May 8, 2018
It goes without saying that when it comes to getting a job done right, you need the right tools. Whether you’re making dinner, painting your house, or fixing a car, the right tools can make a huge difference in the final result. Keeping your teeth and gums clean is no exception! And as any family dentist will tell you, one of the main tools you need to do that is a great toothbrush.
The question is: Which toothbrush is the best? There’s certainly no shortage of options! Electric or manual? Soft bristles or hard? If you feel overwhelmed by this decision, keep reading to learn about what each brush does and get recommendations on which one you should choose!
Electric or Manual?
Dentists and hygienists are often asked, “Will an electric toothbrush do a better job cleaning my teeth?” The short answer is yes. However, if you’re doing well with your manual brush, an electric may not be necessary.
Having said that, here are some of the benefits of an electric:
- It provides 6,000-30,000 brush strokes per minute.
- It stays on for two minutes. This alone makes a big difference, as many people only use a manual brush for 45-60 seconds.
- If used correctly, an electric will not only clean your teeth better, but it will use less pressure doing it. This is a great feature for people with gum recession who are trying not to make it worse with too much brushing pressure.
- For anyone who has dexterity issues from arthritis or another condition, an electric brush is especially helpful because it does all the work!
Hard or Soft Bristles?
It may seem counter-intuitive, but dentists actually recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes. Hard bristles can damage the gum tissue and contribute to gum recession over time.
Especially if a patient has exposed roots, a hard-bristled brush can quickly wear away at those surfaces because they aren’t protected by enamel. This can lead to cold sensitivity and the loss of valuable tooth structure.
If you’re using good technique and brushing for two minutes, you’ll do a great job with a soft-bristled brush – without damaging your teeth and gums!
Large or Small Head?
This is largely (no pun intended) a matter of personal preference. Having said that, small heads are generally much easier to maneuver into the small spaces of the mouth. A brush with a large head isn’t very effective if it can’t reach all the surfaces of the teeth.
Some adults with particularly small mouths even find that they do better with a child’s brush!
And don’t forget that technique is just as important as the brush you use, so don’t hesitate to ask your dentist or hygienist for feedback at your next checkup!
About the Author
Dr. Marco Caballeros is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who understands the power of good preventative practices at home. His goal is to help patients be as successful as possible with their hygiene habits because he knows that it prevents the need for extensive dental work down the road. If you have any questions, he can be reached via his website or at (972) 418-8461.
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