Maintaining good mouth health comes down to a number of factors. From what you eat to how often you brush and floss, there are many things that can affect how healthy your teeth are. One of the easiest things to do to keep your oral hygiene in top form is to choose the right toothbrush! But when walking down the toothbrush aisle it is easy to get overwhelmed and have no idea which one is actually the best.
Tips for choosing the right toothbrush
When choosing the right toothbrush for your teeth, it’s not necessarily as simple as walking into the store and grabbing whatever’s cheap or on sale. There are a few key points to look for when choosing a good toothbrush, and we’ll go over those here.
1. Look for soft bristles
Though it might be tempting to look for a toothbrush with stiff bristles to get in between your teeth and clean down to your gums, hard bristles actually have the opposite effect. A stiff bristled brush can hurt your gums by scratching the tissue and it can wear down tooth enamel. A soft bristled brush will allow you to push hard enough to clean your teeth, but not so hard that you will damage your teeth or gums.
2. Choose the right size
If the head of your toothbrush is too big to adequately fit into your mouth it won’t be able to reach and clean the teeth in the back of your mouth, where bacteria is more likely to thrive.
You might need to try a couple different sizes or shapes of toothbrush heads before finding which one is best for you. Make sure you look in the mirror when brushing to ensure your toothbrush hits your back teeth well. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to switch it out for one that fits your mouth better.
3. Brush gently
While it’s easy to think that more pressure equals a better clean, the opposite is more likely to be true. Brushing too hard can cause damage to your tooth enamel leading to sensitive teeth and gums. Instead you want to use a soft bristled toothbrush with gentle but even pressure to effectively clean your teeth. Flossing when you brush will help clean in between your teeth in the spots where your bristles don’t quite reach.
4. Replace it often
Changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months can help you maintain good mouth health as well. Using a toothbrush whose bristles have started to spread can cause teeth to not get effectively cleaned. You also want to change your toothbrush after any time you’ve had a cold to avoid any cross contamination.
5. Make it fun
If you’re looking to help encourage a child to brush their teeth regularly, the easiest way is to make it fun for them. Allowing kids to choose their own manual or powered toothbrush with a design or character that helps them see brushing as a fun task is worth it. Brushing and flossing their teeth regularly is the best way to help set a child up for great mouth health as they grow older.
6. Go electric
While a manual toothbrush is the common go-to for most people, an electric toothbrush is actually something worth considering. Regardless of your budget, there is an option out there for you. Studies have shown that the pulsing and vibration of an electric toothbrush remove plaque much better than a standard manual one.
While there are many reasons to switch to an electric toothbrush, including how well it cleans your teeth, one of the most common reasons might be to help compensate for any reduced range of motion in your hands, like from arthritis or an injury.
The right toothbrush needs the right habits
Regardless of which toothbrush you choose, it’ll never do you any good just sitting on the counter. A toothbrush is only as good as the oral health routine that comes with it, so adopting a healthy schedule of brushing teeth and daily flossing is the best way to keep your teeth healthy. While eating foods that are good for your teeth and not adopting any habits that are bad for them are great choices, it all comes down to the basics of brushing and flossing on a daily basis and seeing your dentist for regular check ups and cleanings.