BACK IN THE GOOD old days before the 1930s, toothbrush bristles were made of animal hair. We are pretty happy to live in the era of nylon bristles, but how can we tell which toothbrush will be best for our teeth and gums? How hard should the bristles be? Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones? Read on to find out!
Soft Versus Hard Bristles
It is true that hard bristles make it a little bit easier to scrub away the plaque from your teeth, but those hard bristles can also scrape away enamel and even agitate your gums to the point of putting you at greater risk for gum recession, which could be permanent. In the case of hard bristles versus soft, the risks of hard bristles clearly outweigh the benefits, which is why dentists always give out and recommend soft-bristle brushes.
Powered Versus Manual Brushes
In the past, there was not a significant difference between the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes versus manual ones. However, technology has come a long way, and modern electric toothbrushes are better at getting plaque out of hard-to-reach spots. Electric toothbrushes reduce plaque by up to 21 percent more than manual toothbrushes and reduce the risk of gingivitis by 11 percent. Using an electric toothbrush also makes it easier to brush for the recommended two minutes and makes it less likely that you will apply too much pressure.
That still leaves a lot of different electric toothbrushes to choose from. Luckily, whether you choose an oscillating brush (spinning tops) or a sonic brush (vibrate from side to side), you will still see better results than with a manual brush. If you are not sure which brush would be best for you, feel free to ask us about it at your next appointment! Generally, we recommend a rechargeable brush with a small, circular head.
Taking Care Of Your Toothbrush
Once you have found the ideal toothbrush, it is important to store it properly so that it does not become a breeding ground for bacteria. Store your toothbrush upright somewhere it can dry out, preferably as far away from a toilet as possible. Also, do not forget to replace your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush regularly (about every 3 months), because even the best bristles fray and lose their effectiveness over time.
We Look Forward To Seeing You!
Having the right toothbrush and taking proper care of it are essential to good dental health, but there is no replacement for regular, professional dental cleanings. Make sure you are scheduling appointments twice a year. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Good habits and the right tools make all the difference for your teeth!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.