Maintaining good hygiene is important for your physical health, overall wellbeing, and confidence. It is one of the most effective and efficient ways of guarding yourself against a slew of diseases. Oral hygiene is arguably the most important form of personal hygiene. Simply put, it encompasses all practices – including brushing and flossing – of keeping the mouth clean and healthy to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Oral hygiene helps you prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth, a sticky film of food and bacteria that envelopes the teeth. For the most part, plaque developed on the teeth can lead to several gum diseases and ultimately, tooth loss. In addition, it causes holes and cavities to form on the tooth. This it does by generating acids within crevices of the teeth that when not removed regularly – on a daily basis – eats away at the teeth and lead to the decay of the enamel.
Surely, it’d seem odd if one was asked by a dentist if he wanted to keep his teeth. Yet, many people fail to understand that keeping your teeth or not is down to your oral hygiene routine. Failing to abide by best practices now could otherwise cost you a lot of time, money and heartache in the future.
Some of the best oral hygiene practices include brushing twice daily, flossing, using antiseptic mouthwashes (for killing some of the bacteria that plaque), regular visits to a dentist and the use of fluoride-containing toothpaste, among others. However, one often overlooked factor in keeping the teeth clean and healthy is the type of toothbrush used.
How to Choose the Best Manual Toothbrush
There are many factors to consider when picking up a toothbrush for use at a physical store or an online store. Of a truth, deciding what kind of toothbrush amongst an array of toothbrushes with different shapes, sizes and styles can be described as a Herculean task.
Yet, it is one very important key to keeping your mouth clean, odor-free and healthy at all times. Unlike when toothbrushes were first invented, there are now two main types of toothbrushes available in the market (manual and electric-powered toothbrushes). While both help reduce plaque and keep the teeth strong and healthy, manual toothbrushes are the cheaper option. For this reason, we would be taking a look at the factors to consider when purchasing a manual toothbrush.
If you go to a store to purchase a manual toothbrush, you are poised to find several types with different bristle textures such as soft, medium and hard nylon bristles. It is generally accepted that soft-bristled brushes are the best form of toothbrushes for use. B They are the most suitable for removing debris and plaque from the teeth and are superbly comfortable. Medium and hard bristled-brushes could be harmful to your enamel, root surface and gum depending on how vigorously you brush your teeth, or the strength of your teeth in general.
Bristles come in different arrangements as much as they come in a variety of textures. Each of these arrangements has their advantages and disadvantages.
This is the most fundamental type of bristle arrangement. Although, this is not the best form of bristle arrangement there is for manual toothbrushes, it is arguably the most commonly used and is highly functional.
Most often than not, this is a better bristle arrangement than the block arrangement. Here, the bristles are arranged like a wave. Its benefit comes in relation to brushing the gums, When using a wavy-bristled toothbrush, it is easier to brush the areas surrounding your teeth along with the teeth themselves. That said, it is imperative that you floss daily, as this will help boost your oral hygiene.
Should daily flossing not be adequate for cleaning your teeth, a wavy toothbrush should definitely come in handy. It is recommended by most dental professionals to be excellent for supplementing flossing.
This is the most recent bristle arrangement of the three types listed. Just like its name suggests, it is used to describe a bristle arrangement where the bristles are of varying lengths. Some dental professionals suggest that this is what gives it the edge over other forms of arrangement.
The multilevel formation allows the bristles to lift bacteria and teeth-attaching plaque off the tooth more easily.
In general, wavy or multi-level bristle arrangements are better than the more traditional block arrangement. This is because they were borne out of innovation.
The best toothbrush for use is one that allows easy access to all parts of the mouth. In general, a toothbrush with a head half an inch wide and one-inch tall is the most effective and efficient. It goes without saying that there are also larger heads available for buyers. However, these kinds are usually difficult to maneuver. Consequently, it is difficult to use them to clean some hard-reach areas including the molars at the rear. The handle of the toothbrush should also be reasonably long to ensure easy handling when in use.
Brushes with tongue scrubbers
Some new toothbrushes now come with what is known as a tongue scrubber. The tongue scrubber makes the cleaning of the tongue easy to do. The scrubber in itself is a soft section of the toothbrush which has a series of small indents that help it trap food particles from the tongue. The tongue scrubber is a great feature for a toothbrush and is particularly recommended for individuals with a coated tongue.
Unlike the traditional bristles on the toothbrush head, they do not irritate the tongue and easily clean off clinging food particles.
Top 9 Best Manual Toothbrushes
Primarily, the best toothbrush for you is one that is easy to handle, soft on your gum and reaches all parts of your mouth easily.
Having said that, the following toothbrushes are recommended for use. Asides fitting into all of the above checklists for an ideal toothbrush, they are approved and recommended by dental associations.
