Choosing the right toothbrush is a vital part of any oral hygiene practice. There are so many different types and brands of toothbrushes available, many people feel overwhelmed by the choices and aren’t sure which toothbrush is the right one for them. While there are many good options on the market, toothbrushes are not one size fits all. It is important to make the choice that is best for you and your needs. Every dentist will tell you that the best toothbrush is the one you’ll be happy to use! There are a few things to consider when choosing a new toothbrush:
General Things to Consider
Size & Shape – Toothbrushes are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and are specially designed to be comfortable and easy to use. Choose a toothbrush with a head size that allows for the best access to all surfaces of your teeth. In most cases, a toothbrush with a head that is approximately half an inch wide and about an inch tall is the best option. While there are many toothbrushes available that have larger heads, they often are more difficult to move around the mouth and may not be as effective at getting to those hard-to-reach places in the teeth and gums.
Bristles – Most toothbrushes are available with different bristle types, ranging from extra soft to soft, medium, or hard. For the large majority of people, a soft bristle toothbrush is the best choice. In some cases, the use of a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush can actually damage the enamel of the teeth and/or gums, especially if you are prone to more intense or vigorous brushing. To protect your teeth and gums even more you can look for a toothbrush that has bristles with rounded tips.
Your Dentist’s Recommendation – Your dentist is the best person to ask about the right toothbrush for you. They are experts in oral hygiene and also have a solid understanding of what options are out there and what will best suit the individual needs of each of their clients.
Stick to Trusted Brands – When selecting a new toothbrush it is a good idea to stick to brands that are known and trusted, and ensure that they are approved by the Canadian Dental Association. It is best to avoid dollar store toothbrushes or ‘no name’ brands.
Electric or Manual
Many people wonder whether they should choose a manual or electric toothbrush. The truth is, as long as you make the effort to clean your teeth properly and often, both types can be equally effective. There are pros and cons to both and whether you chose manual or electric is a matter of personal choice and preference. Some things to consider when considering what type of toothbrush to buy are:
Cost – While there are some affordable electric options on the market, an electric toothbrush will end up costing you more. How much more will depend on the type you choose. It is also important to consider the cost of replacement heads for your electric toothbrush, as they will need to be replaced at least every 6 months.
Safety – All toothbrushes with the seal of approval from the Canadian Dental Association have been tested for quality and safety. This means they have been tested to ensure that the bristles will not come loose, the handle is appropriate and safe for use and they have been proven effective at reducing gum disease and plaque build-up.
Effectiveness – There has been a lot of research conducted over the years testing the effectiveness of an electric toothbrush against that of a manual toothbrush. Most of these studies revealed that overall, there is not a significant difference between the effectiveness of the two. However, there is evidence to suggest that a specific type of electric toothbrush called a “rotation oscillation” toothbrush (where the bristles move round and round as well as side to side) is more effective than a manual toothbrush.
Usability & Likability – It is important to like the toothbrush you choose, to ensure you are happy and likely to use it as regularly and for as long as is recommended.
Best Toothbrushes for Children
When selecting a toothbrush for a child, it is important to choose one that is specifically designed for a child and is approved by the Canadian Dental Association. All children’s toothbrushes should have soft bristles to protect their developing teeth and gums. If the child is old enough, bring them along to the store and let them pick out their own toothbrush. This increases the likelihood that they will be happy to use it later on!
If you have any questions about selecting a toothbrush or would like to learn more about how we can support your oral health, contact us at our Guelph Dentist’s office today!