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Guide to Choosing a Toothbrush
Walk down any toothbrush aisle in any store and it's easy to see why choosing the right toothbrush could seem overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from, and each claims to be the absolute best for your oral health. This question comes up often, especially since toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. That means, on average, a consumer will find themselves asking “which toothbrush” at least four times a year. Rather than simply reaching for your favorite color or the best marketing ploy, how do you answer the question of “which toothbrush is the right toothbrush?”
Start with comfort
Purchasing a toothbrush is committing to holding it at a minimum of twice a day for the next three months. Because of this, choosing a toothbrush with a comfortable handle is necessary. Choose one that fits both the grip and the mouth. It is important to pick a toothbrush that is the right size for the user.
Choosing a toothbrush that is uncomfortable to hold or that slips from the hand is setting the user up for failure from the start. Grips come in a variety of styles, from non-slip to flexible necks. Making sure the brush fits the hand will go a long way in proper use. A toothbrush that is unpleasant will be discarded and forgotten. Either the user will find themselves back in the toothbrush aisle or skipping the twice-daily commitment.
Manual vs. electric
One quick way to narrow down the selection is to decide between manual and electric options. Both styles are effective when used correctly, but there are key advantages to going electric.
For those who have difficulty brushing, an electric powered toothbrush may be the perfect solution. Carpal tunnel and arthritis are two conditions that limit mobility and may make brushing teeth a difficult task. Electric toothbrushes have also been shown to reduce plaque by 21% and gingivitis by 11% after three months (https://www.cochrane.org/CD002281/ORAL_poweredelectric-toothbrushes-compared-to-manual-toothbrushes-for-maintaining-oral-health). This may be in part because they simplify the task, promote proper technique and often come with built-in timers ensuring the user brushes long enough.
Soft, medium or hard
While comfort is important, one type of bristle is recommended by dentists more often than the others: soft. The reason for this is that a medium or hard bristled brush could damage your teeth. For overeager brushers who bear down, the medium and hard bristles put too much pressure on the mouth. They can scratch the gums and tooth enamel, putting them at risk of infection.
Choosing a toothbrush
At the end of the day, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right toothbrush. Whether the determining point is cost, comfort or best oral hygiene, it is important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when it shows signs of wear.
There are many options available that come in every imaginable color. Don’t spend too much time fretting over the perfect toothbrush. Spend that time instead brushing your teeth and keeping them at their best between dentist appointments.
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