Toothbrushes have come a long way over the years, evolving from rudimentary twig-and-string contraptions to electric rotary models with multiple brush heads – and as dentists in Ocean County, we couldn’t be happier! While the technology has certainly improved, so has our awareness of the various types of toothbrushes out there and how they can benefit our oral health. Let’s look at an overview of the different types of toothbrushes – from manual to power – to help you choose the one that is right for you.
A manual toothbrush is the most common type of brush and typically consists of a handle with a head that holds rows of bristles. Manual toothbrushes are available in soft, medium or hard varieties, depending on your preference and/or dentist’s recommendation. In general, softer bristles are recommended for sensitive gums, whereas harder bristles are good for getting rid of plaque.
Electric toothbrushes are an increasingly popular choice due to their ease-of-use and ability to make brushing more effective and efficient. The two main types of electric toothbrush are the rotary brush (which oscillates back and forth) and the sonic brush (which vibrates back and forth). Electric brushes are available with both single-head and multiple-head designs, giving you the option of brushing more than one area of your mouth at a time.
Bass toothbrushes represent an alternative form of manual brushing that involves moving the brush in an up-and-down, or ‘bass’ motion. This up-and-down movement is designed to allow the bristles to reach between teeth and further down into the gums, helping to clean more effectively and remove plaque.
Interdental brushes are small, cylindrical or tapered brushes that come in a variety of sizes. These brushes are specifically designed for cleaning between teeth, which can be difficult to reach with a regular toothbrush. They are available in both manual and electric varieties, as well as a range of sizes for different sized gaps between teeth.
Tongue scrapers are metal or plastic tools designed to help remove bacteria from the tongue. By scraping gently over the tongue surface, they can help to reduce bad breath and maintain overall oral hygiene. They are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending on the shape of your tongue.
Finally, here are some tips on how to care for your toothbrush:
- Rinse it thoroughly after every brushing session to remove bacteria, food particles and plaque
- Change your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if bristles become bent or frayed
- Store the toothbrush in a clean, dry place away from other toothbrushes to avoid cross contamination of bacteria
- Avoid sharing your toothbrush with others
- Store it in an upright position and allow it to air dry after use.
- Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.
- Avoid sharing your toothbrush with others to prevent the spread of germs.
- Keep your toothbrush away from areas with high levels of humidity, such as bathrooms.