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Fareed Amod – What should I look for in a toothbrush?

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Healthy teeth and gums prevent oral problems arising and they’re crucial for our well-being. Brushing your teeth daily is essential in keeping your teeth and gums in good condition.

Significantly, new toothbrushes remove up to 30% more plaque than one that is three months old. Therefore, regularly replacing your toothbrush is essential for maintaining a consistently high level of oral hygiene. We recommend that you should replace your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles begin to show wear, whichever comes first. This is important not only to ensure that the toothbrush is effective at cleaning your teeth, but also because the bristles can collect germs over a period of time.

However, with so many toothbrush types on the market these days, it can be tricky to decide which one is the most suitable. You may select your new toothbrush based on your favourite brand, or maybe you choose one according to the handle’s colour, or the one on the special at the supermarket. If you are driven by the above motivation, we here at Crown Dental Studio want to advise on some tips to consider when purchasing a toothbrush.

Head Size: While there is a range of brush heads available, a small to medium size brush will have better access to all the hard-to-reach parts of your mouth. For this reason, a round headed toothbrush is also useful. However, the actual size of one’s mouth must also be considered. Children will need smaller toothbrushes than adults.

Bristle Design: Bristle design is equally important when it comes to choosing your toothbrush. An increasing number of manufacturers are now producing heads with varying size bristles, which is very useful for getting into the deeper gaps between teeth and those hard-to-reach locations. It’s also important to note that a tapered design is gentler on our gums.

Bristle Firmness: Many people wrongly believe that firmer bristles will do a better job of cleaning teeth. In fact, firm bristles can actually damage your teeth and gums. Soft to medium strength bristles are just as effective at cleaning your teeth and do so without irritating your gums or causing them to shrink contributing to a receding gum line. There’s also the risk that if you brush over-enthusiastically you could damage your teeth enamel. On the other hand, very soft bristles might not tackle plaque effectively, so unless you have gum problems, it’s best to go for medium.

Handle Grip: Considering that you should brush your teeth for at least the recommended two minutes every time, a handle with a comfortable and secure grip is a priority. There are lots of handle varieties available so just pick whichever makes cleaning your teeth easiest.

Electric toothbrush: The fast rotations of the head of an electric toothbrush can do an exceptional job of cleaning your teeth. If you have limited manual dexterity, then an electric toothbrush will help you to achieve an adequate level of cleanliness.

In addition, electric toothbrushes often come with a built-in timer which helps to ensure that you are brushing for the recommended time for proper cleaning. It’s also a useful way to encourage children to brush for the correct amount of time. Manual toothbrushes are mainly disposable, and most can be recycled. You can throw it away when necessary and replace with a clean new one. Unlike electric toothbrushes, you do not have to stick with the same type of toothbrush.

Of course, no matter what toothbrush you buy, it’ll only be as effective as your brushing technique. So, be sure to use gentle circular or oval motions along all your teeth and gumline surfaces. If in doubt we will be happy to make recommendations as to the right toothbrush, for each individual patient. If you would like more information on effective daily hygiene practices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

Crown Dental Studio is one of the few truly 24-hour dental practises in Durban as this is not limited to emergency dentistry treatment.

T: +27 81 207 8621

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