We all know how important is to take care of our oral hygiene. But also very important is to know the tools to do it properly. The toothbrush is the most important among them.
A good oral hygiene is important not only for your dental health bur for your overall health. In fact different oral diseases that are caused by a bad oral hygiene can be the beginning for more important systemic diseases including heart diseases and diabetes.
Initially toothbrushes were made only from nylon bristles so it wasn’t very difficult to choose one. Nowadays there are so many different shapes, styles, sizes that buying the right one seems very hard work. To make things easier we are going to give you some advices on what are the important characteristics of toothbrushes so you can take care of your oral hygiene the right way.
- Bristle hardness – Always remember the softer the better. Hard bristles are dangerous for your enamel and gums. Hard bristles couse the condition called toothbrush abrasion. Brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush at least twice a day removes the superficial part of the enamel and in severe cases removes all the enamel causing dentin exposure. The tooth becomes sensible to cold and hot foods causing pain. Restoring the missing parts of the tooth is difficult because of the position of the abrasion that usually is near the gums. Hard bristle also cause trauma to the gums causing gum bleeding and gum recession. Also dangerous because after the gum recession part of the tooth’s root is exposed. This part of the root is covered by cement that is less harder than enamel and important abrasion happens in a short period of time.
- Bristle variety – Choose nylon ones. In the supermarket you can find natural bristle toothbrush. It might seem the right way to go, but it’s not. They are not very hygienic, cost more and have a shorter durability.
- Head size – We all understand that a toothbrush with a big head is not comfortable for a child. But is important also for adults not to use very big head toothbrushes, because to have a good oral hygiene you need to have access to all surfaces of teeth such as sides and backs of molars. Use a normal head toothbrush.
- Handle type – Nowadays you can find all different types of handles, colorful, transparent etc. You should choose a handle that you feel comfortable with. It must be rigid not flexible on the part near the head of the toothbrush, because flexibility there makes you use more force to clean your teeth causing abrasion on some teeth surfaces and plaque accumulation on others.
- Electrical or manual – As long as you brush your teeth in the right manner and three times a day you can use one or the other. There are a lot of studies that have compared the electrical and the manual toothbrushes and they haven’t found any differences in plaque removing. Electrical toothbrushes are better for people with arthritis or another kind of disability, they can be also more fun, but with manual toothbrush you can achieve the same results.
- Other – depending on your needs you doctor will advice you for other characteristics your toothbrush must have. Like when you have braces on.
Toothbrush for children
There are a variety of electrical or manual toothbrushes for kids. There are a little easier to choose from because manufacturers make them for different age groups. However remember the characteristics above, they are always valid.
Remember: brushing after each meal or at least twice a day makes your toothbrush lose effectiveness after some time and also becomes source of bacteria so you will need to change it once in a while. At least do it every 3 months. Don’t change toothbrushes with other people even your if this person is your partner. If recently had a cold or infection its better to change toothbrush so you won’t be sick again.