Consistent daily brushing and flossing are the most beneficial practices for maintaining healthy gums and brilliant white teeth. That being said, it can be daunting to see the number of toothbrush options on the market and know what the best choice is. Countless iterations in style, shape, and brand make the whole process more complicated than it should be. We’ve outlined the different factors of toothbrushes to make your decision easier.
Bristle Hardness, Head Shape, Handle Design – A Breakdown Of Your Options
Looking at the variety of toothbrush options in an aisle is always confusing. Realizing the extensive amount of combinations may have you questioning how much style really matters. You might find yourself picking the first one you see to get it over with. In reality, many of the details involved in picking the right brush for you are personal preference, and dependent on what you will actually use to brush your teeth. That being said, there are some aspects that are more important to focus on considering your overall dental health.
In this world of toothbrush related decisions, bristle hardness could be considered most pressing. It knocks out at least half of your options and arguably has the biggest impact on your teeth after brushing habits. It’s common to find extra soft, soft, or medium hardness bristles at the store, with medium-firm options added to the mix on rare occasions.
Although intimidating, the most important phrase to remember for bristle hardness is “the softer, the better”. Most dentists agree that patients often assume the harder the bristle is the cleaner your teeth will be, but in reality, it’s the opposite. Firmer bristles may have the appearance of cleaning your teeth more as they’re slightly better at clearing out plaque. In reality, there is a larger negative effect on overall tooth and gum health as harder bristles brush away tooth enamel and tear the gums. Those who use hard bristles also often avoid the most important part of the mouth to brush, where the teeth and gums meet, as it’s too painful to clean that area. Soft bristles, in contrast, make it easier to reach all the areas of the mouth and therefore give an overall deeper clean.
So why do hard bristles exist? For special cases, hard-bristled toothbrushes could be used (after recommended by a dentist) to get rid of stains, or clean partial teeth or dentures.
Head Shape, Handle Design, Bristle Style
When it comes to options for the shape of the toothbrush head, its handle design, or the style of bristles, it’s more of a personal preference. There are typically two styles of head shapes, tapered or rectangular, with the main difference being what style you think would help best reach every area of the mouth.
For the handle design, most toothbrushes come in either straight or angled styles, without or without a non-slip grip. This is also a decision related to the best reach. For specific bristle styles like rippled, flat or dome-shaped, it’s best to pick what feels most comfortable to you.
Electric Vs. Traditional – Which Is Better?
Most people want to know if the benefits outweigh the cost with electric toothbrushes as they’re often priced as an investment instead of a recurring fee. The main consideration to be made is whether an electric toothbrush will actually make you brush your teeth longer and more often than a manual one. The added features of electric toothbrushes do allow for a deeper clean if you’re brushing for the recommended time of two minutes.
But if you’re using an electric brush to cut time out, it won’t make much of a difference. Other reasons to go electric could fall in the category of ease of use, for example, if someone has arthritis. The recommended length between getting new toothbrushes is every 3-4 months, once it starts to show wear, or after an illness. If you’re not in the habit to change your toothbrush regularly, it may be time to invest in an electric toothbrush with disposable heads.
Kids Vs. Adults – What To Look For
There are many differences between children’s and adult’s toothbrushes that should be considered before making a choice. The biggest factor is the age of your child. Categories for these toothbrushes are younger than 5, ages 5-8, or 8 years and older. For the 0-5 range, or babies and toddlers, you’re actually able to start using a very gentle toothbrush on your baby even before they even have teeth! The biggest things to look for at this age is the size of the brush and very gentle bristles. By the age of two, you can start training your child to get involved in brushing two times a day.
In the 5-8 age range, your child should be getting more independent about their dental health care by using a toothbrush on their own. It’s important to consider brush size and ease of use in this stage. You can choose to incorporate fun kid’s brushes that include cartoons or tv characters to get your child excited about brushing.
For preadolescents, brushing should be established as a daily routine and independently done by the child. The only consideration maybe a smaller brush head and handle to fit in the mouth correctly. At this age, it may also be beneficial to incorporate an electric toothbrush to help those who don’t brush well enough manually.
What Toothbrush Is Best For Teeth Whitening
Besides keeping teeth clean and disease-free, most people’s top priority is to keep their teeth as white as possible. There’s an entire industry related to teeth whitening, with new products coming out every day. That interest extends to toothbrushes, where many think one type of brush may be better at whitening than another. The truth is the brush that whitens best is the one you use the most. Daily habits such as flossing, brushing and using mouthwash are the most important considerations. Some add-ons that could be helpful in whitening through extra cleaning are the rubber bristles or floss tip included in some styles.Other than those tips, the next most beneficial option for your teeth would be to get them professionally whitened. Most do-it-yourself teeth whitening practices incorporate harmful tactics in order to produce a whiter look to teeth, while professional whitening uses the most beneficial and efficient way possible. At Tower Dental, we offer whitening services at the most affordable price for you. Contact us and make an appointment to discuss the best options for your teeth!