How to Choose a Toothbrush That's Right for You
Brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the cornerstones of dental health. Along with daily flossing and dental checkups, regular brushing will make more of a difference than almost anything else you can do for your teeth. Choosing the right toothbrush is also important, and you have a variety of styles to choose from as well as electric vs. manual toothbrushes. Here's how to make a good choice, courtesy of Premier Dental Care.
American Dental Association Recommendations
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Either manual or electric toothbrushes are acceptable, according to the ADA. However, the ADA also recommends toothbrushes with multiple levels of bristles or angled bristles, as these are more effective at removing plaque than flat-trimmed bristles. Soft bristles are less likely to damage the gums too. An ADA-approved toothbrush must meet certain standards for safety and durability.
Factors in Choosing a Toothbrush
Choosing a toothbrush should begin with an assessment of your particular needs. If you're choosing for a child, the size makes a big difference. The handle of the toothbrush should be easy to grasp and hold, even when wet. Bristle design should meet the ADA recommendations. Although a manual toothbrush is a relatively inexpensive factor, it might still matter if your budget is very tight. Budgetary considerations are definitely an issue in choosing an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush should meet electrical safety requirements.
Electric vs. Manual
Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective if used properly. An electric toothbrush may be easier for some people to use, particularly those who have medical conditions such as arthritis or disabilities that affect the upper extremities. Those who wear traditional metal braces may also find a powered toothbrush is more effective at keeping all the tooth surfaces clean. On the other hand, a manual toothbrush is inexpensive, easy to clean and store and doesn't malfunction. This is really a matter of individual preferences and budget in most cases.
Caring for Your Toothbrush
One of the most important aspects of using a toothbrush is to replace it before it becomes too worn to be effective. Most dentists recommend you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. The toothbrush should be well rinsed after use. Store the toothbrush (or the head of the electric toothbrush) in an upright position and allow it to air dry. Don't share your toothbrush, as it could transmit germs from one person to another. Although it is not required, you can sanitize a toothbrush by soaking it in three percent hydrogen peroxide. Don't put a toothbrush in the dishwasher – it may melt.
Regular brushing and proper toothbrush care will help keep your smile white and your teeth healthy. If you have questions about any aspect of oral hygiene, toothbrushes or dental health, please contact us at Premier Dental Care. And don't forget to schedule your regular checkups!