What you should be looking for when choosing your toothbrush
A toothbrush can be one of those things you don’t give much thought to, but having the right one can mean the difference between good or poor oral health. Read our top tips on what to look for when choosing a toothbrush:
What type of toothbrush should I use?
There are so many different types of toothbrushes, all of which say they help your oral health more than the next brand – so what kind of toothbrush do you actually need?
Bristles: it’s recommended that your toothbrush has soft or medium bristles and it is generally agreed that softer rather than harder bristles are best at removing plaque and other debris from your teeth. Also, toothbrushes with hard bristles may damage oral tissue.
Electric toothbrushes: according to consumer magazine Which? An electric toothbrush ‘is slightly more likely to help your teeth and gums stay healthy in the long-term, compared with manual brushes.’ However, it’s all about how you brush rather than what you brush them with. Electric toothbrushes can be expensive to buy, but they do require less effort and some come with timers – helping you stick to the recommended brushing time.
Manual toothbrushes: Manual brushes are cheaper and as long as you brush your teeth correctly, they will give the same level of cleaning as an electric toothbrush.
When should I replace my toothbrush?
According to most leading manufacturers, you should change your toothbrush every three months or when your brush shows wear and tear, whichever one comes first. Have a look at the bristles on your brush; are they bent over at all? If so, it’s time to change! It is also recommended you change it if you’ve been sick, as a toothbrush can harbour bacteria. Make sure you don’t leave your toothbrush in a closed container, as germs breed best in dark, warm and moist environments.
What kind of toothbrush should I buy for my kids?
Children need different toothbrushes to adults and as they grow, their toothbrushes will grow with them. Teeth need to be brushed as soon as they start to come through; use a baby toothbrush with a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste and keep this up until they are three-years-old. You can also buy chewable toothbrushes for teething toddlers. Between the ages of three and six, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a children’s toothbrush, and make sure that toothpaste use is supervised.
For more advice on oral health and how dental procedures can go wrong, click here.