How do I choose the right toothbrush for me?
How do I choose "The Best Toothbrush"- Whats right for me?
We still find that the majority of our patients use and are able to keep their mouths healthy with a traditional manual toothbrush. Some mouths have specific needs and a more specialized toothbrush. Walking down the isle of a drug store will have you thinking that you need the brightest, flashiest, newest brush with bristles that look like their on growth hormone, fact is these are rarely the BEST brush for you. Read below for our guide on how to choose the best manual toothbrush for you.
Size: The size of the head is what enables you to get the toothbrush into smaller parts of your mouth (into the nooks and crannies.) The larger heads can cover more teeth at once but can miss parts of your teeth. For example if your someone who has crowded teeth, or still has your wisdom teeth having a larger brush would make cleaning those areas harder. We recommend a smaller head toothbrush for most people with the manual dexterity to use them.
Bristles: The only thing a medium or hard bristled brush is good for is cleaning a shoe. We NEVER recommend patients to use these medium or hard bristled toothbrushes on their teeth. ALWAYS use a soft toothbrush. The medium/hard bristles can lead to over brushing and gum recession. Some of our patients that have thinner gum tissues or already have had recession or sensitive gums need to use an "ultra-soft" bristled toothbrush as a precaution. We cant even understand why these harder bristled brushed are still being made for human mouths??
Flexible Angle: A flexible angle on the neck of a toothbrush helps prevent over brushing by bending if you're pushing down too hard. If you're someone who has gum recession or thinner gums a toothbrush with "shock absorbers"may be best for your mouth. You may also prefer the angle of a toothbrush to help you clean hard to reach areas of your mouth, like around wisdom teeth.
Bristle Design (Multi-tufted design): Having bristles that point in different directions can help clean different parts of your mouth. I have not found that the larger "rubber" bristles add any benefit when it comes to cleaning ability although it sure does make it look good. For some patients a (specialized) toothbrush like and end tufted brush or a proxy brush can help tremendously to clean around dental bridges or between implants.
Children Sized: Kids teeth are smaller, so an age appropriate brush is always recommended for children's teeth. Most toothbrush brands offer "staged" toothbrushes with age ranges to help guide parents as to what to what size is best for their children.
Grip: Grip design on a toothbrush is helpful for people with limited hand strength or hand range of motion (dexterity.) Some brush handles offer a wider thumb pad or rubber grips intended to help patients better maneuver the brush around their mouth.
What about "specialized toothbrushes?"
1. End-Tufted Toothbrush: These are very helpful for patients that have dental bridges, dental implants, missing teeth, or large spaces between teeth that are not accessible with a traditional manual toothbrush
2. Proxy-Brush: With a variety of brush tips these are used to get into very narrow and small spaces such as under dental implants, around dental bridges and between croked teeth
3. Ultra-Soft bristles: for people with sensitive teeth and gums to prevent over brushing and gum recession.