During a visit to the general dentistry office, the dental professional will typically emphasize the importance of flossing. If you tend to forget to floss every day or have trouble with the process, you are not alone. The time and effort required to thread the floss between each tooth and remove plaque and food particles…
General Dentistry: Tips for Choosing a Toothbrush
When people visit their general dentistry clinic for a teeth cleaning, the dentist and technicians may have to remove a significant amount of tartar when patients' toothbrushes are not doing a proper job during daily cleanings. In many cases, this is due to individual patients having different dental needs. One aspect of proper dental care is choosing the right toothbrush, and there are a few tips patients can use when finding one to suit their needs.
Why the right toothbrush matters
While some patients may believe that all toothbrushes are created equal, this is certainly not the case. There are many factors that make a toothbrush effective for different types of people, including:
- The size/shape of the mouth
- The shape of the brush head
- The style and softness of the bristles
General dentistry professionals may recommend certain types of brushes to patients depending on the condition of the teeth and brushing habits. Patients can also choose a brush for themselves by considering a few toothbrush details and features.
Electric vs. manual
Dental patients who want to choose a new toothbrush may wonder if buying an electric model will help clean the teeth more effectively. While some electric toothbrushes may help individuals brush longer and pay special attention to the gumline, where plaque and tartar tend to build up the most, choosing one over the other is usually a personal preference. An electric model with a built-in timer and bristles that assist in flossing may help those who need to brush more thoroughly and reach the back teeth to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Proper bristle type
Unless a general dentistry professional recommends a certain bristle style to clean the teeth, individuals can choose one based on comfort level. In most cases, a soft-bristled brush is effective for removing food particles and plaque as long as patients brush and floss regularly. While harder bristles may help remove more resistant plaque, these types might also damage tooth enamel or cause the gums to bleed.
Individuals who already have issues with bleeding may want to be especially careful of using a brush with hard bristles, as this could make existing problems worse. Those who have gingivitis or bleed during brushing may want to alert a dentist about the problem so it can be treated properly.
Many toothbrush heads are smaller and shaped differently than in the past. Many are smaller and have a more triangular shape rather than rectangular. This type of brush head makes it simpler to reach the back teeth, which are often difficult to clean properly and are more vulnerable to decay. Some heads also have patterned bristles that are designed to reach those teeth and remove plaque at the gumline to prevent buildup and gingivitis, which can cause the gums to bleed and then recede, leading to eventual tooth loss.
Choosing the right toothbrush is a matter of individual patient needs, the recommendation of a dentist, and personal brushing habits. Patients who are unsure of what type of brush to choose may ask a dentist about what type of brush are more effective so teeth and gums remain healthy for a lifetime.
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