Picking The Best Toothbrush

Picking The Best Toothbrush
Posted on 06/29/2016

Picking The Best Toothbrush For You

Action powered electric. Ultra clean. Soft Bristle. Deep dental cleanse. Enamel health sensitive. Full head medium. Pro-flex reach. This list of different types of toothbrushes available at your West Bloomfield store could go on and on. And they all sound great, right? But which toothbrush is right for you and your family members?  

At Family Dentistry of West Bloomfield, we’re passionate about oral hygiene and want to do everything we can to help our families develop healthy habits. So, we’re de-mystifying the toothbrush mystery with these simple tips to turn to when choosing the right brush.

Toothbrush Style and Type

Families of West Bloomfield have so many choices of brush styles in today’s market. When it comes to style, some of what you choose revolves around your own personal likes and dislikes. But there has been some research on a few of the options available.

Electric vs. Manual

Our family dentistry experts confirm the numerous scientific studies out there that show that there is very little difference between the effectiveness of an electric toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush. Both manual toothbrushes and electric or battery powered brushes were equally effective at reducing plaque and preventing gum disease. However, you may prefer the vibration of the electric toothbrush or find it easier to reach all the surfaces of your teeth. And people with limited mobility or conditions such as arthritis might find the electric toothbrush easier to use. If you decide to choose an electric toothbrush, there is some evidence that having a brush called a rotation oscillation - where the bristles go around AND back and forth - is most effective. 

Handle Style
For the most part, choosing a handle style is about choosing a toothbrush that you or your children will love to use. If the color orange makes you happy, find an orange-handled brush. If your child loves the princesses from “Frozen,” grabbing an Elsa toothbrush might make her brush more often and longer. Making brushing fun is what it’s all about. There is one thing that you should look for in a handle. That’s one that has a non-slip grip and, for your children, a handle large enough for them to easily hang on to.

Size and Shape of Head

When choosing the size and shape of the head of your toothbrush, you want to basically choose one that fits. For most adults, a toothbrush head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall will be the easiest to use and the most effective, allowing easy access to all sides of your teeth. For children, or adults with a smaller mouth, look at a head that fits into the mouth and can brush one or two teeth at a time. In studies, the larger headed brushes were rated lower because they were just too big to be comfortable. These small-headed brushes can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth. The small heads on some electric toothbrushes are great as their tiny, fast-spinning heads can get in and get your teeth almost professionally cleaned.

Texture of Bristles

Our West Bloomfield doctors agree that a soft-bristled brush is the best for removing plaque and food particles from your teeth, while still being gentle on your gums. Depending on how forcefully you brush your teeth and how strong they are, medium- and hard-bristled brushes could actually damage the gums, root surface, and lead to increased sensitivity to heat, cold or certain foods/drinks.The flexible bristles also tend to clean better, getting into hard-to-reach spots. We recommend using bristles that have rounded tips for even more tooth protection when you brush and choosing any style of bristles you prefer, such as rippled, flat or trimmed to a dome shape.

If you run into the newer “natural” toothbrush varieties, we recommend steering clear. They usually cost more, wear out faster and are not ADA approved (see below). And, there is little research out there on their effectiveness or harmfulness. 

ADA Recommended

No matter what toothbrush you choose, your family dentistry highly recommends that it have the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This approval means that it has passed tests that have evaluated the brush for safety and effectiveness. For manual toothbrushes, this seal ensures that: the bristles will have safe tips; the bristles will not fall out of the toothbrush under typical brushing conditions; the handle will withstand normal use; and the toothbrush will effectively reduce plaque buildup and gum disease in their early stages. Electric toothbrushes also go through safety tests to prove that they are safe for your teeth and any dental hardware such as braces. 

If you have any other questions about selecting the best toothbrush, or need to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (248) 661-4000. You can always reach out to us using our Contact Us page about types of toothbrushes, our tooth cleaning process or our cosmetic dentistry services available to you and your West Bloomfield family. Once you’ve selected the perfect toothbrush that excites you and fits your mouth, be sure to use proper brushing techniques and brush twice a day to remove the plaque that causes cavities and gum disease. Then, replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear or every three months, whichever comes first. The doctors and staff of Family Dentistry of West Bloomfield look forward to your visit!