You may not know this, but there are probably as many or maybe more types of toothbrushes than there are toothpastes. Even though you’re most likely familiar with the typical plastic toothbrush that comes in a multipack of an assortment of colors or a small white circular electric toothbrush, there are many other choices that might actually be better for your mouth or teeth!
- Bristles – Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. Soft repetitive, gentle brushes are the best to help remove the most plaque on your teeth. If you have a hard toothbrush, you may end up damaging your gums and making your mouth more sensitive.
- Head Size – The smaller the toothbrush head is, the easier it is for you to reach the back of your mouth where your teeth are more prone to cavities. If you have very large teeth, you can choose a medium size toothbrush head in proportion to your teeth size.
- Manual vs. Electric – There are many studies that argue that manual is better than electric, and there are probably an equal number of studies that state that electric is better. If you are diligent with your electric toothbrush and make sure not to rush through your brushing, they can both be good options. Many people prefer manual because they can feel when they’ve completed brushing a section.
- Tongue Cleaner – This is great to have, but you don’t necessarily have to have a whole separate rubber tongue cleaner. You can easily brush your tongue with the brush itself (just make sure to rinse your toothbrush well).
- Crossing Bristles – Some toothbrushes have bristles that go in opposite directions. They claim to allow a deeper cleaning because the crossing bristles make it easer for you to reach in between your teeth. If you have sensitive gums or gum disease, you should stick with bristles that face in the same direction so that you don’t irritate your gums.
- Organic/Natural vs. Regular – Brushes can come with wooden handles, bamboo handles or natural bristles. The best benefit of natural brushes are that you’re not tossing out plastic brushes every 3 months. However, in terms of brush quality and whatever else, there isn’t a huge difference. If you want to be environmentally conscious and reduce your exposure to plastic chemicals, you can use a natural toothbrush.
Also, if your toothbrush as a blue or other colored tip and you notice the color is fading, it means it’s time to switch to a new toothbrush. You should also switch if you notice your brush is starting to fray.
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been educating and treating patients for over twenty-five years. If you have any questions about choosing the right toothbrush or any dental issue, call our New Fairfield, CT office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.