BACK IN THE GOOD old days before the 1930s, toothbrush bristles were made of animal hair.
We’re pretty happy to live in the era of nylon bristles, but how can we tell which toothbrush will be best for our teeth and gums, and especially for our children’s teeth and gums? How hard should the bristles be? Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones?
Soft Versus Hard Bristles
It’s true that hard bristles make it a little bit easier to scrub away the plaque from our teeth than soft bristles. It isn’t worth it in the end, though, because those hard bristles can also scrape away enamel and even agitate our gums to the point of increasing the risk of gum recession, which could be permanent.
In the case of hard bristles versus soft, the costs of hard bristles clearly outweigh the benefits, which is why dentists always give out and recommend soft-bristle brushes. This is particularly true for children, who tend to brush harder than they need to anyway.
Powered Versus Manual Brushes
In the past, there wasn’t a significant difference between the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes and manual ones. However, the technology has come a long way, and modern electric toothbrushes are better at getting plaque out of hard-to-reach spots.
Electric toothbrushes reduce plaque by up to 21 percent more than manual toothbrushes and reduce the risk of gingivitis by 11 percent more. Using an electric toothbrush designed for children will also make it easier for your child to brush for the full two minutes and less likely they will apply too much pressure.
That still leaves a lot of different electric toothbrushes to choose from. Luckily, whether you choose an oscillating brush (spinning tops) or a sonic brush (bristles vibrate from side to side) for your child, you’ll still see better results than with a manual brush. If you aren’t sure which brush would be best, feel free to ask us about it at your next appointment!
Taking Care Of Your Toothbrush
Once you’ve found the ideal toothbrush, it’s important to store it properly so that it doesn’t become a breeding ground for bacteria. Teach your child to store it upright somewhere it can dry out, preferably as far from a toilet as possible. Finally, don’t forget to replace the toothbrush (or the head of an electric toothbrush) regularly because even the best bristles fray and lose their effectiveness over time.
Watch the video below for a few more tips about brushing your teeth!
We Look Forward To Seeing You!
Having the right toothbrush and taking proper care of it are essential to good dental health, but there’s no replacement for regular professional dental cleanings. Make sure you’re scheduling appointments for your child twice a year! We look forward to seeing you soon.