When it comes to oral hygiene, research has proven that when a person is more comfortable with their toothbrush, they are much more likely to maintain a proper oral health plan. In the 1930s, when nylon bristles for toothbrushes were first introduced, the options were limited as far as choosing a toothbrush. Today, however, there are many choices to be made when it comes to selecting a toothbrush that meets your needs and achieves your oral hygiene goals. First and foremost, look for a toothbrush that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance displayed. This seal indicates that the toothbrush is approved to be safe and effective according to the ADA. Whether you prefer manual or electric, the following should be considered when picking a toothbrush:
- Type of bristle
- Dentist’s recommendation
Bristle varieties are typically either soft, medium, or hard nylon. Most dental experts will advise against hard nylon, this is because soft-bristle toothbrushes are both safe and comfortable for the mouth. Medium and hard bristles have been known to damage tooth enamel, gums, or root surfaces. Soft-bristled tooth brushes do a great job of removing the debris and plaque on the teeth. In addition, look for the bristles to have rounded tips on them to ensure the comfort and safety of your teeth and gums.
The size of the toothbrush head is also a big consideration when choosing a toothbrush that is right for you. The real goal as far as size is to make sure that the toothbrush can access all areas and fits in your mouth comfortably, so size will vary depending upon the size of your mouth. More often than not, smaller toothbrush heads are best. Remember, if you are using a disposable toothbrush, be sure to purchase a new one to replace the old one every 3-4 months. For electric toothbrushes, the removable toothbrush head should be replaced every 3-4 months as well. Finally, your dentist is really the best resource when it comes to consulting about toothbrush choices. Everyone’s mouth is different and your dental professional will be most equipped to point you in the right direction.