Picking up a toothbrush sounds simple, right? Do you think you can just pick up any from the hundreds of choices you get in your super market’s toothbrush aisle? If yes, you don’t yet know the pain a wrong toothbrush can cause.
If you have ever ended up with a toothbrush that feels too hard or too soft or just doesn’t feel right to give you thorough cleaning, you would know how important it is to choose a toothbrush with care and consideration.
Here are some factors you should consider when picking a toothbrush.
The Softer, The Better
Although it might seem that a toothbrush with stiff bristles will give you thorough, faster and easier cleaning, the opposite is true in fact.
You want a toothbrush that not only cleans but is also easy on your gums. A brush with stiff bristles is more likely to cause bleeding gums while softer ones are easier on your gums and are also best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. While you may have a penchant for scrubbing your teeth with a stiff bristle toothbrush, remember that this habit can damage your teeth and your gums. Hence, go for a toothbrush that’s labeled “soft”.
Another thing to consider is whether the bristles are round-ended or not. You’ll find this little detail on the packaging. The rough edges of these bristles are smoothed out to avoid hurting the gums and teeth.
Small heads win
When it comes to the brush head, you might think that bigger is better. But that’s not the case. Experts recommend that you go small and get a smaller headed toothbrush as it makes it easier to reach the hard to reach areas in your mouth like the back most molars. However, the general rule of thumb is to look for a size that complements your mouth. It should be small enough to reach the hard to reach areas while big enough to be effective. WebMD recommends a brush head that’s half inch wide and one inch tall for adults.
Give Some Thought To Bristle Design
This might not seem like an important detail to you but the truth is, some bristles are specifically designed for improving oral hygiene, give thorough cleaning and prevent gum and teeth problems. Well-designed bristles make it easier to reach the hard to reach areas in your mouth while multi-angled bristles are designed to increase contact with tooth surfaces between teeth, helping to lift plaque even from tough spots.
However, you may not be able to tell any difference by just looking at the design – instead, look at the packaging and see what it says. Believe it or not, bristle design can make a big difference and it can really improve your oral hygiene and prevent gum problems especially in the back molars.
Forget The Buzz About Natural, Go Nylon
There’s a lot of buzz going on about natural toothbrushes with bristles made from a certain tree root. You’ll find them advertised as being softer and environmentally friendly. There are also some brushes with brown bristles that are reportedly softer than their nylon counterparts. However, the truth of the matter is, there is little research done on the benefits of using natural toothbrushes, which cost a lot more than nylon ones. Hence, it’s better to stick to an ADA recommended nylon brush and forget natural for a while at least.
Look For A Handle That Feels Good
Ignore the ‘bright and shiny’ details on the handle and go for the one that feels good in your hand. You may want to look for a non-slip surface. Generally, go for one you can comfortably maneuver around in your mouth.
Forget Those Cheap Steals At The Super Market
That no-name five in one toothbrush packet costing a few dollars might look like a steal at first glance, but those are better for cleaning grout than for your oral hygiene.
You’ll be putting the brush in your mouth more than once in a day so you want to make sure it’s made with a safe material. It’s a good idea to look for the ADA seal, which surprisingly, you won’t find on all brands.
Consider Getting More Power
When buying a toothbrush, you are faced with the option of choosing between electric and manual. The good thing is, there is no difference in the effectiveness of both. Both are equally effective if used correctly. And both are equally ineffective when used incorrectly.
However, it comes down to your own personal preference. Some people find electric toothbrushes more fun to use while others find the convenience and affordability of manual ones.
Look At The Basics When Looking For A Toothbrush For Your Child
When buying a toothbrush for your kids, there are only a few things to keep in mind.
- Look for age specifics mentioned on the packet.
- Never buy a no-name, no-brand toothbrush.
- Get colorful, shiny and bright toothbrushes to make brushing fun for the little ones.
When To Replace Your Brush
A worn toothbrush is the breeding ground of germs and bacteria and the worn-out bristles can really damage your gums. Hence, it’s recommended to change your toothbrush after every three months or when your brush shows signs of wear, whichever comes first. You should also replace your brush after you have had a cold as the brush can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
Keep the above pointers in mind the next time you are navigating through the toothbrush aisle. Don’t let those colorful options intimidate you. Know what’s right for you and pick one with confidence. And when you find a right fit, it’s a good idea to keep that brand name in mind and buy the same brand next time you are shopping for a toothbrush instead of looking all over again.