Well, maybe you know that brushing your teeth after every meal is the most convenient option, but are you doing it correctly?
Take note of the best tips on choosing the right toothbrush.
Choosing a toothbrush
Currently, we can find a wide range of toothbrushes on the market. The toothbrush is the most effective tool for removing dental plaque.
The features of a toothbrush one should consider include:
- The head. Toothbrushes with heads that are small, flat, and straight, are often lightweight and easier to control. For many, they are more suitable than bulkier brushes. This is especially true for those with smaller mouths.
- Bristles. An important criterion when selecting an effective toothbrush is the number and quality of the bristles. The more fibers the head has, the greater the cleaning and better results. In terms of length, it is best that the fibers are of different heights because that best fits the shape of the teeth. Likewise, different length fibers better reach the curved areas and interdental spaces of the teeth.
- The handle. The shape of the handle does not influence the effectiveness of brushing but in the comfort when brushing teeth. Currently, many brush handles’ shape is adapted to make for more comfortable, less strenuous brushing. Ergonomics especially play a role for elderly individuals, children, and those with certain physical disabilities.
Apart from the above, the bristles must also be classified according to their hardness and according to softness:
- Soft hardness: 0.17 mm
- Medium hardness: 0.30 mm
- Hard hardness: 0.35 mm
Soft bristles are less aggressive to the gums and tooth enamel, although the life of the brush is more limited. Harder bristles remove debris better and however can have greater risks of erosion. Thus, soft bristles are ideal for children and those with tooth sensitivity. Bristles with medium hardness are very effective, thanks to its flexibility.
Regardless, it is important to change your toothbrush approximately every three months (or sooner if deterioration is observed).
Another option available are electric toothbrushes. The American Dental Association has insisted on the following issues in relation to its safety and effectiveness, to be taken into account before purchasing:
- That the electrical component is safe
- Not detrimental to the hard and soft tissues of the oral cavity
- Offering quality cleaning efficiency
Although various studies have not found a significant difference between manual and electric toothbrushes when removing plaque, some may might one works for them better over the other. However, it is advisable to use an electric toothbrush if you lack the fine motor skills to use a manual brush. Giving different brushes a go is the only way to know which is best for you and your needs.
These toothbrushes have bristles with varying lengths and has a tongue and cheek cleaner on the back of the brush. The tongue cleaner helps eliminate odor-causing bacteria from the tongue, they have ergonomic designs and a non-slip handle, and have extra-soft gingival stimulators that massage the gums.
Choosing Your Kid’s Toothbrush
Your child’s first toothbrush is no small decision. It might just make your child brush their teeth more. Finding what type of toothbrush is best for your child, then, is something you need to consider seriously.
Kids typically aren’t used to toothbrushing like adults are. It’s an unfamiliar sensation for most, and with the wrong gear, quite painful. What works for adults doesn’t often bode well for children. Aside from being too big for their mouths, adult toothbrushes often contain hard bristles that could easily injure a child’s gums.
What kind of toothbrush, then, is best for your kids? Well, it depends on different factors. If you’re out looking for the best toothbrush brand for your child, here are some things to consider:
Look for a Gentle Toothbrush
Like many things, one thing to check for before purchasing is comfort. When buying for children, this means keeping it gentle. Children at six months of age are usually more sensitive to sensations than they are in their older years. The more comfortable they are with their toothbrush, the more likely they’ll be using it.
For one, this means softer bristles. When you look at adult toothbrush options, you’ll often see gimmicks like angled bristles, which are said to clean hard spots. These options also have thicker bristles than most. Use them on a child’s mouth, however, and you might end up with more bleeding gums than healthy teeth. The best type of toothbrush for children must then contain thin, rounded bristles that take well to young teeth.
Aside from the bristles, another thing to consider is the size of the toothbrush head. Get too big a toothbrush, and it might feel too awkward or uncomfortable to use. If a toothbrush isn’t easy to use, it might put off your child from further oral hygiene endeavors. That said, when buying a toothbrush for your child, it’s best to find one that is small enough for them to use.
A Toothbrush Easy to Handle
Aside from head size, another factor to consider for ease of use is the overall toothbrush size. For one, it should be small enough to fit your child’s grip. If the toothbrush is too large, your child might have a hard time with the motions and potentially lose grip balance. A toothbrush that’s the right size could then make the experience a little more enjoyable.
Another factor to consider is the shape of the handle. Looking through the toothbrush selections, one might find that some handles are purely plastic, while others have rubber attachments that help guide the grip. For younger children, the latter type might be of more help while they’re still developing the subtle motor movements to control the brush.
