A good tooth brush is one that removes plaque effectively first and foremost. The sole purpose of a tooth brush is to remove a sticky film called bacterial plaque biofilm. This is the biggest cause of tooth damage and decay. The plaque biofilm produces acids which damage the tooth’s hard surface layer, called enamel. Left alone, plaque biofilm will eventually develop enough concentrated acid to penetrate a tooth’s hard outer layer and this can cause irreparable damage inside a tooth.
When looking for a good toothbrush, you should keep in mind the sole purpose of the brush, and not be swayed by colourful packing, special offers, or marketing gimmicks – oral health is a serious issue, and you cannot put a price on healthy teeth.
How to choose a good toothbrush?
Finding the right toothbrush for you involves determining the size and type of bristle your brush needs.
In general, a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head is the most effective type of toothbrush, as this is small enough to penetrate most hard to reach areas. This type of toothbrush is also best for teeth that are not in perfect alignment. There are many studies surrounding bristle strength, however we always recommend our patients to use a soft-bristled brush, or a medium-bristled brush if the patient has exposed and sensitive teeth.
From a user perspective, a good toothbrush is one which is easy to use, and remains in a good condition for more than a month. You will want to replace your tooth brush, or its head, every two months for effective cleaning as over time the bristles of a brush will become too weak and separated to work effectively. A worn toothbrush can damage gums and fail to remove plaque.
Electric vs. Manual
This is the most common question our patients ask.
In general, the most effective type of toothbrush is the one that is used correctly. A manual brush that is used well will be more effective than an electric toothbrush that is used poorly. However, if both types of brush are used properly, then I would say that an electric brush that has a high rpm is going to be the more effective type. Simply, this is because an electric toothbrush is going to achieve more strokes against the teeth than a manual version.
Recommended brands and brushes
There are several toothbrushes on the market that have been proven to remove bacterial plaque biofilm effectively. If you are looking for an electric brush, then there is the Oral B Triumph 5000.
The Oral B Triumph 5000 is certified by the British Dental Association and promises to remove 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush. It pulsates, oscillates and rotates, and has a pressure sensor to protect gums. It has a two year warranty and there are several types of head available, by size, strength and pattern, to broaden its purpose.
If you are looking for a manual toothbrush, then the new Colgate 360 Surround is hard to beat.
The Colgate 360 Surround is a ‘whole mouth cleaning’ brush that removes bacteria in three ways – surround bristles, wraparound cleaner, and cheek and tongue cleaner. The contoured multi-height bristle configuration cleans deep into teeth and gets to all those hard to reach areas.