The Right Toothbrush: Key to Proper Hygiene

Tips in Choosing the Right Toothbrush

Want to know some interesting toothbrush history? Ancient civilizations, some 3,000 years back, used a “chew stick,” which was a thin twig with a frayed end, that were rubbed against the teeth. By 1498, in China, boar bristle toothbrushes were used. The bristles were stiff, coarse hairs from the back of a hog’s neck and attached to bone or bamboo. Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885. The nylon toothbrush we know today was invented 1938. While the electric toothbrush appeared in America by 1960.

Most of us might be taking our toothbrushes for granted, but did you know that choosing the right one is important to properly carry out brushing? Regardless of whether your toothbrush is manual or powered, here are some general tips for choosing the right fit.

For size, the best toothbrush is the one that can access and reach all surfaces of teeth. For most adults, a toothbrush head a half-inch wide and one-inch tall will be the easiest to use and the most effective. The handle should be long enough and comfortably held.

For the bristles and for most people, a soft-bristled toothbrush will be the most comfortable and safest choice. Medium- and hard-bristled brushes could actually damage the gums, root surface, and protective tooth enamel if you brush vigorously. Rounded tip bristle brushes are for added tooth protection.

Ask our West Seattle Dentist

To ensure your toothbrush has undergone rigorous quality control tests for cleaning effectiveness and safety, ask your dentist for a recommendation. Also, look for manual or powered toothbrushes that have earned the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. Manual brushes that have the ADA seal have safe tips, bristles that will not fall out during use, firm handle, and the toothbrush will effectively reduce plaque build-up and gum disease in their early stages. Powered toothbrushes bearing the seal must undergo safety testing in an independent lab and prove through clinical trials that the toothbrush is safe for use on the tissues of the mouth and teeth, as well as any dental hardware that may be in place.

As long as tooth brushing is regular and using proper brushing technique, you should be able to reduce plaque build-up and keep your gums healthy with either a manual or powered toothbrush. Finally, replace your manual toothbrush every 3 to 4 months when those bristles are already frayed for they are ineffectual. Replace right after you’ve been sick, to avoid spread of old infection.

Making Best Toothbrush Choices in West Seattle

Find out more recommendations from 1st Impressions Dental, your trusty and friendly oral team out here in West Seattle. Don’t take your toothbrushes for granted, because we don’t.