Choosing The Right Toothbrush
“Hey Doc, can you suggest to me the best toothbrush?” I am pretty sure that you must have asked this question to your dentist?
No! Then Picture this - You are at your local supermarket, looking at a wide range of toothbrush options and confused as to which one you should choose. Seems familiar, doesn’t it? Being dentists, we are happy when our patients want to know which is the best toothbrush to buy for themselves. It shows us that you take your dental hygiene seriously and want the best amenities available. I wish I could just mention a few brand names of toothbrushes and then off you go, enjoy toothbrushing. But trust me on this, it isn’t that easy to choose the best toothbrush for you.
These are some tips that would help in choosing the right kind of toothbrush for you:
SIZE: There is a popular saying “ the bigger, the better”. Sorry! This statement doesn’t hold true when you are buying a toothbrush. The problem I have seen often is that a large sized toothbrush doesn’t reach the sides and back of your molar teeth, especially the wisdom tooth. Also, some areas of your teeth won’t get cleaned effectively if you are using a larger sized toothbrush. I recommend a toothbrush with a small head size so that it can reach the back of your teeth comfortably. Also, the toothbrush should have a long handle so that it is comfortable to hold.
BRISTLE VARIETY: Always buy a toothbrush with soft bristles. Individuals who have learnt proper tooth brushing techniques may consider medium bristled toothbrushes. Hard bristles are a strict no. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage your tooth enamel, root surface and gums.
Bristles also comes in different patterns. One can choose whichever pattern they like. Irrespective of the claims made by the manufacturer, bristle pattern doesn’t play that significant a role in the removal of built-up plaque on the tooth surface.
MANUAL OR ELECTRIC: As long as you can regularly brush your teeth effectively twice a day, using proper technique and reduce the plaque build-up you can use either a manual or electric toothbrush. But over time I have observed that patients who use electric toothbrushes regularly are more successful in maintaining good dental hygiene.
One needs to understand that the cost of an electric toothbrush is many times more than a manual toothbrush. Nowadays electric toothbrushes are available in different price ranges starting from as low as 600 IN to as high as 60000 INR. If you are going to start using an electric toothbrush for the first time, my recommendation is that you buy something which isn’t too expensive for you. Start with a basic one, and see whether you are comfortable with the vibrating motion of the electric toothbrush. If you like it and are using it religiously then maybe you can consider upgrading to a better one with time.
I would recommend that people belonging to the following category should shift to electric tooth brushing, as the benefits are far more in comparison to the money you invest:
- Geriatric age group (senior citizens)
- Kids below 9 years of age
- Individuals with mobility issues like arthritis, cerebral palsy, etc
- Patients undergoing braces treatment
- Individuals who have undergone significant dental treatment.
A point to mention is that even after choosing the best toothbrush (manual), one needs to spend some time learning the proper brushing technique. Also, no matter which kind of toothbrush you use, it is preferred that you change it every 3 months. You can always ask your dentist to help you with choosing the right toothbrush for you, or try a few different ones before deciding which one is best suited for you.
I hope this information will help your selection process! Happy toothbrushing!