The toothbrush is, of course, an essential tool for keeping your teeth clean and plaque-free, but there are many types of toothbrushes available for use. The structure of your mouth is very intricate, including soft gum tissue, hard enamel, various crevices and spaces where food can hide, etc – and every person’s mouth is different, and responds differently to various types of brushes. How do you pick the right toothbrush for you?
If you get perfect dental check-up scores, do not have any type of gum sensitivity issues nor any other dental problems, you can probably keep your present hygiene routine. An over-the-counter toothbrush will normally suffice for people with normal gums and teeth if you are using it properly. If you have a history of dental and gum issues, special care is needed. You may need more than one toothbrush (different sizes and shapes of brush heads and tips) to adequately clean between your teeth and restorative material, such as a specialty brush shaped to accommodate dental restorations.
What about electric toothbrushes? There are many toothbrushes on the market, available both over-the-counter and from your dentist, which advertise a much deeper cleaning than what a manual toothbrush can provide. Keep in mind that an inexpensive battery-operated toothbrush often lacks the torque (twisting power) needed to adequately clean your teeth, remove plaque and remove biofilm; If you have children who refuse to brush their teeth, an electric toothbrush might be a fun way to encourage proper oral hygiene!
The more advanced electric toothbrushes, with proper technique, can clean your teeth more effectively than manual brushes. Manual brushing often does not do a good enough job at removing plaque than electric toothbrushes from your dentist (prescription electric toothbrushes like Rotadent, what I recommend to my patients has micro-filaments bristles with different tips). These brushes allow more advanced brushing techniques with different brush head attachments to accommodate different parts of the mouth, and have the necessary torque to properly clean your oral environment. If you have any of the following conditions, you should equip yourself with a better toothbrush for better oral health: orthodontic braces, gum problems, dental implants, dental bridges, arthritis, etc…
No matter what type of toothbrush you have, remember that it is necessary to spend two minutes brush at least twice a day, and after meals. The food caught between your teeth can start producing harmful bacteria only 5 minutes after eating (which is why you should bring a toothbrush to school or work every day)! Because every mouth is different, and certain tooth angles (and dental work) require special brushing or special brushes, consult with your dental professional. Besides brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, rinsing, and irrigation are all important steps to get your mouth’s environment as squeaky clean as it can be. It is a lot of work to keep yourself in top condition, but it will become second nature. You deserve paying your mouth so much attention – for your own health!