The ancient toothbrushing methods with sticks and leaves have been duly replaced by the toothbrush. Although those ancient methods proved to be very efficient, incorporation of the toothbrush is as important.
These are the toothbrushes that are put into motion by our own hands. These brushes come in various sizes, shapes, textures and bristle patterns.
Most dentists advise soft bristles for sensitive and aging teeth. If you don't face sensitivity, you may go for a brush with medium bristles. This will help in efficient plaque removal. I would never recommend a hard bristle brush. It will cause more abrasion than the cleansing of the teeth.
There are various sizes of the brush head which are used according to the size of the oral cavity, the age of the person and the hidden places in our mouth (that cannot be reached by a brush with a larger head).
Bristles are placed in several patterns such as the conventional rectangle or the diamond shape, which is narrow at the ends. The diamond shape has an advantage of reaching into small spaces that the rectangular brush may not reach.
Bristles of a toothbrush come in many shapes also. You can find plain horizontal bristles, zig zag bristles, wavy shaped bristles or cup shaped bristles. The list is never ending.
I do believe that the technique matters more than the shape and pattern of the bristles.
The market is flooded with various designs of toothbrushes. They can be battery operated or simply be rechargeable. These have an advantage over manual toothbrushes in that there are rotary and oscillating movements of the head of the toothbrush at once. The dual action of the head aids in efficient cleaning of the teeth and gums in less time as compared to manual brushing.
Some electric toothbrushes are accompanied by a jet of water which flows into the interdental spaces of teeth. These brushes nullify the use of dental floss.
The electric brushes may also be appealing to children and make brushing more fun for them. Just make sure it is not their new toy!
The thumb rule of toothbrushing is to make sure to replace your manual or electric toothbrush every 3-4 months.
A proper toothbrush used with a proper brushing technique aids in improving your oral health.