If you want to improve your oral health, does the type of toothbrush you use matter? The answer is “yes!” In this blog from Indian Valley Associates, we’ll discuss this topic in detail, and help you find the right toothbrush for your teeth.
Understanding Common Types Of Toothbrushes
First, let’s start with the most common types of toothbrushes. Most toothbrushes fall into one of the following categories:
- Manual toothbrushes – This is your standard toothbrush, with a rectangular head and a manual handle. There are some variations in shape and size, but all manual toothbrushes use pretty much the same design.
- Electric toothbrushes – Electric toothbrushes use a motor to spin a toothbrush head or vibrate the toothbrush, which can help improve the cleaning power of the brush.
- Children’s toothbrushes – These can be manual or electric. Children’s toothbrushes usually have a smaller bristle head, and a large, comfortable handle. This makes it easier for you to use the brush when you brush your child’s teeth, and for them to use when they start brushing on their own.
- Interdental brushes – These brushes look a lot different, with a head that almost looks like a pipe cleaner. They are mostly used to clean between braces, underneath dental bridges, and in other tight gaps. Most patients won’t use these, and can floss instead. But you may need an interdental brush in some situations.
Electric Toothbrushes Vs. Manual – What’s Better?
Both electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes are equally good, as long as you’re brushing properly. But that last part is crucial. That’s because not everyone uses the perfect brushing technique.
And studies have shown that electric toothbrushes make it easier to brush properly, and may help remove more plaque and tartar. So if you’ve got the budget for it, you may be able to keep your mouth a bit healthier if you go for an electric toothbrush. Look for an ADA-accepted model for the best results!
What Types Of Bristles Are Used In Toothbrushes?
The most common material for toothbrush bristles is nylon, though some models do use more sustainable materials like bamboo viscose, or even boar (pig) bristles. They come in three main varieties:
- Soft – Soft bristles are great for cleaning your teeth if you have gum recession or gum disease. They're soft and gentle on both your gums and your teeth, while still removing plenty of plaque.
- Medium – Medium bristles are a bit stiffer. This means they clean the teeth a little more effectively, but they can cause your gums to bleed if you brush too hard or brush excessively.
- Hard – Avoid hard-bristled toothbrushes. Hard bristles can damage your teeth and gums, especially if you tend to brush frequently and with a lot of force. Almost everyone is better off with a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush.
What Types Of Toothbrushes Do Dentists Recommend?
For manual toothbrushes, look for a comfortable handle, and a diamond-shaped bristle head with soft or medium bristles. This tapered diamond shape helps you reach the backs of your teeth and other areas more effectively.
For electric toothbrushes, find a model that’s ADA-accepted, and that has a rotating, circular head. This type of electric toothbrush is better than vibrating “sonic” toothbrushes. Sonic toothbrushes don’t actually move, but just vibrate. A toothbrush head that moves is more efficient for cleaning your teeth.
No matter what you choose, make sure you brush 2-3 times per day with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing regularly is the best way to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other common oral health problems.
Don’t Forget About Your Next Six-Month Checkup In Indian Valley!
Along with great at-home oral hygiene, six-month preventive visits with a dentist like Dr. Spencer Grossman help you keep your mouth healthy. So don’t wait. Whether you’re new to the area, looking for a new dentist, or are just overdue for a visit, contact us online or give us a call at (215) 723-5531 to schedule your consultation at Indian Valley Dental Associates today.