Types of toothbrushes

Continuing with our proper toothbrushing series, it is imperative that one use the proper toothbrush to maintain normal health of the teeth and gums. The main factors to remember with respect to toothbrushes are:

1. Type of bristles
2. Size and shape of toothbrush head
3. Grip of toothbrush
4. Mode of operation : Electric or Manual

To select the right toothbrush, let’s get to know the different types.

Types of Toothbrush Bristles

One thing that has been neglected is the importance of the toothbrush bristle on the brush you use. A brush with a comfortable, and effective bristle, is a major factor in helping people be more likely to continue with a healthy habit of brushing your teeth. The next time you buy a toothbrush, be sure to read the package to find out what type of bristles it has. There are several types of toothbrush bristles designed to meet different needs.
Soft, Medium and Hard (firm) bristled toothbrushes

Most dentists recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes, and extra-soft bristled toothbrushes for anyone who has sensitive teeth or gums, or is recovering from a dental procedure. Some people simply prefer soft bristles. But many people who don’t have sensitive teeth or gums prefer firmer bristles because they believe them to be more effective for removing plaque and stains from the teeth, though that is not the case. In many cases, harder bristles can damage your tooth enamel and make it possible for more cavities and other dental problems.

Size and shape of toothbrush head
Size and shape of Toothbrush head

Toothbrush technology has come a long way, and you can choose from toothbrushes with a variety of bristle types(shapes). For example, some toothbrushes bristles feature a cup shape for cleaning around teeth, a diagonal pattern of bristles to clean the sides of the teeth and along the gum line, or mix in a number of longer bristles that can help clean between the teeth. Brush heads also available in different sizes for different sizes mouths and brushing styles. Choose the one that best fits one’s mouth best. A smaller head may be better in this respect. Many a time, toothbrushes with flexible necks are also available. Generally, a flexible and agile brush will be more useful than one that is just a single piece of solid plastic. At the same time this allows you to press a little harder on the teeth as the brush will bend to compensate when you are pushing too much.

Grip of toothbrush

Although the grip of a toothbrush is one of the least looked at part, it can pay a role in providing good oral cleansing. A grip that is ergonomic is preferred, as would be one with rubber grips at required parts, as it would take away some of the fatigue felt by the hand while gripping the toothbrush. It also helps to direct forces better.

Mode of operation

manual vs powered toothbrush
Electric or powered toothbrushes were introduced in the 1950s. Initially they were seen as a gimmick and useful only for bed ridden or geriatric people. It’s availability and cost were also matters of concern. Although manual toothbrushes are much more widely in use, electric toothbrushes are slowly being made available more easily and the prices for the same have come down drastically over the recent years. Actually most dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush as the motor ensures that you effectively brush your teeth many more times in the same duration without placing too much pressure on the tooth.

Choosing your next toothbrush doesn’t have to require a PhD, but you should have some knowledge in the different types of bristles in order to choose the right one. Check the box and choose according to your preference and the bristles effectiveness. If you are still unsure, check with your dentist and ask for their recommendation.

Trivandrum Smiles believes the best toothbrush to be soft, flexible and electric.

Besides being in the habit of brushing your teeth on a daily basis, replacing your toothbrush is equally as important. An older toothbrush can actually hurt your oral health more than it is helping it. A good rule of thumb is to replace your manual brush or electric toothbrush head every 6 months. This way you ensure a brush where the bristles are germ-free and similar to the condition they were in when new.