Are you losing your mind trying to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste? The choices can be overwhelming, but there is hope! With the right information it is not only possible, but easy, to pick the toothbrush and toothpaste that will have your teeth sparkling every day. When a patient of mine, Marcy came in to our Bellingham dental office and asked "Does it really matter what toothbrush I pick?" here's what I told her:
The first thing to remember is that the head of the toothbrush should be small enough to reach the teeth in the very back of your mouth. If it's uncomfortable sticking your brush back that far, you probably aren't getting your back teeth as clean as they should be. You've got 32 teeth to brush - better make sure you can reach them all!
The bristles are the key part of the toothbrush, because they scrape away plaque from your teeth. A soft toothbrush is alright if you have very sensitive teeth or mouth sores, but they do not clean as effectively as other brushes. Often the most expensive toothbrushes boast natural, soft bristles, but these brushes are only manufactured for a select group of people. A soft brush is actually not a good choice for people with regular, healthy teeth and gums. Hard brushes are designed for people with large, sturdy teeth and gums, but hard bristles may irritate the gums or break down tooth enamel. The best fit for most people is a brush with medium textured bristles, which are not irritating, but are strong enough to get the job done.
Electric toothbrushes are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable, and some studies have shown that they clean and remove plaque more effectively than regular brushes. They also tend to have smaller heads, beneficial for kids and people with small mouths. Electric toothbrushes are especially good for people with limited dexterity in their hands.
Many of the choices in the toothpaste world are up to personal preference. What flavor? Gel or paste? etc. The most important thing to remember with toothpaste is to make sure it contains fluoride. Fluoride helps protect teeth from plaque and decay, while making them stronger and more resistant to fracture.
Now you are equipped with the right information to find a toothbrush that fits your mouth, and toothpaste that's just right. As always, being well-informed will help you make better choices and stay healthier. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a professional cleaning with our Bellingham dentist!