How to choose your toothbrush?
The toothbrush is a hairy weapon that will eliminate the nasty bacteria that promote the dreaded dental plaque. Before brushing your daily routine, choose the toothbrush that’s right for you.
There are two main categories of toothbrushes: the manual toothbrush and the electric toothbrush, each with advantages and disadvantages.
The manual toothbrush
The manual toothbrush is the classic toothbrush everyone thinks of when they think of a toothbrush! Usually made of flexible plastic, its nylon fibre head allows easy access to all mouth corners. Inexpensive, it will follow you wherever you go (at the office, on vacation, on the plane, etc.).
Investing in the best toothbrush isn’t enough to get a radiant smile! It must be used correctly to achieve rapid results. The bad uses of the toothbrush are widespread, use which, however, seems at first glance extremely simple.
There are three categories of manual toothbrushes:
- Soft: this toothbrush is suitable for sensitive gums and fragile children’s teeth. Generally, the whole family can use it. Dentists often prefer it, even among people without particular dental problems.
- Medium: this toothbrush is suitable for people with no dental problems and benefits from foolproof oral resistance.
- Hard: not recommended; it seems that we have a tooth against this brush!
There is also a category of the so-called surgical toothbrush. These toothbrushes are particularly suitable for people who have undergone surgery or have implants or prostheses.
Remember to adapt the size of your toothbrush to the size of your mouth. Don’t choose a toothbrush that is too big for your child or one that is too small for you.
The electric toothbrush
The electric toothbrush will delight young and old and anyone lacking in dexterity. However, its use is not reserved and can be extended to the whole family.
We must distinguish the two types of electric toothbrushes: the rechargeable toothbrush and the battery-powered toothbrush. The rechargeable toothbrush has a base for recharging it, while the battery-powered toothbrush, as the name suggests, works with batteries. Many prefer the rechargeable toothbrush, which is more ecological and, above all, more practical. When worn out, you can simply change the brush instead of throwing it away (most battery-powered brush heads cannot be changed).
The electric toothbrush will allow you to adopt the right brushing gestures while rotating movements without costing you the slightest effort! Some prefer round brush heads and not too big so that brushing does not become abrasion. Finally, as with the classic toothbrush, preferably choose a soft brush.
You will find an infinite quantity of electric toothbrushes on the market, colored, refined, or even very connected (connected to your Smartphone in Bluetooth). The toothbrush 2.0 announces the color to you: quality of brushing, duration of brushing).
Finally, don’t be fooled by the vibrations escaping your toothbrush when you use it for the first time.
Take care of your toothbrush.
Don’t skimp on the maintenance of your beloved toothbrush. Rinse it under a strong jet of water after each brushing to remove food residues, as well as all traces of toothpaste. To prevent bacteria from growing, you can dry it quickly with a clean tissue or place it upright in a cup.
Long live the toothbrush!
Which toothpaste for which teeth?
Without its expensive toothpaste, your toothbrush would feel very lonely. The right toothpaste will help prevent plaque that builds up on your teeth throughout the day.
What is dental plaque?
Dental plaque is the sworn enemy of your mouth! It settles on the surface of the tooth and forms during the day and night. It becomes particularly aggressive if you are a fan of acidic foods, alcohol, and tobacco. A good brushing of teeth will therefore be your best ally! Dental plaque leads to the formation of tartar, which cannot be removed by relying solely on the bristles of your toothbrush.
Choosing the right toothpaste
Choosing the right toothpaste is essential. Be careful; it could be very abrasive or contain too much fluoride depending on its formula. Toothpaste that is too abrasive will cause the teeth to wear more quickly, which can develop particularly unpleasant sensitivities in contact with hot, cold, or sweet, or even gashes in the most severe cases. Read the instructions for the toothpaste carefully before purchasing it. The level of abrasion is calculated in RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasion):
- RDA less than 20: toothpaste very little abrasive
- RDA 20 – 40: mildly abrasive toothpaste
- RDA 40 – 60: moderately abrasive toothpaste
- RDA 60 – 80 abrasive toothpaste
- RDA greater than 80: very abrasive toothpaste
According to Robert Foster of RXShopMD; “Fluoride is not dangerous, but its dosage must be adapted to the targeted mouth. For example, if the toothpaste is too fluoridated, it can become harmful for children whose teeth have not yet completed their development”. Its content should not exceed 50 mg / 100 g of fluorine (0.025%). However, it forms an excellent protection against cavities. For you, opt for a formula containing around 0.15%.
If you are undergoing homeopathic treatment, avoid using menthol toothpaste. Today there is a wide range of homeopathic toothpaste with natural extracts.