You get a pack of 9 toothbrushes with extremely soft bristles that leave your teeth feeling brilliantly squeaky-clean. The Colgate 360 toothbrush comes with polishing cups that hold more toothpaste than a regular flat-trim toothbrush would. Hence, it helps remove stains with relative ease. It also comes attached with its cheek and tongue cleaners that clean your whole mouth when brushing, consequently getting rid of bacteria that mouth odor.
Putting things in perspective, it can remove the bacteria in the mouth by up to 151%. Just like most other toothbrushes on this list, it has a highly ergonomic and comfortable handle which makes maneuvering easy. Indeed, it is a perfect blend of functionality and cost and is highly recommended for anyone who needs a boost in his/her oral hygiene.
Large handle with great grip
Easy on the gums and enamel
Features tongue and cheek cleaners
Has polishing cups
Brush head uncomfortable for medium-sized mouths
Not soft enough for sensitive gums
From the popular Swiss company heralded for coming up with innovations to improve the oral health of people since as far back as 1972 comes the Curaprox CS5460 Ultra Soft toothbrush. Its bristles give you an extra soft brushing experience and is only about 0.1mm in thickness. Its 5,460 bristles are way more than the 500-1000 bristles you find in regular toothbrushes. This increased number of bristles is what makes its cleaning more effective than you what you get from regular toothbrushes.
It sports an octagonal-shaped handle which is easy to handle and turn against the gum line and tooth. This handle is available in a wide range of colors. It might suffice to mention at this point that it is one of the most highly recommended brands by dentists and dental hygienists.
Provides sparkling white teeth
Tough on plaque yet gentle on gums
Durability is questionable
Tight spaces between the teeth and the back of the molar are the toughest places to clean but the Oral B-Pro CrossAction All-In-One toothbrush cleans these spaces with a plum! Its crisscross bristles, an excellent upgrade from the regular straight bristles attack the gum and the teeth, penetrating deep into crevices between the teeth to remove food particles and already built-up plaque.
The tip of the brush is furnished with what is known as a power tip bristle (pointed shape). These power tip bristles are designed to reach those hard-reach areas of the mouth. That said, its bristles are still designed to have a rounded tip that helps prevent injury to the teeth and gum when brushing. At the edge of the brush head are also soft gum stimulators that massage the gums and improve the oral health of the user in general. At its back is a tongue cleaner which as the name suggests is used to keep the tongue clean and is generally effective for tongue washing than the bristles of regular toothbrushes.
Soft criss-cross bristles
Power tip bristle for hard-reach areas
Soft gum stimulators
Deep cleaning of spaces between the teeth
Handle breaks easily
Not an excellent choice for sensitive gums
Gets frayed easily
If the name doesn’t impress you, its results are surely going to get your attention. It is a great way to go green, hereby reducing your carbon footprint whilst still coming off with the best results. It is the most ecological way to not only keep your teeth and mouth feeling fresh and clean but to also protect the environment from plastic wastes which take hundreds of years to degrade.
The bamboo handles in addition to being water-resistant are healthier, stronger and more durable than most other plastic handle toothbrushes. For all its worth, it’s important to note that its bristles do not fall off easily unlike what is obtainable with some plastic toothbrushes.
Excellent non-plastic alternative
Eco friendly and effective
Wood does not stick
Wood handle can be uncomfortable for first-time users
Mold sometimes form in brush head
Bad when used with charcoal toothpaste
The Nimbus Microfine toothbrush, packed with long-tapered extra fine and extremely soft bristles is one of the best brushes for cleaning hard to reach surfaces. It has been tested, evaluated and approved by dentist professionals as ideal for oral hygiene enthusiasts. It was designed by a periodontist with the goal of providing optimal safety for both the gum and the teeth surfaces while simultaneously being effective at cleaning up food particles and eliminating built-up plaque.
If you have a receding gum, sensitive teeth or have been suffering from gum and teeth damage because of poor toothbrushes you’ve used in the past, Nimbus Microfine could be your safe haven. To set the record straight, it is a toothbrush designed for individuals who want to gain more control over the softness of their bristles while simultaneously enjoying the same benefits of gentle removal of built-up plaque.
Super soft and long-lasting
Recommended for persons with receding gums and sensitive teeth
Suitable for all ages
Difficult to clean small parts of teeth
If you are always on the go, this is the best manual toothbrush for you. Just like most others on this list, its bristles are really soft and go easy on your teeth, removing food and other particles with ease in the process. Interestingly, it is still effective if you are wearing braces. Perhaps, more importantly, it has a built-in freshening bead that releases minty freshness. In addition to this, you need not use water or rinse after brushing.
In summary, it has a compact size, is available in spearmint and peppermint, is sugar-free, does not require water for rinsing and above all is perfect for braces and other orthodontics.
