With so many different types of toothbrushes on the market today, you might be confused about what kind of toothbrush is best for you. The good news is that there are many toothbrushes to choose from, and you’re sure to find one that will meet your individual needs. Here’s a quick guide:
The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval
First, look for a toothbrush that has the ADA Seal of Approval. To gain such a seal, a toothbrush must meet the following requirements:
- Bristles will have safe, non-damaging tips
- Handle will be sturdy under normal conditions
- Bristles will not fall out
- The toothbrush will reduce plaque and gum disease
Electric toothbrushes must also:
- Undergo safety testing and clinical trials
- Prove safe for use on teeth, mouth tissue and dental hardware
Manual or Electric?
While many manufacturers claim that their toothbrushes are superior to others on the market, that’s not necessarily always the case. Many scientific studies have concurred that:
1) There is not a significant difference between most electric and manual toothbrushes, when it comes to removing plaque and preventing gum disease.
2) However, rotation oscillation toothbrushes, which have heads that spin both around and back and forth, are more effective than manual toothbrushes.
Pros of Manual Brushes
- Manual toothbrushes are much less expensive than electric versions.
- You may be more likely to replace the brush often, which keeps bacteria low.
- Manual toothbrushes can be easily packed for travel, use at school or office or other events, since they don’t require recharging.
- If you purchase a brush that you dislike, you can inexpensively replace it with another style.
Pros of Electric Brushes
- Some people feel that they are able to brush more effectivelywith an electric toothbrush.
- Many electric brushes have timers to ensure proper brushing time.
- People who tend to brush too vigorously may damage gums and teeth; electric toothbrushes create the movement for you, so you don’t have to worry about brushing too hard.
- Kids may feel that electric toothbrushes are more fun, making it more likely that they will be excited about brushing twice every day.
Types of Bristles
While your dentist can certainly give you specific guidelines, for most people a soft-bristle brush is best. Hard bristles can cause problems for sensitive gums and mouth tissue and may even damage your teeth. It’s not necessary to scrub teeth vigorously; you just need to remove plaque and food particles.
Size of Brush
Toothbrushes come in an array of sizes to fit every mouth. Tiny toddler-sized brushes have short handles and small heads. Adult brushes typically have fairly standard handle lengths, but the head sizes vary. You’ll want to make sure that the toothbrush head fits comfortably in your mouth, and can easily maneuver around back teeth.
What Feels Best
Ultimately, once you’ve found an ADA-Approved toothbrush, it’s all about your personal preference. Choose a toothbrush that:
- Feels comfortable
- Doesn’t cause irritation to mouth tissue and gums
- Makes brushing pleasant
- Fits within your budget.