Oral hygiene is vital to more than just our dental heath, it’s important for our overall wellbeing, too. Gum disease is a risk factor for developing serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
The nylon bristled toothbrush was invented in the late 30’s and there wasn’t much of a choice. Those days are long gone, though, and now you face at least 16 feet of options in any store you shop in.
So, when it comes to toothbrushes, how do you choose? It isn’t just about the bristles, it’s also about the size, testing and your comfort. With that in mind, let’s break down what type of toothbrush is the best.
The majority of dental professionals say that the soft bristled brush is the safest and most effective for removing debris and plaque from your teeth and gum line.
If you happen to be a rigorous tooth brusher and you prefer medium or hard bristles, then you could be causing damage to your gums, enamel and the root surface, too.
The safest option would be to opt for the soft bristle and see what different this makes, especially if you have particularly sensitive teeth.
The size of the toothbrush is just as important as the bristle type. The head of your toothbrush should allow easy access to every surface of your teeth. For the majority of adults that’s half an inch wide and an inch tall. There are plenty of larger heads available, however, it can be quite difficult to effectively clean your teeth when you struggle to reach the backs of your molars.
It’s important to buy your child appropriate toothbrushes for their age, to ensure that they can brush their teeth adequately.
Additionally, the handle of the toothbrush should allow you to brush your teeth comfortably and allow you full reach.
Toothbrushes should undergo rigorous testing for quality control purposes. They should be assessed based on their safety and cleaning effectiveness, so if all else fails you can ask your dentist to recommend the perfect toothbrush. Alternatively, look for toothbrushes that have the ADA Seal of Approval (that’s the American Dental Association). The ADA seal indicates that the bristles will not fall out during normal use, that they have safe tips, and the toothbrush effectively reduces plaque build-up and early state gum disease.
If you prefer an electric toothbrush to the disposable type, you should be looking for the same seal. In addition to the normal testing, independent labs put power toothbrushes through safety testing during clinical trials. This is to ensure that they are safe for the teeth, the mouth tissues, and any additional dental hardware.