One of the most common questions asked of Stephen J. Pyle, the first Weston dentist, is how to choose a toothbrush. That seems like a pretty basic question but when you visit the drugstore and see the dozens of different types of toothbrush it’s understandable why consumers can be confused.
Brushing your teeth is the first line of defense against tooth decay, and just as important, gum disease. The ADA recommends that everyone spend a minimum of two minutes correctly brushing teeth each day. Two minutes can seem like twenty if your toothbrush is uncomfortable and studies have shown that people using a toothbrush that “fits” tend to spend longer brushing their teeth than persons with uncomfortable brushes.
So to help you with your choice we’ve listed a few facts for your consideration:
- As a general rule, brushes with soft bristles do a better job removing plaque and stimulating the gums than brushes with medium or hard bristles. ADA approved brushes with soft bristles are not as abrasive to the enamel and can more easily reach into crevices.
- The toothbrush should “fit” your mouth; for most adults that means a brush that is a half inch wide and an inch tall. The length of the brush (not the handle) really depends on what works best to reach difficult areas like the sides of molars.
- Speaking of handles, they should “fit” your hand. They come in a variety styles and thicknesses. You want one that is comfortable in your hand, easy to maneuver and strong enough to stand up to your brushing style.
Powered Toothbrushes vs. Disposable
For most people the biggest difference between a powered toothbrush and a disposable (manual) is price. Numerous studies have been conducted showing that the oral health benefits for the majority of the population are identical.
However, powered toothbrushes may be more beneficial for certain groups. If a person suffers from an arthritic hand, a powered brush can make brushing an easier task. If you tend to be an overly aggressive brusher you may be damaging both your gums and the enamel on your teeth. A powered brush eliminates the need to muscle your way through a brushing.
If you like a powered brush…use it. Using a toothbrush that is comfortable will increase the odds of a complete and effective brushing.
If you have questions on the type of toothbrush that might be best for you, call our Weston dentistry practice and our staff will be happy to assist you.