5 Tips For Choosing the Right Toothbrush
It’s been said that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
I’d like to piggyback on that phrase by saying “sometimes, the toothbrush is mightier than the drill.”
From a dentist’s perspective, this makes perfect sense: Even though it’s just a piece of plastic tipped with nylon bristles, regular daily use of a toothbrush – especially when combined with its natural partner, dental floss – can do more to keep your smile healthy than would a drill or even periodontal laser could, even though they’re more advanced.
That’s the value of preventative dentistry. It should not be underestimated, or else you run the risk of falling into a trap that has claimed too many promising smiles like yours. Once that happens, and you have allowed an easily preventable condition like gum disease ravage your smile, then you’ll be forced to go under the knife or the laser.
And to think: It could have been avoided if you’d simply picked up your toothbrush and kept those problems in check simply by putting in a minimum of effort when it comes to your oral hygiene.
There’s a lot that can go wrong with a smile, and in a lot of different ways, but most of those problems can be traced back to one common point: Failing to brush twice a day, and seeing your Millburn dentist twice a year (at least).
But what if your toothbrush is actually working against you, and not with you?
The last thing you need is a Benedict Arnold actively plotting against your teeth and gums. Even though you think you’re doing right and brushing like you should, the wrong brush or an outdated one can actually hurt your smile instead of helping it. Eventually, that false sense of security can come back to bite you, and one day you’ll wake up to serious pain in your mouth – or worse, a dental emergency.
What you need is a toothbrush that will fight on your side in the same that I will.
Maximize The Power of Brushing
If your teeth aren’t healthy enough, then a lot of the cosmetic and restorative treatments that I offer are off the table because in order for many of those services to work, they need a relatively healthy set of teeth and gums before treatment can begin.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the things you should be on the lookout for when selecting a toothbrush. Whether it’s to get your smile in shape for a necessary procedure to be performed in my office, or maintaining your smile, or both, these tips can make sure that the brush you select is one that will help you.
- Softer is better – Generally speaking, your brush shouldn’t irritate your gums, and stiff bristles can actually cause damage to the soft tissues inside your mouth. Remember, you want to clean your mouth, not punish it. This is also a good rule of thumb when selecting a brush for a child, or if you have a bad habit of brushing a little too vigorously.
- Electric or disposable? – It’s not that important of a question, to be honest. Studies have shown that there is no clear difference in performance between an electric toothbrush vs. a manual, disposable one, so my advice would be to pick the one that is easiest to use
- Look for a long reach – Aside from soft bristles, the only other design feature that I would recommend is a brush that is long-enough and angled to reach far into the back of your mouth to clean those neglected molars. Brushing doesn’t do you any good unless you can clean all of your teeth thoroughly, not just some of them.
- Replace them often – There’s no need to be nostalgic about a toothbrush, because the longer you hold on to one, then the more bacteria will have built up in its bristles. Once that happens (usually after about 3-4 months or so), then all you’re really doing is spreading bacteria from one part of your mouth to another. When in doubt, throw it out!
- When in doubt, check for the seal – The last little piece of advice I can offer you is look for the American Dental Association seal on any toothbrush you’re interested in purchasing. There are so many types of toothbrushes out there that I know it can seem like a mind-boggling experience shopping for one, but if you pick one with the ADA seal, you’re good to go!
Keeping your smile in tip-top shape is just the beginning when it comes to complete oral healthcare.
Your next step? Calling me to set up an appointment for a professional examination to make sure that your efforts haven’t been in vain, and to keep your smile as beautiful and as healthy as you deserve.
To make that appointment, you can either call me at (973) 957-1604, or you may request an appointment online through this website.