When was the last time you actually put some thought in to selecting a toothbrush? People generally rest their decision making on the attractiveness of the color, design and the claims made by the manufacturers. The basic function of a toothbrush is to reach and efficiently clean most areas of the teeth.
A popular misconstrued belief among people is that their powered tooth brush is much better than a ordinary toothbrush. Although an electric tooth brush makes the process much easier, there is no evidence to suggest they are significantly better at cleaning your teeth.
What kind of Tooth Brush should I use?
• A soft bristled tooth brush should be chosen as hard bristles tend to cause gingival recession. Soft bristles are more flexible, clean beneath the gingival margin and do not damage your gums.
• The head should be small allowing it to effectively clean hard-to-reach areas of the teeth.
• The handle should allow comfortable gripping by the user.
• The shape of the neck or handle does not play any significant role (as claimed by manufacturers) in improving the effectiveness of a tooth brush and should be chosen on your preference.
• Powered tooth brushes (electric toothbrushes) hold no significant advantage over the manual ones as believed by many. Powered toothbrushes should be used for handicapped or bedridden patients, children, Patients with Orthodontic appliances, patients lacking fine motor skills although they can chosen just on personal preference.
When should I replace my tooth brush?
- A toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or when the bristles start to wear, whichever comes first.
- A toothbrush whose bristles wears inside a couple of weeks is indicative of overzealous brushing and should be discouraged as it causes gingival recession, bacteremia, painful ulceration of the gingiva.
- A toothbrush whose bristles show no sign of wear and tear even after 5-6 months indicates that the brushing is excessively gentle.
- Few toothbrushes have been introduced which are color coded by a dye which fades and reminds the person to change his/her brush.
- An important aspect which most people are unaware of is replacing their toothbrush after cold , flu, sore throat or mouth infection. The microbes can accumulate on the brush leading to reinfection.