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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choosing a Toothbrush

As unimportant it might sound, choosing a toothbrush is an important part of oral hygiene. However people don’t tend to put any thought while selecting a toothbrush.

They generally tend to go by the color, design or attractiveness of the toothbrush or fall prey to the advertising gimmicks by the manufacturers. Most of the so called “advanced technologies” that are used to create a better toothbrush are nothing but advertising gimmicks to attract the public. The basic functionality of the toothbrush is to effectively clean all areas of the tooth.

Another popular misconception among people is that their powered tooth brush is much better than an ordinary toothbrush. Although a powered tooth brush makes the process much simpler, there is no substantial evidence to suggest that they are significantly better at cleaning your teeth than your plain toothbrush.

What kind of Tooth Brush should I use?

Now, moving on what you should look for in a toothbrush while buying. Again, I would like to emphasize not to fall prey to manufacturers claims and advertising gimmicks.

• Choose a soft bristled brush over the hard bristled one as the hard ones tend to cause gingival recession. Softer bristles mean more flexibility, no damage to gums and better cleaning beneath the gingival margin.

• The head of the brush must be reasonably small which will allow it to clean difficult areas of the teeth.

• The handle should ideally allow comfortable gripping by the user.

• The design or shape of the neck or handle of the brush is not significant to effective brushing (as often claimed by manufacturers). You should choose what suits you.

• Powered tooth brushes do not hold any significant advantage over the manual brushes as thought by many. Electric brushes are recommended for handicapped or bedridden patients, children, patients with orthodontic appliances, patients lacking fine motor skills although they can still be chosen just on personal preference.

When should I replace my tooth brush?

Now, moving on to when you must replace your brush. It’s commonly seen people using their same old brush till the bristles wear and that still does not get them to change their brush.

According to ADA (American Dental Association) a toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months or when the bristles show signs of wear, whichever occurs first.

If you notice your toothbrush wearing too soon such as under a month, this is indicative of overzealous brushing and should be avoided as it causes damage to gums, bacteremia and painful ulceration of the gingiva.

Similarly, a toothbrush which does not show any sign of wear and tear even after 5-6 months indicates that the brushing is excessively gentle and you should try addressing this issue.

You can try the new toothbrushes which are color coded by a dye which reminds you of changing your brush by fading. Another important aspect which most people are commonly alien to is the need to replace their toothbrush after cold, flu, sore throat or mouth infection as the harmful microorganisms can accumulate on the brush leading to re-infection.

About the author:
DentalHealthSite.Com – dental care weblog with the latest news and procedures in the dental industry. Read the articles on tooth loss and yellow teeth.

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