choosing the best toothbrush
The pros and cons of electric and disposable
You can't overestimate the importance of good hygiene - not only for dental health, but for your overall wellbeing. In fact, gum disease is a major risk for the development of serious health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.
From the time we're young, we're taught that using a toothbrush regularly is one of the best ways to keep our teeth and gums healthy. But which toothbrush is best?
There are certain characteristics that you should look for in whatever toothbrush you choose, regardless of whether it is manual or powered.
Size. The best toothbrush head for you should allow you easy access to all surfaces of your teeth. For most adults, a toothbrush head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall will be the easiest to use and the most effective. Though there are larger toothbrush heads available, you may find that it is difficult to maneuver them to clean certain hard to reach areas, such as the sides and backs of your molars. The toothbrush should have a long enough handle so you can comfortably hold it in your hand.
Bristle variety. When you purchase a manual toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric toothbrush, you will be able to select a toothbrush with a soft, medium, or hard nylon bristle. For the vast majority of people, a soft-bristled will be the most comfortable and safest choice. Depending on how vigorously you brush your teeth and the strength of your teeth, medium and hard bristled brushes could actually damage the gums, root surface and protective tooth enamel. For even more tooth protection when you brush, be sure the bristles on the brush you select have rounded tips.
Disposable or electric? As long as you clean your teeth regularly using proper brushing technique, you should be able to reduce plaque build-up and keep your gums healthy with either a manual or powered toothbrush.
Cost. Although there are some more affordable powered toothbrush options being sold, electric toothbrushes cost more than manual toothbrushes. In addition to the initial expense of an electric toothbrush, you will need to replace the removable toothbrush head as often as you replace your manual toothbrush. Of course, if using an electric toothbrush helps you keep your teeth cleaner, you may make up for the expense.
Likability. When it comes down to it, the best toothbrush for you is going to be the one you're most likely to use -- and use well. Some people may not like the vibrating feeling of a powered toothbrush. Others might find an electric variety easier to use to clean all tooth surfaces. This may be especially true for people with conditions that limit mobility, such as painful arthritis. If you enjoy using your toothbrush, you're more likely to brush for the recommended length of time -- two minutes. Some powered varieties even have a built-in timer to let you know when you've devoted enough time to brushing.