Something most people probably don’t think about too much is their toothbrush. We use it twice a day, and then it sits in our drawer. But more goes into choosing a toothbrush than you might think. Furthermore, we should switch our brushes out every 3-4 months and sooner if we’ve been sick. That being said, what should we be looking for in a toothbrush? Are certain types or designs better? People spend quite a bit of time brushing their teeth, so it should be a comfortable experience. Here are a few tips to make your choice easier:
The American Dental Association recommends only using soft bristled brushes. Soft bristles are more than enough to brush away all of the plaque that accumulates during the day. Hard bristles can push the gums away from teeth, exposing the roots to bacteria and plaque. So, stick with the soft stuff. They are also more comfortable, which is super important if you already have a hard time remembering to brush your teeth.
While some toothbrushes boast interesting shapes and head sizes, it is best not to go too big. Toothbrushes need to maneuver around our teeth in order to get at the plaque, and the mouth is not a very large space. Some teeth, like the wisdom teeth, are particularly difficult to keep clean. Keeping the head small and maneuverable allows you to get as clean as possible.
Electric vs Manual
Toothbrushes can be very cheap or very expensive and often the deciding factor is whether or not they are powered. Powered toothbrushes do an excellent job of cleaning your teeth and make the process easier, but you can still get a good clean with a regular toothbrush. The thing is, powered toothbrushes are fun and feel kind of nice. They can be a great way to get kids to brush and even adults, who might lack the motivation to brush. Basically, this is a preference issue.
Picking a Child’s Toothbrush
If you want to get a toothbrush for one of your children the guidelines largely stay the same. Small heads and soft bristles are best. For children, though, you’ll want an even smaller head because their teeth and mouths are so little. Sometimes it is fun to get a toothbrush decorated with a favorite cartoon character or a pretty design. That might help to get your kids more excited about brushing their teeth.
If you still have questions, it’s probably best to go and consult your dentist. Your dentist can give you recommendations, tell you about discounts on some of the more expensive models, and even suggest tips on brushing form.