According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease (second only to the common cold!). The good news is that it is largely preventable by visiting the dentist biannually for checkups and cleanings, limiting sugary beverages, and using the right toothbrush. But in an aisle filled with different shapes, colors, and specialties, the simple act of selecting a new toothbrush can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a dentist in Temple is here to help!
#1. Electric vs. Manual: Which Is Best?
For years, professionals and the public alike have debated whether manual or electric toothbrushes provide your teeth with a superior clean. While both options have their advantages, recent research has shown that electric alternatives do remove plaque and prevent gingivitis at a higher rate. However, there is a slight learning curve when transitioning from manual toothbrushes, so make sure to talk to your dentist before making the switch.
#2. Selecting the Right Size
Having different toothbrush sizes for different ages isn’t just a marketing ploy. While large, adult-sized options can effectively reach each surface of your mouth, they are unable to do the same for babies, toddlers, and children. To keep each member of your household’s teeth and gums in pristine condition throughout each stage of their life, make sure they are using a toothbrush designed with their age group in mind.
#3. Soft-Bristles Are the Way to Go
At first, opting for a hard-bristled toothbrush may seem like the obvious choice. After all, the firm bristles should provide your teeth with a deeper clean, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, they can even injure your gums! Opting for a soft-bristled alternative can effectively clean your teeth while simultaneously protecting your enamel and gums.
#4. How Different Shapes Affect Your Oral Care Regimen
When selecting a new toothbrush, few patients consider the shape of the head when making their decision. Both conventional and diamond-shaped options can remove food particles, plaque, and debris. However, the narrow tips on the diamond-shaped toothbrushes can effectively reach the back and sides of your molars. Since these areas are difficult to reach, and therefore have the highest likelihood of developing decay and cavities, this is an important factor to consider!
From firmness to size, there are a multitude of elements that influence which toothbrush is right for you. If you have any questions about which one is the best choice for your unique smile, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist at your next routine appointment!
About the Author
Dr. Richard Fossum earned his undergraduate degree before completing dental school at the University of Texas Dental Branch in 1995. Over the past 15 years, he has completed countless hours of continuing education, become a member of multiple notable organizations (including the American Dental Association), and provided world-class care to his community in Temple. If you are overdue for your bi-yearly visit, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 254-778-3900.