What You Need To Know About Toothbrushes

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Image from Personal Care Dentistry

A very important part of the daily personal hygiene routine involves oral hygiene. With all the current methods of maintaining oral hygiene, such as flossing or mouth-washing, brushing is perhaps the most essential. Brushing your teeth twice a day is necessary in order to reduce the bacterial load and get rid of the food particles in your mouth. On the other hand, failure to brush regularly may lead to a variety of oral problems such as halitosis or bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and many more. Of course, in order to make your brushing most effective, you need to choose your toothbrush wisely. You need to know what type of toothbrush to use and how often you should change it. Here are some things you need to know about toothbrushes.

A Brief History

Toothbrushes weren’t always as easy on the teeth and as cleansing as they currently are. In ancient times, people used a chew stick to clean their teeth. The chew stick was thin and it had a frayed end which they used to rub against their teeth to remove food. Toothbrushes evolved a little when ivory, wood, or bone was used to make the handles of toothbrushes with stiff bristles from boars and hogs. It was not until the 1930s that the nylon-bristled toothbrushes we know today were finally created, making dental care easier and more effective.

What Should I Look For In A Toothbrush?

There is really only one thing you should look for when you go toothbrush shopping, and that is the ADA Seal of Acceptance. It is not necessary but the Seal assures you that the product you’re about to buy has been evaluated by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. If the Seal is present, that means that the toothbrush is safe to use and is efficient for its purpose as it passed the objective requirements set by the ADA.

What Size Should I Buy?

Choose a toothbrush with a handle size that sits most comfortably in your hand. As for the toothbrush head, choose a size that will allow easy access to all of the surfaces of your teeth. In average, most adults can work well with a toothbrush head size of half an inch wide and an inch tall. Smaller or bigger toothbrush heads may work for you but for others, it may make it hard to maneuver the brush around the mouth and make it difficult to clean hard to reach areas.

Image from The Huffington Post

What Bristle Variety Should I Use?

Many dental professionals agree that soft bristles are the way to go when you want efficient and thorough cleaning. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the most effective, compared to other bristle varieties, when it comes to removing plaque and other debris from your teeth and along your gum line. The soft bristles are gentler to your gums as well so it won’t hurt your gums, tooth enamel, or root surface even if you tend to brush vigorously.

Manual vs. Powered Toothbrush

Both manual and powered toothbrushes can efficiently clean your teeth. It’s all up to what you prefer to use. Powered toothbrushes are usually more fun for kids to use while adults find that manual toothbrushes are more manageable. Choose one that is more comfortable and easier to use in your opinion, such that brushing twice a day won’t feel like a chore.

Manual toothbrushes won’t make any noise as you use it and you can control the pressure it applies on your teeth and gums. It is portable, allowing you to bring it anywhere you go, and is always ready to use.

On the other hand, electric or powered toothbrushes need charging. They’re not as easy to bring along when you travel either. However, the rotating movement of the bristles allows the brush to do all the thorough cleansing for you.

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

In average, toothbrushes must be replaced every 3-4 months or once the bristles have become frayed, indicating that they won’t clean as thoroughly anymore.

How Should I Maintain It?

Rinse your brush every after use to get rid of any remaining toothpaste and saliva. Store it in a vertical position with the bristles on top to dry.

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