In some instances, some parents might opt to go for an electric toothbrush instead. Some benefits electric toothbrushes have are their stability, small head, and grip. All of these features are suitable for young children. As long as there is adult supervision, they should be safe to operate.
Toothbrushes for Kids Ages 9-13
Kids on the brink of pre-adolescence tend to have a mix of primary and permanent teeth. Often, they also have gaps in between where the teeth have dislodged. Baby teeth usually fall off in the order they first appear. This arrangement helps arrange the permanent teeth in their proper positions. It’s also something you might want to keep in mind, especially as you tend to your kids’ oral health at this stage.
Check whether your child is at an age where they’ve outgrown some teeth or have tooth gaps in between. They’ll need to take care of those spots to prevent irritating the area. And because this is where their permanent teeth will emerge, you and your child need to pay extra attention to your child’s oral habits. At this stage, any misdemeanors can impact the development of their permanent teeth.
Aside from this, you’ll also need to consider the size of your kid’s mouth. Your child’s oro-facial structure develops in a way that accommodates their developing teeth. This development happens age four onwards. They may still be able to use those toothbrushes with the cute animal figures. But it might be high time to graduate them into something suitable for their mouths.
Keeping Toothbrushes Clean
It is pivotal to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water after use to get rid of remaining debris and toothpaste. Be sure to store your all-in-one brush in an upright position and let air-dry before storing. Never store your brush in a dark, enclosed space until your brush is completely dry.
Generally, the care for all-in-one toothbrushes is very much the same as a regular toothbrush. With their ease of use and fun design, it’s simple to say that all-in-one toothbrushes are an incredible advancement.
Why Do Foods Taste Different After Tooth Brushing?
Everyone has experienced the odd taste of food after recently brushing their teeth.
A lot of people believe this is due to the flavor of their toothpaste mixing with the flavors of their food. However, it’s actually primarily due to one ingredient in toothpaste that causes the taste alteration: sodium laureth sulfate.
This ingredient may also be listed as ‘sodium lauryl sulfate’ on the back of your toothpaste container.
Sodium laureth sulfate appears in many brands of toothpaste. This substance is what allows your toothpaste to foam as you’re brushing, allowing for easier brushing.
Another component of this ingredient is its ability to act as an emulsifier to erase stains on the teeth and break down particles in the mouth. As you can see, this particular ingredient is important in toothpaste.
So, why does it change how you taste foods?
Now that you know what sodium laureth sulfate is, it’s time to discuss why this substance changes your sense of flavor temporarily.
You may notice that whenever you eat or drink something shortly after brushing your teeth, sour or bitter flavors taste a lot more bitter after brushing. Sodium laureth sulfate causes this bitter flavor by enhancing the bitter receptors of your taste buds.
As well as this, sodium laureth sulfate also suppresses your sweet receptors. As a result, this makes sweeter foods taste blander or even a little funky in flavor.
Luckily, this toothpaste ingredient only changes your receptors for about a half hour. Then, your receptors return back to normal when food and drinks will once again taste delicious.
However, the good thing about sodium laureth sulfate changing your sense of flavor is the fact that it will temporarily get you to stop consuming foods and drinks, other than water, temporarily, so your teeth will stay nice and shiny clean for longer. Brushing your teeth with a toothpaste containing sodium laureth sulfate can also help you curb sugary cravings.
Is sodium laureth sulfate safe?
As mentioned, most toothpaste (but not all) contain sodium laureth sulfate. This ingredient is great for cleaning the teeth and providing a foamy texture while brushing. However, this ingredient is not always suitable for all folks.
For instance, for some people, this ingredient may cause further allergies for those already suffering from allergies, bad breath, and even canker sores. In these cases, one should seek a sodium laureth sulfate-free toothpaste.
This ingredient is very safe otherwise. The only times it can cause problems, besides the few cases listed above, is if the concentration of the ingredient is too high or if it’s left on the skin for a long period of time. Although, the latter should not be problems for the majority.
What if my toothpaste doesn’t contain sodium laureth sulfate? Is this bad?
Not having a sodium laureth sulfate-containing toothpaste isn’t necessarily harmful. However, opting for a paste containing this substance does make for a great cleaning agent and allows for a smoother means of spreading the paste throughout your mouth.
It’s advised that all should use a sodium laureth sulfate toothpaste, unless, that is, they experience the symptoms mentioned in the previous section.
In the end, speaking with a dental professional, you can figure out what toothpaste is best for your needs.