If you want to do the job properly, you need the right equipment. Here are some handy tips on how to choose a toothbrush, after all you cannot test-drive a toothbrush.
Which toothbrush should I choose?
- Firstly, make sure your choice has proven clinical credentials.
- Choose medium to soft, polished nylon, round-tipped bristles. The bristles should be firm enough to remove the plaque effectively, but not damage the gums.
- Select a smaller rather than a bigger head, so that it's easy to manoeuvre around your mouth, without damaging the gums. The size of your mouth should determine the size of your toothbrush.
- The shape of the handle, cut of the bristles and angle at which the head is attached, don't really matter.
- Buy according to price, and keep two to three new brushes around. Don't get too attached to your toothbrush, it will need replacing every two to four months.
- If some condition limits your dexterity, or you're into high-tech gadgets, or if you're trying to motivate your child to brush, you might want to invest in an electric toothbrush. They are expensive, but they do give you a good scrub.
- Electric toothbrushes effortlessly loosen and dispense plaque with high frequency micro-movements. The thousands of vibrations per second allow for accurate brushing and less trauma for sensitive gums. This is the lazy man's way of brushing.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush needs replacing when the bristles start splaying or bending. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months. Once the bristles bend, they cannot clean your teeth properly and may injure your gums.
Tip: Store your toothbrush in a place where it will dry quickly. Don't store it in a toothbrush box, or in water after you have finished brushing.
The right way to brush:
- Apply toothpaste to the bristles.
- Start with the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth at the gum line.
- Brush either in circular motions or upwards and downwards.
- Make sure to brush all the chewing surfaces thoroughly.
- Hold the brush vertically to reach the inside surfaces of the front teeth.
- Be sure that the head of the brush is not too large to reach into the back of the mouth.