Finding A Toothbrush That Fits Your Needs

What should you be looking for when looking for a new toothbrush? The average American spends nearly 1,000 hours brushing teeth over a lifetime. It’s important to find a toothbrush that feels comfortable and works well. This can be a daunting task, considering the variety of toothbrushes on the market. Angled heads, raised bristles, oscillating tufts: which toothbrush will work best for you?

In reality, almost any toothbrush you feel comfortable using works well. What is most important is to brush your teeth correctly and brush them long enough. Most people brush for less than a minute, but to effectively reach all areas of your mouth and scrub off cavity-causing bacteria, you should brush for at least two to three minutes, at least twice daily.

Here are some guidelines from the American Dental Association:

  1. Any toothbrush you choose should have soft bristles. Hard bristles may cause gum tissue to pull back from teeth, which can expose the tooth root and lead to increased sensitivity to heat, cold or certain foods and drinks.
  2. Select a toothbrush head size that can easily fit into the mouth and can brush one to two teeth at a time (the general size is 1″ long and ½” wide).
  3. Powered toothbrushes are better choices than manual toothbrushes for anyone who needs assistance brushing teeth, including people with arthritis (or any condition that may limit mobility), anyone wearing braces or people with misaligned or uneven teeth surfaces that make a thorough cleaning more challenging.
  4. Powered toothbrushes don’t clean teeth any better than regular toothbrushes. However, if a powered toothbrush motivates you to clean your teeth more often and for the required length of time, it is worth the investment.
  5. Replace your toothbrush (or toothbrush head for a powered toothbrush) as soon as the bristles begin to look worn or frayed (usually every three months). A worn toothbrush does not do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Remember always to replace your toothbrush after an illness.
  6. If you’re still undecided about which toothbrush to use, consult your dentist for advice on how to find the toothbrush that’s most comfortable for you.

Fun Facts:

-The most popular toothbrush color is blue.

-The toothbrush was selected as the number one invention Americans could not live without, beating the automobile and personal computer.

-The Chinese invented the first toothbrushes, made by embedding hog hairs into ivory, bone or bamboo handles.

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