often.
In addition to brushing, keep your teeth healthy with regular dental checkups. Schedule yours with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry today!