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Types of Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes have been in existence for over 5,000 years now. Brushing your teeth has become an indispensable part of our daily routines such that we do not even think much about it. We just do it. According to Lemelson-MIT Survey, Americans voted toothbrush as an invention we cannot live without. It is such an integral part of our lives. However, the toothbrush we know today is very different from what it was during the early stages. Earlier, it used to be present in a chew stick format, a thin twig with a frayed end was used to remove food from our teeth. Over time, different formats of toothbrushes were made such as, tree twigs, bird feathers, animal bones, porcupine quills and so on. The modern nylon-bristled toothbrush we use today was invented in 1938.

Nowadays toothbrushes are available in different formats, however, most dentists would recommend using a soft toothbrush since hard bristled toothbrushes can damage tooth enamel and irritate the gums. However, when we move around the supermarket, we are sometimes overwhelmed by the options in front of us. In order to choose the best toothbrush for us, let us first try to understand the different types of toothbrushes available in the market.

The different types of toothbrushes available are:

1. Manual Toothbrush

The most common form of toothbrush available in our homes is the manual toothbrush. The four primary formats of the manual toothbrushes are Bristle Hardness, Head Shape, Bristle pattern and handle design.

Bristle hardness: Soft bristles are appropriate for most people, but medium- and hard-bristled toothbrushes are also available. The advantage of using a harder toothbrush is that it clears away more plaque, but it may irritate your gums and even wear away your enamel if you brush too hard.

Head shape: Conventionally shaped toothbrush heads are rounded or squared off. Diamond-shaped toothbrushes tend to be better at reaching the back and sides of your molars.

Bristle pattern: Several different bristle patterns are effective at cleaning teeth. Common varieties include wavy, crisscross, tapered and bristles with polishing cups. Your choice should depend on your dental needs and what feels the most comfortable.

Handle design: The four broad classes of toothbrush handles include straight, contra-angle, non-slip grip and flexible. The handle you choose should allow you to comfortably reach every tooth surface, including the very back of your mouth.

2. Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush performs rotations of its bristles and cleans hard to reach places. These brushes tend to be costlier, however, there are effortless when brushing. You simply press the button and let the toothbrush do its work. Some even have timers to help you brush more effectively. It has been discovered that compared to a manual brush, the multi-directional power brush might reduce the incidence of gingivitis and plaque when compared to regular side-to-side brushing.

Electric toothbrushes are further divided into three types depending on the speed of its movement:

Standard power toothbrushes are any powered toothbrush.

Sonic toothbrush is powered toothbrush that is fast enough to produce a hum in the audible frequency.

Ultrasonic toothbrush is a powered toothbrush which is faster than the sonic toothbrush.

3. Inter-dental brush

An inter-dental also called as an interproximal brush is a small brush, typically disposable, either supplied with a reusable angled plastic handle or an integral handle, used for cleaning between teeth and between the wires of dental braces and the teeth. In short, it is used to clean the interdental space (big gap). The use of interdental brushes in conjunction with tooth brushing, has been shown to reduce both the amount of plaque and the incidence of gingivitis when compared to toothbrushing alone.

4. Sulcabrush

It is used specifically to clean along the gumline adjacent to the teeth. The bristles are usually shaped in a pointed arrow pattern to allow closer adaptation to the gums. A Sulcabrush is ideal for cleaning specific difficult-to-reach areas, such as between crowns, bridgework and crowded teeth.

5. End-tuft brush

It is a small round brush head comprising of seven tufts of tightly packed soft nylon bristles, trimmed so the bristles in the center can reach deeper into small spaces. The brush handle is ergonomically designed for a firm grip, giving the control and precision necessary to clean where most other cleaning aids cannot reach such as the posterior of the wisdom teeth (third molars), orthodontic structures (braces), crowded teeth, and tooth surfaces that are next to missing teeth. It can also be used to clean areas around implants, bridges, dentures and other appliances.

6. Chewable toothbrush

It is a miniature plastic molded toothbrush which can be placed inside the mouth. They are generally used by travelers and are sometimes available from bathroom vending machines. It is present in different flavors such as mint or bubble-gum and should be disposed of after use.

7. Ecological toothbrushes

They are toothbrush made using biodegradable materials such as wooden handles, bristles of bamboo or pig bristles and/or replaceable heads. They try to avoid plastic which increases pollution. Since most of the people living today use the commonly available toothbrush made of plastic, every time we replace our toothbrush the pollution increases. Ecological toothbrush is being given a lot of push to conserve our nature.

These are some of the most common types of toothbrush available in the market. Now we know the different types of toothbrushes. In order to choose the right toothbrush for our use we should also know what are the different factors to be taken into consideration while choosing a new toothbrush. We will know more about it in our upcoming post.

For your information, at Dr. Mohamed Ali’s office, San Francisco, he will thoroughly assess your mouth before recommending any treatment for you considering about your dental issues. If required, he might suggest some alternatives which are best suited for your needs. The billing experts will inspect your insurance benefits and will offer you a complete treatment plan with all the necessary arrangements. Every major dental and medical PPO insurance plan are accepted, including Medicare. There is also an in-office Plan for Health for those who don’t have any insurance. Also, we have partnered with various financial institutions like The Lending Club, Care Credit, Healthcare Finance Solutions, to make your treatment extremely affordable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. So sit, relax, and get sparkling white teeth. If you are ready to boost up your smile, give us a call or visit our website today! You can reach us at 415.391.7751.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. John Jones

    Thanks for sharing this information. Most people don’t know this. And people are not aware that there are different toothbrush available for different individuals. They can select the best out of many according to their needs.

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