Dental Blog

Toothbrush 101

Thursday, January 24, 2019
toothbrush-electric-manual-toothpaste

Photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash

Is it time for you to get a new toothbrush? Our dentists recommend that you switch out toothbrushes every three to four months. If it’s about that time for you, you’ve come to the right place!

There are a lot of options when it comes to toothbrushes, not to mention oral hygiene as a whole. If the toothbrush model you’re currently using is near and dear to your heart, then by all means, go ahead and stick with the one you know and love. If it’s not, take a moment to read our thoughts on your tooth brushing options.

Manual v. Electric

Toothbrush technology has advanced considerably since their modern inception in 1938. The biggest difference: manual and electric toothbrushes. We’d like to begin by saying that one isn’t better than the other, however one might be more effective on your oral health depending on your health and lifestyle needs. Below are some considerations:

• Braces. If you have orthodontic appliances like braces, food is even more likely to get stuck in between your teeth and also around your brackets and bands. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes help braces-wearers reduce their risk of gum redness, plaque, gingivitis and other oral health conditions.
• Mobility. Those with conditions such as carpal tunnel, arthritis or developmental disabilities might benefit from an electric toothbrush over a manual one to make sure they’re getting a thorough cleaning. Electrically powered toothbrushes handle majority of the toothbrushing effort.
• Cost. Other costs to consider for electric models include batteries and replacement heads.
• Lifestyle. Frequent travelers, for instance, might not find electric toothbrushes conducive to their nomadic ways.

Soft v. Hard Bristles

For both electric toothbrush heads and manual toothbrushes, dentists and the ADA (American Dental Association) recommend toothbrushes with medium to soft bristled brushes. Hard bristled toothbrush can irritate gums and damage the surface enamel of teeth. It is especially recommended that children use toothbrushes with soft bristles.

Bristle Angle

Bristle angle makes all the difference! Studies have shown that angled or multi-leveled bristled toothbrushes are more effective than ones with flat bristles. It is also recommended to use toothbrushes with rounded ends opposed to flat ones.

Size

Size will differ based on the size of your mouth as well as its ability to reach all surfaces of the teeth in your mouth. A toothbrush head half an inch wide and one inch tall should do the trick for adults. Kids on the other hand will vary based on where they are developmentally.

ADA-Approved

Always purchase toothbrushes that have a seal signifying they are certified by the American Dental Association. These toothbrushes have undergone rigorous testing to make sure they are effective and safe. Besides, don’t you deserve the best?!

In closing, toothbrushes that are comfortable to hold and allow you to reach each tooth in your mouth are recommended by dentists. It’s up to you to decide for yourself which features are the most important and make the greatest impact on your oral health.

If find your toothbrush not quite to your satisfaction, make sure to talk to your dentists at your next visit to talk about new technologies and options that fit your oral health needs and lifestyle.