Oral hygiene is imperative to our overall health. There are a number of ways to help keep our teeth and gums clean and healthy, but it always starts with proper brushing.
The toothbrush has come a long way. Today, toothbrushes come in a variety of colors, features, and can be manual, battery operated and even use sonic waves to clean teeth and gums. Toothbrushes today not only clean teeth but also help fight periodontal disease.
Here’s how to choose a toothbrush:
- Decide who will use the toothbrush. Children should not use toothbrushes designed for adults. They need smaller heads and soft bristles. Because some children don’t like to brush their teeth, junior toothbrushes come in bright colors, have different popular characters or even play music while brushing. People with braces may choose to use an orthodontic toothbrush or braces toothbrush. The bristles are sturdier and the bristles in the middle of the head are slightly lower than on the sides to enable cleaning of both teeth and the orthodontic device.
- Check the bristles. Toothbrush bristles come in different degrees of bristle hardness: soft, medium and hard. The best is soft nylon bristles because they are the most gentle on the gums. However, some people get harder bristles because they feel that they can clean their teeth better. This is a misconception.
- Get a small head. You want to get a toothbrush that has a small head so that it can reach the hard to reach places, such as the back of the molars. Remember how the cleaning head brush the dentist uses is just a small circular bristle head? It’s to be able to reach the farthest recesses of your teeth. If the head is too big, it will feel uncomfortable.
- Beware of the bells and whistles. Toothbrushes today come with so many extras. They have angled flexible heads, soft grips, aside from the different colors and styles. Choose these based on your personal comfort level.
- Decide between electric and manual. There are now battery operated or rechargeable toothbrushes in the market today. The two kinds of electric toothbrush are the rotating head and the sonic toothbrush. Scientifically, there is no cleaning difference between using an electric toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush, though a sonic toothbrush may help in reducing periodontal disease. What matters is how one properly brushes his teeth.
However, there are some who prefer to use electric toothbrushes. It’s suggested for people who have difficulty with their grips or have problems with their hand dexterity, such as older people and those with disabilities. Electric toothbrushes may help encourage a child who doesn’t like to brush his teeth. Some people end up brushing better because they brush longer and psychologically feel that their teeth are cleaner after using an electric toothbrush. You may refer to animated-teeth.com , which provides results of a comparison between electric, sonic and manual toothbrushes.
Whatever brand or style you decide on, just make sure you replace your toothbrush every three months and use the toothbrush properly. Read the American Dental Hygienists’ Association website at adha.org for guidelines on proper brushing.