Well Being

From the Other Side of the Drill #3: How to pick a toothbrush

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Dental Sink

What's with all the different kinds of toothbrushes I can buy?

Melynda (My dentist and my lovely Wife):
“Standard” Toothbrushes offer you extra-soft, soft, medium and hard bristles. This is just marketing. Everyone should use a soft bristled brush. The soft, or extra-soft, bristles are the only kind that are flexible enough to get into the space between your gums and teeth where plaque loves to hang out. Some people say their teeth just don't feel as clean if they don't use a harder bristled brush. The coarser (and stiffer) bristles do nothing to get your teeth cleaner. They can, however, lead to gum recession and wearing away of your enamel. Eek.

Then there are electric toothbrushes, which are good, but are not that much different from a “standard” one. The main benefit of an electric brush comes from the fact that most models have a timer, so when you're using one you're much more likely to brush for the full two minutes that you're supposed to. They are fantastic for unmotivated brushers (or people like my husband who just eat up gadgets) and people who don't have quite as much manual dexterity as the average adult.

Kids' toothbrushes are good for a couple reasons. One, they're smaller and better for hands that are smaller and may not have the matured fine motor skills of an adult. It's also much more likely that a child will use a brush that he or she has picked out and likes the color/design/cartoon character on the handle.

[tags] how to, pick, toothbrush, dental, teeth [/tags]