Patients often ask for advice when selecting a toothbrush. There’s a short answer to that question: Select the toothbrush that you will use most often! Toothbrushing is critical to your overall personal oral hygiene. Each time you brush, you remove food and plaque ~ the sticky layer of bacteria which leads to irritated gums. Plaque that is left on the teeth can harden into tartar. Routine brushing is insufficient to remove tartar which can ultimately irritate the gum tissue and make it swell ~ even cause bleeding.
Toothbrushes have come a long way since they were first used in China during the 15th century. Modern toothbrushes come in basically two types: manual and powered. The American Dental Association recommends that you purchase a brush which displays the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That distinction is earned when the manufacturer produces scientific evidence that their product is safe and effective. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates the evidence according to objective guidelines for toothbrushes. Powered toothbrushes must also meet the requirements of a safety laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
Both powered (electric) and manual toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean your teeth. Many children find that brushing with an electric toothbrush can be fun. And, the powered brushes are sometimes easier to hold for those with dexterity concerns or just have trouble reaching hard-to-clean places in their mouth. Whatever brush you choose, just make sure that you find it easy to use, so that you’ll use it twice a day to thoroughly clean all the surfaces of your teeth.
Still on the fence about what toothbrush is best? Ask your dental hygienist for a recommendation. They will also guide you toward the best brushing and flossing technique for a healthy mouth.