Choosing a toothbrush is supposed to be easy, right? Walking down the toothbrush isle becomes confusing when viewing all the styles, shapes, and sizes available. When it comes to brushing teeth, all that matters is whether your toothbrush can do its one and only job: remove plaque from teeth. Along with toothbrush selection, consistency of brushing and flossing twice per day will help to keep your mouth feeling healthy and looking its best. The right choice of toothbrush can make your oral health routine become more effective, and enjoyable. Here are a few factors that can help you decide which toothbrush is right for you:
When purchasing a manual toothbrush, make sure that you’re choosing the correct head size. You want the head to be big enough that it can reach all of the areas in your mouth, but not big enough to restrict the movement needed to brush plaque away. There are typically two toothbrush head sizes for adults: compact, for those with small-medium mouths, and full size, for those with larger mouths. For young children, there are a few more options. Suggested age groups are typically listed on the back of the package.
Head Shape & Design
More recently, toothbrush manufactures have been focusing on the shape and design of manual toothbrush heads. This has been a huge advancement in the toothbrush industry since the traditional, generic shape was not able to properly contour the shape of teeth. Now there are many designs that allow brushes to get into those hard-to-reach places around the gum line, and in between teeth. Toothbrushes with circular designs and tapered bristles are what you want to look for. There are also specialty toothbrushes that you can purchase for braces, dentures, and gum disease.
There are three types of nylon toothbrush bristles: soft, medium, and hard. It’s a common misconception that hard bristled toothbrushes clean your teeth better. In fact, the only reason why hard bristled toothbrushes exist is because toothbrush manufactures know they will sell. Not only are hard bristles uncomfortable, but they can also cause tooth damage and gum recession. When deciding which bristle firmness to purchase, one of the most important things to keep in mind is: anything harder than soft is too hard!
Powered toothbrushes are great for those who have dexterity issues, or trouble removing plaque efficiently with a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes have the ‘cool’ factor we look for, so they can make brushing your teeth fun, and to make us brush for longer. Some powered toothbrushes have settings that can help suit specific oral needs, such as deep cleaning, whitening, and sensitivity settings. You can buy corresponding heads to go with the setting of your preference.
Pros of Powered Toothbrushes
- Large handles for people with dexterity issues
- Built-in timers
- More effective at removing plaque and eliminating gingivitis than manual toothbrushes
- Can arrest further gum recession
- Different settings and toothbrush heads to choose from to suit your needs
Cons of Powered Toothbrushes
- High initial cost for unit
- Costly for replacement heads
At Davis Dental Care Newmarket, our Dental Hygienist suggests GUM® Technique® Deep Clean Toothbrush because of its soft, feathered bristles that can go up to 3mm beneath the gum line for a deep clean feeling. The Quad-Grip® handle has a unique design that helps you to hold the brush the way most dental professionals do – at a 45° angle, which is effective at cleaning away the dental plaque from both teeth and gums.
She also suggests Oral-B® ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 with SmartGuide™ Electric Toothbrush because of its exceptional ability to remove plaque, many different settings and heads to choose from, Bluetooth, and built-in timer. This toothbrush will leave you with a fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling!