WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
Brushing your teeth is important, but which toothbrush is the best one to use and how often should you replace it?
Here are 2 things you should know:
1. What kind of toothbrush should I get
Choose one your child will enjoy using. Soft bristles are best for everyone, especially for kids. Let them choose the age-appropriate brush they want, that way they are more emotionally invested in the process.
There are six important characteristics a good toothbrush should have, irrespective of whether it’s a manual or electric one.
Size. Your toothbrush needs easy access to every surface of your teeth. Generally, an adult should use one with a 1.3cm wide by 2.5cm tall head. The handle should be long enough to hold comfortably while brushing those hard-to-reach places. A brush like this will be far too big for a child’s mouth, so don’t be tempted to share. It will hurt their mouths and put them off brushing their teeth, apart from the fact that sharing a brush spreads bacterium from one person to another. And we don’t want that!
Bristle variety. A well-made, soft-bristled toothbrush with rounded tips is, we think, the best option. Brushing your teeth vigorously with a medium or hard bristle brush may do your teeth more harm than good damaging your gums, root surface and enamel. If you’re looking for an electric toothbrush, make sure it is safe to use. If you’re still not sure, ask your dentist to recommend one.
Disposable or Electric?
If using an electric one helps you keep your teeth cleaner, or if your dexterity isn’t that good and you struggle to hold or manipulate narrow objects, then perhaps choose an electric one.
What really matters is brushing correctly twice a day, at least. Brushing correctly with either kind of toothbrush, should reduce plaque build-up and keep your gums healthy. Other considerations are:
Cost. Electric toothbrushes are much more expensive than manual ones.
Effectiveness. There is no discernible difference between manual and electric brushes, unless it’s a rotation oscillation brush where the bristles go both and back and forth.
Enjoyment. The best brush? The one that you’ll use regularly. If you enjoy your toothbrush, you’ll be happy to brush for the recommended 2 minutes.
Safety. An electric toothbrush gets your teeth clean and is gentle on your gums and teeth. Some studies suggest an electric toothbrush could increase the number of bacteria in your bloodstream. If you’re healthy and have a normal immune system, as well as a healthy heart, you should be fine.
2. How often should I replace my toothbrush?
A toothbrush with the shaggy look needs to be replaced immediately. Ideally, replace your brush every 3 – 4 months. Replace your children’s toothbrushes more often.
Next time: Why you should never share your toothbrush, the importance of good brushing technique and how to care for your toothbrush.
If you need any advice about how to prevent gum disease call Team Dental and make an appointment now!