Most of us use our toothbrushes on a daily basis. In fact, by this point in most of our lives the process has undoubtedly become so routine that we probably haven’t stopped to consider the impact our particular toothbrush has on our overall hygiene. Where oral health maintenance is concerned, how can one be certain that the toothbrush they are using is the right one for their health needs?
1. Shape is important
Whether it’s a manual toothbrush with a rectangular shape, or an electric toothbrush with a circular, rotating head, the shape of one’s toothbrush is crucial. While an active brusher may want to consider opting for a narrower toothbrush, there are some functions that do not simply boil down to personal preference. For example, many nonprofit organizations have conducted studies that concluded that electronic toothbrushes removed approximately 10% more plaque than their manual counterparts.
2. Soft Bristles Only
To avoid damaging or scratching teeth, one should try to buy soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrushes. The misconception is that hard bristled brushed somehow clean better, but this perception misses that hard bristles are less pliable, making them more difficult to bend under gums and in-between teeth, where excess plaque tends to build up. Hard bristles are also more taxing on the gums, making them more prone to bruising and bleeding.
3. Size matters
When it comes to toothbrushes, size is paramount. While it is important to remember that there is no uniform size for everyone, selecting a brush that is too disproportionate with ones mouth means one could potentially miss crucial, tight spots–potentially resulting in plaque buildup and other problems.
4. About that handle…
Many toothbrushes contain elaborately-designed handles that add a flashy user experience and… nothing more. That’s right. The fancy handle on that expensive toothbrush you just bought is completely useless and does nothing aside from add to your imaginary experience of the scenario. But if not having that added comfort is a major deal-breaker, then by all means go for it…just don’t expect the added comfort or shape of the handle to assist with your oral hygiene in any way.
As with all toothbrushes, remember to change your bristles (either by replacing the heads on your mechanical toothbrush or purchasing a brand new manual toothbrush) once every four months. Doing so ensures that you are using a brush with effective bristles and increases the likelihood that plaque, food, and bacteria will be successfully removed.