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So Many Choices, So Little Time! A Dentist Talks Toothbrushes

April 25, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drwhite @ 6:02 pm

A variety of toothbrushesBelieve it or not, the earliest version of a toothbrush was actually just a wooden stick with frayed ends. Then in 1498, the first bristle type of toothbrush was invented in China and was made from hog hair. Good thing dental care has come a long way since then!

Today we have seemingly countless options of toothbrushes, which can make it overwhelming when you’re trying to choose the right one for you and your family. We know how important it is to your oral health to find the best tools, so we thought we’d write a blog about which ones are dentist recommended. Keep reading to learn more!


Soft or Hard Bristles?

It probably seems counter-intuitive, but soft bristles actually do a better job of cleaning your teeth and gums.

Hard bristles can cause the gums to recede, which exposes the roots of the teeth. Since the roots aren’t covered with enamel, they’re extra sensitive and also more susceptible to decay.

So, if you’re brushing with good technique for the recommended two minutes, soft bristles will get the job done right – without damaging your teeth or gums!

Large or Small Head?

This is largely (no pun intended) a matter of preference. However, be aware that small heads are generally easier to reach into the small corners of the mouth.

Some adults with particularly small mouths actually do better with a child’s toothbrush!

Electric or Manual?

Although an electric toothbrush will do a better job, it’s quite possible to do well with a manual brush – as long as you’re using good technique!

Having said that, here are the advantages of an electric:

  • They provide 6,000 – 30,000 brush strokes per minute, which is impossible to do with a manual brush.
  • An electric brush will automatically stay on for two minutes. This alone translates into better brushing!
  • Many people who have used an electric report that not only do their teeth feel much cleaner, but that they stay that way for longer. With this option, you won’t notice that “fuzzy” feeling as quickly.
  • Electric options are especially helpful for anyone who has dexterity issues, such as arthritis in the hands.
  • Some children can also benefit from an electric, especially if they’re in braces.

Important Factors To Keep in Mind

Remember, ultimately the best toothbrush is one that you’ll use. If your dentist is giving you a thumbs-up at every checkup, you’re probably doing just fine.

Also, the regardless of what type of brush you’re using, the angle, pressure and overall technique are just as important. Don’t hesitate to ask your family dentist or hygienist for feedback at your next checkup!

About the Author

A firm believer in the power of good hygiene habits, Dr. Melanie White always takes the time to educate her patients about how to take care of their teeth and gums. Good brushing is the foundation of her approach, which is to prevent dental problems rather than treat them. If you have any questions, she can be reached via her website or at (608) 882-4860.

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