Finally, avoid toothpaste containing agents that disrupt the hormonal system (called “endocrine disruptors” in scientific jargon): triclosan, butylparaben, and propyl paraben should be avoided urgently!
Sensitive gums and teeth
Do you have a sensitive mouth that is very responsive to hot or cold foods? Opt for a mild toothpaste with an RDA index of between 40 and 60 maximum and favour natural anti-inflammatory agents: sage, arnica, or chamomile; they can only do you good! Avoid abrasive toothpaste at all costs.
Do you have cavities phobia? Fluoride will become your best friend! Choose fluoride-fortified toothpaste without exceeding the recommended dosage of 1250 ppm (parts per million).
Can’t get rid of those nasty canker sores that plague you every day? A piece of Parmesan cheese later, and it’s the epidemic? Opt for a sanitizing toothpaste that contains antiseptic agents like citrate or zinc chloride.
Although tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush alone, it can still be avoided. Prefer formulas based on pyrophosphate, an agent fighting against the formation of tartar.
Are you having trouble quitting smoking? Invest in anti-stain toothpaste that can limit the damage. These toothpastes are relatively abrasive and contain sodium bicarbonate, silica, or hydrogen peroxide to do a good job. Sensitive mouth, go your way (or stop smoking).
Adopt the right actions
We do not hide it from you; the secret of whiteness lies in strict oral hygiene. Since 2013, it has been recommended to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Basically, you can also brush your teeth after eating. This is to remove all traces of food stuck between your canines.
For optimized tooth brushing, some basic gestures must be learned quickly and appear quite natural to you after a little practice. Do not panic; we are far from intensive training!
Once armed with your precious toothbrush, start by brushing each part of your mouth for about 45 seconds each (upper right then left, and lower right then left), from bottom to top (from the gum to the tooth). Remember to brush the back of your teeth and don’t neglect your tongue.
We avoid brushing our teeth from right to left or from left to right. Clearly, we ban horizontal movements, which are useless. The electric toothbrush will be of great use there, doing the right things for you—no risk of inadequate brushing. However, brushing duration remains a determining factor in the hunt for decay, and even if brushing is done correctly, it cannot be effective if it is shortened.
Although brushing your teeth after each meal is strongly recommended, it is better to focus on quality than quantity. Therefore, a botched brushing done more than three times a day will not be as effective as a thorough brushing done twice a day.
Brush up on your teeth brushing
Apart from the elementary toothbrush/toothpaste pair, other tools are highly recommended for keeping teeth healthy. Pharmacy takes you through the complementary mechanisms of good toothbrushing. Small but effective, these companions will make your teeth shine.
Dental floss is on the rise in the United States. In France, it is less common to use it to finish brushing. However, it would be a shame to do without it because it turns out to be an essential tool for good oral hygiene.
The dental floss helps to dislodge any food that remains lodged in the space between the teeth, an area that no toothbrush can clean. Flossing is a great way to prevent tooth decay, pain, and inflammation of the gums. Economically, it is sold in a roll or ready to use with a handle for easy use.
The toothpick, the relative of dental floss, has the same purpose as its little son, even if it is less effective because it is thicker. This stick is made of wood and allows you to dislodge food residues stuck between two teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Economical, easy to take, it stands out from dental floss by being easily recycled.
The mouthwash for daily use will allow you to find a fresh breath while fighting against bacteria. It constitutes a formidable weapon in the war against cavities when its formula is rich in fluorinated components. It is also effective against dental plaque and inflammation of the gums, as long as it contains chlorhexidine, amine fluoride, or tin fluoride.
Be careful; some mouthwashes for medical use, prescribed by your doctor or sold in pharmacies as medicines, cannot be used daily, at the risk of seriously altering the natural properties of your mouth. Do not exceed the duration of your treatment, even if you find that this product works true miracles!
As you now know, dental plaque leads to the formation of tartar, which cannot be removed by relying solely on the bristles of your toothbrush. The purpose of dental plaque developers is to check the effectiveness of your brushing. They help identify areas that have not been adequately cleaned with a tinted product that is harmless to your canines. It can be sold as a liquid solution, tablets, or chewing gum.
Worn out bristles
Never change a winning team. As far as your union with your toothbrush is concerned, the same cannot be said. Changing your brush as soon as its bristles are dishevelled is recommended. To indicate a frequency would be a bit pretentious (although that of 3 months is often displayed on the back of the packaging), the wear depending mainly on the use made by each one. In short, change your toothbrush as soon as you notice that its bristles have lost their vigour.
Also, change the brand or type of toothpaste from time to time so that your mouth does not get used to the same ingredients.
Read next: Top 5 Dental Problems and Prevention