Compact and perfect for trips
Perfect for people wearing braces
Bristles break off easily
Peppermint flavor can be too strong for some users
This charcoal toothbrush provides its users with about the same benefits as a charcoal toothpaste would. It is a widely known fact that activated charcoal is a very good cleaning teeth agent as it helps reduce bad breath, as well as, whiten the teeth by absorbing plaque and bacteria that might cause stains. It is recommended for both adults and kids. That said, it shouldn’t be used by very small children.
Its fine charcoal bristles are gentle on the teeth and are ideal for individuals with inflamed gums or sensitive teeth. Unlike most other toothbrushes, it can remove very difficult stains like stains from continuous smoking, coffee stains or even wine stains. Its handles are very comfortable and practically slim which makes it lightweight and convenient for short and long trips alike,
They were designed by a panel of first-class dentists, evaluated and tested for stain, odor and plaque removal.
Feels soft on the teeth
Perfect for sensitive teeth
No associated oral health risks
Removes food debris, coffee and wine stains
Needs getting used to
Not intended for use by small children
This NFL licensed toothbrush is packed with opposing soft angled bristles that are designed to reach crevices between the teeth with every forward and backward stroke of the brush. An extended tip was also added to get easy access to those hard-reach areas of the teeth. It is considered a great value for money and a lovely gift for any fan of the NFL.
Great quality and price
Packaging not so impressive
The Oral-B 3D White Radiant toothbrush is packed with crisscross bristles – as different from the flat bristles in regular toothbrushes – which help it lift up plaque, clean it and ultimately leave your teeth sparkling white. The extra length of the Power Tip bristles helps to reach those hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. It is also packed with soft gum massagers which do not leave your gum feeling sore after a mouthwash. Overall, these massagers gently stimulate the gum, leaving it healthy and fresh.
Features power-tip bristles
Criss-cross bristles arguably better at cleaning than angled bristles
Not ideal for people with sensitive gums
Does the shape of a toothbrush matter?
Yes, it does. This is because the bristles of your toothbrush should be shaped in such a way that it can reach all the nooks and crannies in your teeth. In general, toothbrushes with more narrow bristles are more effective than ones with wider bristles. Also, toothbrushes with wavy or multilevel bristles are more preferable than the traditional flat-top bristles.
Should I buy a hard-bristled or soft-bristled toothbrush?
Unlike what is believed in most quarters, soft-bristled brushes are the best. If you are a regular smoker, hard bristles are usually the prescribed bristle-type. However, there are now soft-bristled toothbrushes that can easily sweep away tough stains like smoke and coffee stains. The disadvantage of using a toothbrush with hard bristles is that it can cause damage to the enamel. In the longer run, brushing with this bristle type can lead to teeth sensitivity and tooth erosion.
Do I need to disinfect my toothbrush?
This is a valid question and you are not alone in this question sometimes sweeps through your mind. Daily, we transfer bacteria from our teeth to our toothbrushes whenever we brush. However, you need not disinfect the toothbrush to get rid of the bacteria you suppose rests in the head of the toothbrush. The following would usually suffice:
You should rinse the brush thoroughly using clean water after each use to remove every lingering food particle and toothpaste. Thereafter, you should air dry it.
You should also endeavor not to share your toothbrush with anyone no matter how closely related you are.
If you want extra cleaning, dip the bristles of your toothbrush into a small glass of antibacterial mouthwash.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions in dental health. According to recommendations by the American Dental Association, you are not expected to use your toothbrush for more than three to four months at the most. You should also change the toothbrush within those three months if they become frayed, as these kinds of bristles would no longer be effective for teeth or mouth cleaning. If that be the case, replace it with another one, ideally one of the aforementioned.
What is the ideal way to store my toothbrush?
It is common practice for many people to store their toothbrushes in closed containers in a bid to protect them from germs. However, this practice has been proven to be counterproductive. Rather than keep the toothbrush clean and free form germs, it provides an enabling environment for its growth.
The recommended way to store a toothbrush is by placing it in an upright position. This way the toothbrush can air dry. You should endeavor to place your toothbrush holder in a clean cabinet to control the contamination of the brush. Also, be careful not to let multiple toothbrushes have contact with each other as this would only encourage the spread of bacteria from one brush to another.
Manual toothbrushes remain the most effective way to maintaining a bright, clean and white smile. For best results, it is essential that you brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once a day and replace your toothbrush at least every three months.
Generally, the best manual toothbrush for you is one that meets your specific dental needs. For this reason, go for a toothbrush that highlights whiter teeth (e.g. charcoal toothbrush) if you crave for a whiter tooth, or one with gum massagers and soft bristles if you have sensitive gums. Also, the handle should have a good grip so as to make maneuvering easy.
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