We all know the dreaded wall of toothbrushes.
The supermarket’s bewildering array of colours, sizes, textures, designs, brands, prices, eco friendliness. . .
Then there is the marketing hype . . .
And of the promises of fresh breath, best clean ‘eva’ . . .
Complicating it further is the issue of whether to choose electric vs manual. . .
How on earth is anyone meant to make a good toothbrush choice when faced with ‘The Wall of Toothbrushes’, the bad music and the whole supermarket vibe???
Here are some tips on how to choose your toothbrush from a woman and dentist who loves to minimise stress, overwhelm and complication.
Small is best – I love bigger kid to teen brushes. No adult sized brush actually fits an adult sized mouth. Yes, you will take longer to brush but you will get to places you have never got to before.
Soft bristles – Soft bristles are beautiful because they clean into nooks and crannies and do not abrade delicate root surfaces. And teeth are not meant to be scrubbed to within an inch of their life. Hard bristles do not have the same agility, and used roughly they will wreck your teeth and gums.
Electric or manual? – This is 100% personal preference. People can do a great job with either kind, and a really bad job with either kind too. It is down to what works best in your hands. Personally, manual brushes are my thing. I’ve used both but always gone back to manual. If you want to try an electric brush, start with a battery operated version first. They are not exactly the same, but will give you a sense of the quality of the action without spending a fortune.
Weird rubber things in place of some bristles – I seriously do not get this. Waste of time and probably do a worse job than a plain old brush.
Sonic – Great if your dexterity is compromised by an injury or conditions like arthritis.
Ergonomic design – Yes, up to a point. A handle that has a large grip is perfect for people with arthritis or wrist problems. It is the bristle end that is the really important one.
Lights up and plays tunes to keep you or the kids brushing for longer – Cute for about 3 days. Once the novelty value is over it is just another brush.
Bamboo – Interesting thing bamboo. Although this material is biodegradable, the brushes tend be huge, have an awful design and worse bristles. Bamboo is probably not as environmentally sound as it is cracked up to be because of the deforestation associated with it.
Recyclable – Only if the brushes are small and soft. If they are big, hard and uncomfortable you are not helping yourself.
Brand loyalty – No. All brands will occasionally make a really good brush, but they tend to constantly change designs for some unfathomable marketing-based reason. If you find a great brush that you still love after a week, go back and buy 50 of them. If the manufacturer changes from that design, move on once you have used them all up.
Get a lesson in how to drive it – Make your dentist and hygienist work for you! Get them to showyou how to use your brush. You need to see it and feel it in your own mouth because brushing is more tactile than it is physical.