Most people know that it is important to brush their teeth twice a day, but choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste can be overwhelming, given the sheer number and variety of toothbrushes and pastes available. However, dentists recommend following a few simple guidelines to make the choice easier.
The purpose of a toothbrush is to remove food particles and plaque from the teeth and gums. In order to do this, the toothbrush needs to be able to get into hard to reach places. This means that a toothbrush with a smaller head is almost always more effective. Head size has nothing to do with the person’s age or gender, nor does it have anything to do with the size of the mouth. Choosing a toothbrush with a smaller head will allow the brusher to reach every corner of the mouth, and contrary to popular belief, a brush with softer bristles will actually be more effective. Toothbrushes are generally labeled according to size and bristle softness, so choosing a toothbrush should be as simple as finding the right label in your preferred colour. Every three months, and whenever the bristles become worn or frayed, you should buy a new toothbrush.
When it comes to powered toothbrushes, there are not necessarily any major advantages. Proper brushing with a manual toothbrush will be just as effective as brushing with an electric or sonic toothbrush. However, for individuals who do not properly brush, or who have difficulty brushing for health reasons or due to braces or other hardware, powered toothbrushes may indeed prove more effective. Powered toothbrushes are programmed to brush according to dentists’ recommendations, and are superior to manual toothbrushes in removing stains. The price of a powered toothbrush can be prohibitive, however, and so it is important to remember that the best toothbrush on the market is one that is used properly. For questions regarding proper use, consult your dentist for a personalised approach.
With so many toothpastes to choose from, the easiest way to find the one that is right for you is to talk to your dentist. He or she will tell you if there is a particular area you need to focus on, be it tartar control or desensitizing. A dentist will also recommend choosing a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as fluoride has been proven to prevent cavities.
There is also some personal preference involved. Some people like the taste of spearmint toothpaste, others cool mint, and some bubblegum flavored toothpaste. Most toothpastes come in a variety of flavors, making it easy to choose one that tastes good and meets the recommendations of a dentist.