It’s National Dental Hygiene Month! In light of that, we’d like to take the time to educate you on toothbrush selection and care. To do that, we’ve summarized two American Dental Association (ADA) online resources, both an ADA MouthHealthy article entitled, “Toothbrush: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Toothbrush” and another ADA article entitled “Toothbrushes” prepared by the Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis and Translation Research, ADA Science and Research Institute, LLC.” In the below summary, we’ve simplified the former reference as “ADA MouthHealthy” and the latter as “ADA.”
Which Toothbrush Should I Choose?
– Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This verifies that the quality of your toothbrush meets the standards of an independent body of scientific experts (ADA MouthHealthy).
– Choose a manual or electric toothbrush. Research shows that manual and powered toothbrushes can both be effective in removing plaque (ADA MouthHealthy). At the same time, studies reveal that, in general, electric toothbrushes do decrease more plaque and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes. At Boulevard Dental, our patients who use an electric toothbrush generally tend to have healthier gums and less tooth stain. We recommend that you talk to your dental professional for their specific recommendations about the type of brush that is best for you.
– Use a soft-bristled brush. Whether using a manual or powered brush, firm or even medium-strength bristles can cause damage to your gums and enamel (ADA MouthHealthy). It is also important to not scrub vigorously; this helps prevent the risk of gingival injury (ADA).
– Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use. This removes any remaining paste and debris (ADA MouthHealthy).
– Leave your toothbrush in the open. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry away from other toothbrushes to avoid cross contamination. Also, do not routinely cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container. A moist environment can facilitate the growth of unwanted bacteria (ADA).
– Replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months. A worn toothbrush won’t clean your teeth as effectively. You may even need to replace it sooner if the bristles are frayed (ADA MouthHealthy).
Dr. Medianick and our Boulevard Dental hygienists recommend that you brush twice a day for two minutes each time. We don’t want you to hinder the effectiveness of your brushing routine by choosing the wrong toothbrush or improperly caring for it. If you follow the above recommendations, you can get more out of every brush!
ADA MouthHealthy. Toothbrush: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Toothbrush. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/all-topics-a-z/toothbrushes. Accessed October 12, 2023.
Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC. Toothbrushes. https://www.ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/toothbrushes. Accessed October 12, 2023.