Times have certainly changed, especially when it comes to the humble toothbrush. Hundreds of years ago, people would brush their teeth with a frayed stick to prevent plaque and bacteria build-up, but thankfully, you do not have to resort to this less than appealing dental hygiene technique.
These days there are literally hundreds of toothbrushes on the market, but how do you know what toothbrush is best for your particular needs?
According to the American Dental Association, it is best to use a soft bristled brush as medium and hard bristled toothbrushes can damage the delicate gum tissue that surrounds your teeth. Some dentists are also recommending an electrical or mechanical toothbrush used twice a day to get rid of plaque and tartar. If you do not brush regularly, you are much more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
The average American will spend about 1,000 hours brushing his or her teeth during a lifetime, which means it is imperative to find a toothbrush that works well and feels comfortable. Although this can seem daunting, as there are so many different types available, there are some things to consider.
The type of toothbrush that you use is not nearly as important as how you long you brush. Most people brush less than a minute. Your dentist explains that to effectively reach and clean all quadrants of your mouth and to scrub off bacteria that causes gum disease and decay, you need to brush for at least two minutes two times a day.
As mentioned above your toothbrush should have a soft head. Select a head size that will fit in your mouth allowing you to brush one or two teeth at the same time. The average size of a toothbrush is one and a half inches long.
Power toothbrushes are a good choice, especially if you have issues such as arthritis or suffer from limited mobility. Some people feel better and say their teeth are cleaner with a mechanical toothbrush, which may make them brush more often and for longer periods. A powered toothbrush may also work better if you wear braces or have uneven or misaligned teeth.
It is important that you replace your toothbrush head or toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to fray or look worn; this is usually about every three months. A toothbrush that is worn or frayed will not clean your teeth as well as it did when it was new. It is also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after an illness to prevent re-infection.
If you are still having a difficult time selecting the best toothbrush for your particular needs, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can help you make a more informed decision.