How to choose the right toothbrush

Article

22. 11. 2012

Healthy teeth will serve us our entire lives - if, of course, we look after them well. When cleaning your teeth, it is not only the technique you use that is important, but the shape and characteristics of your toothbrush. How to choose the right brush? We asked our dental hygienist Mahulena Stoklasová for some advice. Here are her recommendations.

Choose a small, soft toothbrush

“It’s important that the toothbrush is soft, has a small head and straight-cut bristles. These are the three basic rules. The gums and teeth are not keen on hard brushes, protruding bristles or plastic strips as these can cause physical damage. This irritation can cause the gums to recede, the neck of the tooth to appear and sensitive teeth. With toothbrushes with a larger head there is also the greater likelihood that it won’t reach the areas where it is needed. By contrast, a small head helps you clean your teeth thoroughly, without irritating the gums.”

Brush up on your technique

“As far as your technique is concerned, you need to clean your teeth considerately, using gentle pressure, because too much pressure leads to physical gum irritation. The brush should be placed against the teeth so that its bristles cover the entire surface. The brush motions should be vibration-like, which is difficult to describe; when telling my clients about it I liken it to tiny circles and we then practise together at the surgery. The spaces between the teeth must be cleaned with an interdental brush of the right size. I know from experience that many people could improve their teeth-cleaning technique quite a bit and that it’s worth asking an expert about your dental hygiene from time to time.”

If you choose an electric toothbrush

“It’s the same for electric toothbrushes. If the manufacturer provides a choice of heads, choose the softest and smallest option and pay extra attention to applying too much pressure. Don’t use any extra motions; it’s enough to gently apply the brush to individual teeth. The brush already has considerable cleaning power from its own movement and any extra motions or pressure could be harmful. Electric toothbrushes usually rotate or vibrate; as the names would suggest, the difference is in the way the head moves. Vibrating brushes, also known as sonic brushes, clean the teeth more considerately. The motion with rotating brushes is circular, which requires greater care. What is important to remember for both types of electric brushes, however, is that they are far more powerful than our hands and that you need to use them accordingly.”

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