Choosing a Toothbrush? Check for These 5 Characteristics
Brushing your teeth twice a day is key to keeping your enamel as free from plaque as possible. But you may have heard that the toothbrush you use can really make a difference as well. But you may not know all the specifics of how to choose the right toothbrush for optimal gentle but thorough cleaning power.
Here are five characteristics that indicate your toothbrush will be able to clean your teeth well. Check for these each time you buy a new type of toothbrush.
1. Rounded Bristles
Some manufacturers sell toothbrushes with carefully rounded bristles. Although you may not be able to see the difference easily, the tiny ends of the bristles can have a significant impact on your dental health based on whether they’re rounded or not.
Bristles that aren’t rounded at the ends deliver more abrasions (tiny scratches) to your gums during use. To avoid any potential detriment from this gum trauma (such as pain and inflammation), be sure to check your toothbrush packaging to see if it says the bristles are rounded.
2. Right Size Head
Because people come in all different sizes, toothbrush heads aren’t a one-size-fits-all product. If you have difficulty opening your jaw wide (perhaps due to a condition such as temporomandibular disorder), you may need a small toothbrush head to reach the teeth in the back of your mouth. A small head may also be worth trying if you have a strong gag reflex.
However, a small head isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone. If you’re not sure whether small or large heads are best for you, you might want to try out a couple of different sizes. If you have an electric toothbrush, check to see if the manufacturer offers different head sizes so you don’t have to buy a whole new appliance.
3. ADA Seal of Acceptance
The American Dental Association has several criteria needed before they will bestow their seal of acceptance on a specific toothbrush.
For instance, the company has to prove that their toothbrush product:
- Is manufactured according to standards
- Follows governmental regulations
- Is safe for consumers to use
- Actually does what it’s supposed to
- Has accurate package labeling
If you choose a toothbrush with the ADA seal of approval, you know that the manufacturer is being held accountable for the quality of their product and the claims they make about the product.
4. Soft Texture
Although toothbrush heads do have some variation in bristle texture, dentists are more likely to recommend softer ones and less likely to recommend harder ones. A softer-bristled toothbrush is less likely to damage your teeth and your gums if you brush vigorously. Hard bristles can actually wear away your teeth’s enamel and hurt your gum, no matter how hard you brush.
5. Electric Scrubbing Power
This one is more optional. Not everyone needs or wants an electric toothbrush; however, these powerful scrubbing tools can offer essential benefits to many people. Most people agree that electric toothbrushes actually remove more plaque than manual brushes, and these toothbrushes can make brushing easier too.
If you have TMD, braces, wrist or elbow problems, arthritis, or physical coordination issues, an electric toothbrush can be a great help. For example, the electric toothbrush does all the scrubbing on its own, so you don’t need to use your wrist or elbow to scrub it back and forth much.
Once you’ve found the perfect toothbrush for you, remember: frequent replacement is key to keeping it that way.
For more information on caring for your teeth optimally, get in touch with Family Dental Center today. Whether you’re looking for a routine dental cleaning visit, or you experience painful dental symptoms, we offer a full complement of dental care services for your entire family, from children to adults.