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How do I know which toothbrush is right for me?

If there is an indispensable item in our daily hygiene, it is a toothbrush. The shape, size and strength of its bristles are the main factors, although not the only ones, that differentiate each type of brush to suit our dental needs.

In order to get the most out of their function, to keep our oral hygiene optimal, we just need to know how to choose them, how to keep them in good condition and how to use them correctly.

Dr. Oscar Castro, President General Board of Dentists and professionals Ruth Marin Dental ClinicA representative from Dental Marin helps us answer eight fundamental questions.

Mechanical or electrical?

Both manual and electric toothbrushes are optimal for properly removing plaque from the teeth, as long as we follow the basic brushing recommendations that we will discuss later.

Nevertheless, Castro confirms that “the oscillating-rotation technology typical of electric toothbrushes, It has been shown to be more effective in removing plaque and reducing gingivitis”.

In addition, according to the General Dental Council, the new smart electric toothbrushes have several advantages: “The risk of tooth grinding is low (because they usually have pressure control), they allow you to control the brushing time by means of an acoustic signal. They can indicate whether each area of ​​the mouth is sufficiently brushed or not and is indicated in patients with physical or mental disabilities.

How firm should the bristles be?

Toothbrush types are classified into four broad groups based on their bristle density: high, medium, soft, or extra soft.

  • High hardness “is contraindicated because they are so hard that they can erode the enamel of the teeth and gums and promote tooth sensitivity and bleeding,” explains Marin.
  • Medium-density ones are the most recommended “because they remove plaque and food debris without damaging the enamel and white tissues,” notes Marin.
  • And the mild hardness is “recommended for children and people with sensitive teeth or signs of dental erosion.”

Finally, “extra soft is recommended for a short period, for example in post-operative situations”, explains Castro, to which Marin adds that “they can be used even if there is thrush or irritation in the mouth. ”

And the shape of the bristles?

The bristles can be straight or round in shape. The latter are the most common because “they allow us to go deeper between the teeth and below the gum line, which provides the best cleaning,” explains Marin.

Still, “some brushes on the market mix the shape and height of the bristles to better reach certain areas of the tooth,” says Castro.

Does the brush head affect anything?

The answer is yes, as it will depend on factors such as mouth size, teeth and individual preferences. For example, Castro explains that “with a brush that has a smaller and narrower head, it’s easier to reach all the corners, but it also takes longer to clean completely.”

On the other hand, a brush that is too big prevents it from reaching the back of the mouth, so the most important thing when choosing a head is to feel comfortable while brushing. We can start smaller and work our way up to find the size that fits us best.

Are there occasions that require special brushes?

There are two main cases: “Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment Braces They have to resort to special brushes, called orthodontics, which have a row of bristles in the center of the lower height to allow them to slide between the teeth. Braces And wires,” Castro explains.

On the other hand, “people who wear removable dentures should use a denture brush, which has a larger head and stiffer bristles,” says Marin.

Where can I buy a toothbrush?

Although, according to Marin, it is best to buy them in drugstores or pharmacies, Castro explains that “they can be purchased in any store and it is advisable to consult a dentist about the most suitable type in each case.”

Using the wrong toothbrush, or one that doesn’t suit our needs, “means we can’t remove plaque bacteria very well, which can lead to tartar, gingivitis, gingivitis and cavities, among other things,” says Marin.

In addition, Castro states, “it can also cause a not-so-rare condition called enamel abrasion, leaving the dentin exposed and causing tooth sensitivity.”

How do I keep my brush in good condition?

To keep it right, Castro provides several keys:

  • After use, rinse, shake to remove excess moisture and place head up in container.
  • Do not mix household brushes, as they are a source of transmission of viruses and bacteria.
  • Keep them away from the toilet.
  • When traveling, protect it with its cover, ventilating between brushing and the other.
  • Change it every three months or when you have an infection affecting your mouth or throat, as bacteria and viruses can settle on the bristles.

How should I brush my teeth properly?

For starters, Castro emphasizes that “fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective methods for preventing cavities and periodontal disease.” We should add to this at least two brushings a day (mostly in the morning and before going to bed) and ideally after every main meal.

In addition, “it is necessary to brush the teeth for two minutes, not forgetting any side of the tooth and not using excessive force in order not to damage the soft tissues”, explains Marin, who also emphasizes “do not forget to clean the tongue with a specific cleaning agent, because it is also It is a source of bacteria.

To adequately complete our oral hygiene, we use other devices such as “dental floss or interproximal brushes to eliminate bacteria that accumulate between the teeth,” explains Castro.

Regarding the use of mouthwashes, the president of the General Dental Council notes that “they should be reserved for certain circumstances and patients, so we recommend that they are always used as prescribed by a doctor.”

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Source: El Diario





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