11th September 2012
We cannot advocate good dental hygiene to our patients more – not only do healthy teeth and gums prevent oral problems cropping up, they’re also crucial for our wellbeing, since gum disease can lead to all kinds of issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
Choosing the right toothbrush plays a vital role in keeping your teeth and gums in tip top condition – but with so many types on the market these days, many people who come to us complain that it can be tricky to decide which one is the most suitable.
To remedy this confusion, here are some top tips to help you make the right choice:
Toothbrushes, whether manual or electric, are made of nylon bristles than come in a range of soft, medium and hard. You might think that opting for hard bristles will give your teeth the cleanest scouring possible, however we actually recommend soft to medium strength bristles as the hard variety can tend to cause your gums to shrink if too much pressure is applied. There’s also the risk if you brush over-enthusiastically that you could damage your teeth enamel. On the other hand, very soft bristles might not tackle plaque effectively, so unless you have gum problems it’s best to go for medium.
Another tip worth mentioning is the subject of ‘Natural Toothbrushes’. These have been increasingly making an appearance in certain health stores – instead of having nylon bristles, they are made from such materials as the root of an Araak tree. We don’t advocate these for the best oral hygiene, and they’re also rather pricey.
We generally recommend a smaller head for your toothbrush, since it will be able to get at hard to reach places in your mouth more easily. That being said, it also depends on the actual size of your mouth.
When it comes to the handle, don’t base your choice on appearance factors such as colour – you want to make sure the handle fits comfortably in your hand so you can get a good grip to brush your teeth effectively. It should be easy to manoeuvre and preferably have a non-slip surface.
Both types of toothbrush have their pros and cons – some people don’t like the vibration of an electric model or are put off by their price, while others swear their teeth feel much cleaner than when they used a manual toothbrush. While some research has suggested that there is little difference in effectiveness between the two types as long as people take the time to brush thoroughly, further evidence has shown that rotation oscillation toothbrushes (which have bristles that go round as well as back and forth) are better than manual toothbrushes at getting rid of plaque. Also, one of the best features of an electric toothbrush is the timer. Most people don’t brush for the recommended two minutes. An electric brush helps you get the optimum brushing time. Ultimately though, the right choice between the two will come down to what you feel most comfortable with, providing you’re thorough about your dental hygiene.
One final point to know is that whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, it’s important to replace them (in the case of the electric you can buy new heads to fit onto the handle) as soon as the bristles begin to show wear, or at least every three months. This is important not only to ensure the toothbrush remains effective at cleaning your teeth, but also because the bristles can collect germs over a prolonged period of time.
Do remember that in addition to brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day, it’s also wise to floss in order to get at those places in-between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach.
After reading these tips, if you’re still in doubt as to what would be the perfect toothbrush for you as an individual, we’re always happy at Bow Lane Dental to advise our patients on what will suit their particular needs best.
For further helpful tips that ensure optimal dental hygiene please watch our video below: