Everyone has at least one toothbrush, and while some people are not too concerned about choice, the right toothbrush is important. With so many manufacturers claiming their toothbrush will remove plaque and clean your teeth thoroughly, it can be quite confusing when faced with row upon row of multi-coloured toothbrushes of all shapes and sizes. Here is a guide to help you choose the right one, and a few tips on how to take care of that essential toiletry tool.
The general consensus in the dental profession is that soft bristles remove more plaque and food particles, so for an adult, a small to medium sized head is recommended. Round-ended nylon bristles are effective, and some have angled bristles in opposite directions, which does help remove stubborn debris. Hard bristle toothbrushes can cause the gums to bleed, and should be avoided.
Toothbrush development has brought us all kinds of innovative designs. From angled heads that enable us to get to those difficult places at the back of the mouth to contoured handles which can help people with physical disabilities. The rule of thumb is to find a toothbrush that suits you. It might take a few attempts before you feel comfortable with your choice.
If the bristles are frayed, then they will not clean efficiently. For this reason, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or sooner, if you notice excessive wear.
Some people think that their toothbrush can be just left to the side when finished with. This is not recommended, as microorganisms can cause infections, especially if a person has an ulcer or cut on the gums. If the bristles are touching any surface, this increases the chance of contamination. The toothbrush should be rinsed thoroughly, and then stored upright in a rack, or glass, which allows it to dry out properly.
Always rinse your toothbrush before use, as bacteria can accumulate on the bristles overnight, also the wet bristles will activate the toothpaste to work more effectively.
There are times when we might be tempted to share a toothbrush with a family member, but this is not hygienic, as saliva can carry bacteria and viruses, not to mention that tooth decay is considered an infectious disease, and can be passed on via a toothbrush.
These are fine, as they increase the circular motion of the head, although it is not necessary to use a powered toothbrush, if you brush properly with a regular version. Correct positioning is essential, and by allowing the head to oscillate along the gum line, your teeth will be properly cleaned. The head of a powered toothbrush should be replaced as often as a regular brush, or earlier if excessive wear occurs.
At Booragoon Dental Clinic, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, and are always happy to offer advice about oral hygiene, so if you have any dental issues make an appointment to see one of our dentists.
^Insured patients should contact their health insurer to discuss their health fund rebates for proposed dental treatment.
*Please note that due to legal obligations all new patients must have an initial examination with their first scale and clean.