How Do I Choose the Right Toothbrush?

Lineup of mutli-colored toothbrushes

How Do I Choose the Right Toothbrush?

Lineup of mutli-colored toothbrushes

Walking down the oral hygiene aisle at any store can make you feel overwhelmed given the amount of options present. You’ll see a slew of mouthwashes, toothpastes, floss, and of course toothbrushes. But which one is right for you? Our Portage, MI, dentist can help.

Here’s what you should keep in mind when shopping for your next toothbrush.

Bristle Type Matters

When asked, a majority of dentists and hygiene professionals will say that a toothbrush with soft bristles is best. You might think that medium or hard bristles would be better at removing plaque and food particles. However, soft bristles can thoroughly clean teeth when used for 2 minutes and are gentler on gums and enamel.

Depending on your situation, Dr. Paul may recommend you seek out stiffer bristles. Otherwise, it is wise to only purchase soft toothbrushes so you don’t cause unnecessary damage.

Electric or Manual: Which One?

You’ve probably heard this debate before but weren’t sure whether electric or manual is better. The truth is, either one is perfectly acceptable. Both electric and manual toothbrushes can reduce plaque build-up and keep gums healthy when proper brushing technique is used.

Powered toothbrushes do have one advantage over their traditional counterparts, however. For those who brush too hard or have limited mobility, electric toothbrushes allow for a gentle, easy cleaning. Some brushes of this type even have built-in timers to let you know when 2 minutes have passed which many patients find helpful.

The decision is ultimately up to you. Picking the type of toothbrush that you like using will make your oral hygiene routine that much more enjoyable.

Size of Brush Head and Type of Handle

The top of a toothbrush, or the head, can come in different sizes with various types of handles to grip. Dr. Paul may recommend that you look for a certain toothbrush design so that all teeth are properly cleaned.

Small-headed brushes, for example, are effective at reaching all areas in your mouth, like your back molars. Patterned or tapered bristles on a brush head also can impact your cleaning experience. Generally, a smaller brush head is the safest choice.

Toothbrush handles can play an important role as well. If using your hands is more difficult due to arthritis or a disability, an angled, non-slip, or flexible handle could prove useful. A handle can also feature different colors or pleasing designs so choose what suits you best.

When to Change Out Your Brush

Sometimes you get so used to cleaning with a toothbrush that you lose track of how old it is. A good rule of thumb to follow is to change it out after 3 months. The same goes for a powered brush head.

Take note of the month when you buy the toothbrush or replaceable head. Remembering the date can help you plan months out and know when to retire your old toothbrush. You should also pick up a new toothbrush when:

  • There are signs of wear and tear, like frayed or bent bristles.
  • You’ve recently recovered from a cold. Germs could still be present and lead to reinfection.

Enhance Your Brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste

Selecting a good toothbrush is great news for the health of your teeth and gums. It’s even better if you use your new toothbrush in conjunction with a fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride is a safe mineral that works to prevent the onset of tooth decay by slowing down the breakdown of enamel and speeding up the rate of your body’s natural remineralization process. Plaque that forms on teeth can produce acids capable of weakening enamel. Toothpastes, drinking water, or topical treatments containing fluoride can help strengthen your enamel and make teeth less susceptible to cavities.

There are many different types of fluoride toothpaste to choose from. One thing you’ll notice when looking at options in the store aisle is an ADA Seal. This seal of acceptance is courtesy of the American Dental Association and means that the product has been deemed safe and effective. As long as it has the seal, it has fluoride!

We Can Help You Get Your Best Clean

Maintaining good oral hygiene at home can seem daunting, especially when there are so many toothbrush or toothpaste options available. If you’re ever unsure about what to use, our family dentist in Portage, MI, would be happy to offer advice during your next visit. Call Courtside Dental at (269) 327-1011 to schedule an appointment today!

This blog post has been updated.

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