How to Choose a Toothbrush

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Humans have been using toothbrushes to remove food from teeth for thousands of years. Early toothbrushes were sticks with frayed ends, and later brushes were made from bone, wood or ivory and animal hairs. We have come a long way since then, and toothbrushes today are very effective at removing food and plaque and keeping your teeth and gums clean to prevent tooth decay.

Why Brush Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth removes food and plaque, which is bacteria that eats away at your teeth and can build up and become tartar, a hardened form of plaque. Without daily brushing, plaque and tartar can build up, and the acids that they produce can erode your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. Brushing your teeth can help prevent cavities and gum disease, so be sure to brush every day! The ADA recommends brushing a minimum of twice a day (usually morning and before bed).

Types of Toothbrushes

There are two types of toothbrushes: manual and powered. Both types are equally effective at cleaning your teeth, but powered toothbrushes can be fun for children and easy to use for people who have trouble using manual toothbrushes. Use whichever type is easiest for you.

Bristles on toothbrushes vary in toughness, from soft to hard, and most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can actually damage your enamel, irritate your gums and can contribute to tooth sensitivity!

No matter which type of toothbrush you use, you should brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or whenever the bristles seem frayed. Many toothbrushes even have wear indicators in the bristles that will lose color or change color when the toothbrush needs to be replaced.

For recommendations on how to choose a toothbrush that is best for your smile, ask your dentist or dental hygienist. And remember, brushing at home is not enough to ensure your dental health. Be sure to visit the dentist at least every six months for your professional cleaning! We may even throw in a free toothbrush.