Your oral health significantly affects your overall health, therefore there is no underestimating the significance of oral health. There are potential chances of serious issues like diabetes and heart attack if gum diseases are not treated at the right time.
From an early age, we are told to brush twice a day for healthy teeth, but we often never know what toothbrush to use and the reasons for. Which brush is best for kids and which one works best for adults? To know and learn more about your toothbrush questions, keep on reading.
The earliest toothbrushes were made from natural materials like animal hair and twigs. In today’s world, we are given better, more convenient, and multiple choices. You can find toothbrushes varying from soft to hard bristles and electric ones.
What are the different toothbrush bristle types?
Bristles come in three basic varieties, ranging from soft to hard. Extra-soft, soft, and medium-soft bristles are the three types of soft bristles. Hard bristles, also known as firm bristles, are less common since dentists usually recommend soft bristles for sensitive teeth.
Besides the bristle softness, there are a few more things that contribute to the type of brushes, such as;
- Firmness of bristles
- Angle of bristles
- Number of layers of bristles
Which toothbrush is best: soft-bristle or hard-bristle toothbrush?
If you’re unsure about which brush to use, dentists recommend a soft bristle brush since forceful brushing might harm your gums and enamel. A toothbrush with soft bristles and many angled layers, as recommended by the American Dental Association, is a fantastic option for cleaning your teeth without causing damage.
If you find that the recommended toothbrush is too soft, there are a few things you may do to make it work for you.
- Get a brush with angled bristles so that it efficiently gets into nooks and crannies.
- Electric toothbrush with soft bristles is known to offer better cleaning.
- Multi-layered bristles is another way to enhance cleaning.
To avoid hard bristles, electric toothbrushes with soft bristles offer the necessary pressure to clean your teeth effectively.
How to choose between a soft or hard-bristled toothbrush
The optimal brush is one that you can use twice a day without causing any irritation to your teeth. You may choose from a variety of electric or manual toothbrushes, but doctors recommend choosing a soft bristle toothbrush, especially if you tend to brush your teeth aggressively. Putting extra pressure on your teeth will not make them clean better, instead, there is a risk of damaging your teeth or gums, which might lead to increased sensitivity. Brushing aggressively affects tooth enamel and the tissues surrounding your mouth over time.
Benefits and Features of an Electric Toothbrush
An electric toothbrush is an effective alternative for traditional brushes, only if chosen correctly. If you may ask, which electric toothbrush is the best? There is no single answer to it. Depending on individual needs, an electric toothbrush that offers good functioning and design is the one you should go for.
Electric toothbrushes provide innovative and improved brushing, but if it is your first time using one, it might be a bit intimidating. For effective oral care, it is better to consult your dentist when it comes to choosing an electric toothbrush.
Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes
Brushing your teeth is mostly for the purpose of cleaning them. Brush for at least 2 minutes, covering all of the tooth surfaces from front to back. It’s usually not the case that a manual brush is the best option when tracking time. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, helps you improve by enabling more control and skill.
A regular toothbrush might be difficult to manage or grasp for persons with certain medical issues like arthritis. An electric toothbrush, on the other hand, has a wider handle that provides a better grip. Electric toothbrushes come with interchangeable heads that make them simpler to suit varied mouth sizes and offer better control.
For instance, children’s electric toothbrushes have tiny bristle heads, but adult electric toothbrushes have bigger bristle heads. You can also choose the softness of the bristles on an electric toothbrush based on your personal needs.
Unlike traditional brushes, electric toothbrushes have multiple adjustment settings and a convenient power on or off button.
Features of Electric Toothbrushes
Electric toothbrushes come with myriad of useful features that help in enhancing the functionality, such as:
- Some electric toothbrushes are sonic, which means they offer vibrational side-by-side motion, while some are spinning, rotating back-and-forth motions.
- Few electric brushes have a built-in timer that auto turns off after two minutes.
- Some brands come with timers. You can set a timer for 30 seconds that give a light indication or beeping. It helps to know when it is time to move to other areas.
- Electric toothbrushes have rechargeable batteries that last a few weeks. It enhances portability and helps you not skip brushing, even if you are travelling.
What to look for while choosing the best electric toothbrush
While looking for an electric toothbrush, you must consider a few factors that contribute to better brushing.
- Ease of use.
- Comfortable grip.
- Easy-to-reach on/off switch.
- Brush size
- Bristle design
For enhanced oral health, it is suggested to brush twice a day. To add convenience and consistency, electric toothbrushes are better in comparison to traditional ones.
Is a Kids Electric Toothbrush Right for my Child?
The prime concern is to develop healthy oral habits in your kids from an early age. If an electric toothbrush helps in consistent brushing, there is no harm in it. However, electric toothbrushes are typically suitable for kids 8 years or older.
If you are going for a traditional toothbrush, make sure to get your hands on the size that perfectly fits your child’s mouth. For electric toothbrushes, you have various options to choose the head size that conveniently cover even hard-to-reach places.
You can let your children select their toothbrushes to encourage them to brush. Whatever works best for your child’s personality may be done to integrate good oral hygiene. Allow them to choose their own toothbrush, or have different brushes for different sessions. Make brushing enjoyable and simple for your children.
Choosing A Toothbrush For Your Baby
To achieve and maintain healthy oral habits, you can start incorporating brushing as soon as your child’s first teeth appear.
As per Healthy WA’s suggestion, wipe your child’s teeth twice with a damp cloth. It helps kids have a clean mouth and makes them familiar with brushing twice a day.
Transfer of cavity-causing bacteria from parent to child sets a stage for cavities or tooth decay, according to NSW health. The major cause of bacteria transfer is using the same utensils or food in children’s mouths. NSW health suggests avoiding such kinds of practises.
Choosing An Infant Toothbrush
While choosing a toothbrush for infants you must consider opting for a proper head size along with soft, nylon bristles. It helps in gentle cleaning without causing damage and irritation to the gums.
Incorporating brushing from the earliest age encourages kids to join you in brushing sessions. However, you must clean their teeth yourself, taking turns with them. To make brushing fun for kids, go for vibrant designs and colours with attractive handles.
It is not advisable to skip brushing often while your child is teething. For that very reason, there are finger or teething brushes specifically designed to offer gentle cleaning. They can be kept in the fridge before use. It helps in soothing teething mouths.
It is vital to clean around, and in between teeth effectively, in order to achieve and maintain excellent oral health. Interdental brushes may be used by persons who find flossing difficult. As an alternative to flossing, these brushes provide superior cleaning.
What Are Interdental Brushes?
Interdental brushes include wire-bound bristles with tiny heads, making them ideal for reaching into gaps between teeth. They’re simple to manoeuvre because of their adjustable handles and grip.
Choosing An Interdental Brush
You can find interdental brushes in variable sizes. Go for the one that best suits your mouth size and teeth. To achieve effective cleaning, your brush must reach between smaller spaces and without applying too much pressure, ensuring gentle cleaning.
For different gap sizes in-between teeth, you must use different brushes so that every corner or your teeth is clean.
Caring For Your Interdental Brush
Bacteria can build up on the bristles. It is better to clean your brush after cleaning each tooth. You can use an interdental brush a few times. Like a regular brush, interdental brushes require proper cleaning.
When is the time to change your interdental brush? If the bristles show signs of wearing or you find the wires bent, it is time to change your brush.
As per dentists’ recommendation, change your brush every three months, however, you must look out for wear and tear signs. Bristles on the brush collect germs. If you have had a cold, to prevent transferring of germs or reinfection, you must change your brush.
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