Brushing your teeth should be such a consistent habit that you almost don’t even think about it. We love it when people reach the stage where brushing their teeth isn’t even a decision to make because it’s a mandatory part of your daily routine. The problem with “not thinking about it,” however, is that you may not consider some important things such as what kind of toothbrush you should use.
In this blog, we will explain the things you should consider when it comes to choosing a toothbrush.
The Most Important Factor: Bristles!
One of the most dangerous myths many people believe about toothbrushes is that medium or hard bristles will remove plaque from the teeth more effectively. Not only is this false; it is dangerous!
When you are choosing a toothbrush, this is one aspect on which we will not budge. You must choose soft bristles. Dental plaque is soft. In fact, it is so soft that you can remove it with a washcloth. There is no added benefit in using a brush with hard or medium bristles, and they will not remove more plaque than a soft-bristled toothbrush.
The danger is that hard or medium bristles can remove more than just plaque. Over time, the abrasion of these hard bristles can actually remove your natural tooth structure. This is especially true on exposed root surfaces, which do not have a protective enamel coating.
Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes have become more and more prevalent and affordable in recent years. It is possible to get a good quality electric toothbrush for as little as $30.
Do electric toothbrushes work better than manual toothbrushes? Great question. The answer is complicated. The purpose of brushing is to remove dental plaque. An electric toothbrush usually provides better plaque removal because most people do not use their manual toothbrushes in the appropriate technique for the necessary length of time. Some studies have shown that people brush their teeth for longer on average with an electric brush versus a manual toothbrush. Most dentists recommend brushing for two minutes. Ideally, you would cover every tooth surface in that time. The longer you brush, the more likely you are to cover as many teeth as possible.
Electric toothbrushes perform a little more of the “work” of brushing, so they make the success of plaque removal more likely. This is especially true for people with problems manipulating a toothbrush, like children, elderly, and those with physical challenges.
Unique Toothbrush Considerations
Dental care manufacturers are making toothbrushes with features enabling them to accomplish some unique aspects of teeth cleaning. One unusual toothbrush, designed for people who tend to press the brush too firmly against the teeth, is the ZentFlex. This unique brush has a breaking joint in the handle that will not allow you to press harder than 150g of pressure. This cool feature helps to train you to apply less pressure as you brush.
Which Toothbrush is Right for You?
In order to determine which brush is best for your unique needs, you should speak with your dentist or dental hygienist. After assessing your individual oral health situation, they can make recommendations to give you the best cleaning potential. Our dental hygienists often notice a marked improvement in the health of the gums when someone switches from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush!
Another important consideration is this: the right toothbrush is the one you will use! You can invest more than $150 on the fanciest electric toothbrush on the market, but it will only help you if you use it. Commit to brushing your teeth well no matter which type of brush you currently have . . . except the hard bristled one. We still will not budge on that one.
Have Additional Questions about Toothbrushes? Contact Rockland Dental Specialists Today
Get in touch with Rockland Dental Specialists to schedule a consultation with our dental experts. Our periodontists take a particular interest in each patient’s ability to remove plaque consistently and effectively, and we can help you choose the best plaque removal tool. Call us at (845) 259-2500 or complete our online contact form today!