We might be biased, but there’s nothing as attractive as a healthy smile. But many of us take our toothbrush for granted. We go to the store and pick one that’s on sale or has our favorite color. But, have you ever wondered what the ideal toothbrush is for you? Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones? Are soft bristles more effective than hard ones for eliminating plaque?
We can’t overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene practices. Gum disease is one of the major risk factors for developing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Other reasons for using the right toothbrush include:
- Removing plaque from your teeth.
- Getting rid of any harmful bacteria that promote gum disease.
- Stimulating your gums.
The right toothbrush helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. By using it, you should find that:
- Bad breath isn’t a consistent issue.
- Teeth are free of debris.
- Gums do not bleed or hurt when you brush.
- Gums that are pink.
Electric or manual?
Obviously, powered toothbrushes are more expensive than their manual counterparts. However, powered can be particularly useful for people with dexterity problems. For example, children, the elderly and/or people with disabilities find that powered toothbrushes may require less effort to use than manual ones. Also, individuals who wear dental appliances may find a powered toothbrush easier to use.
Studies have shown that both electric and manual toothbrushes are equally effective when used correctly. The key is that you use it, whichever one you select.
You should only buy a toothbrush that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. You then can be assured that independent scientific experts have objectively evaluated your chosen brush.
A soft-bristled toothbrush is the type of toothbrush bristle recommended by the ADA. It also is usually the most comfortable for your mouth. A soft-bristled toothbrush is also typically the best choice if you have weak enamel (outer layer of the tooth), sensitive gums, or wear braces or a retainer.
It’s good practice to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. As the bristles become worn and frayed, the effectiveness of your brush is reduced. Get into the habit of checking your toothbrush regularly for signs of wear. You may need to replace your brush for frequently than every three or four months. Bear in mind that kid’s toothbrushes often need to be replaced more frequently than adult ones. Children tend to be harder on their brushes than adults.