Learn about the types of toothbrushes[/caption]Imagine how you would clean your teeth if the toothbrush had not been discovered? A toothbrush is an essential tool for having perfectly white, clean teeth and for enjoying a fresh breath.
What Functions does a Toothbrush Perform?
Have you noticed numerous bristles that are present at the head of a toothbrush? They are there for a reason. Their basic purpose is to penetrate within the spaces between the teeth and wipe away all food debris. Depending upon their intended use and requirement, the bristles of toothbrushes can range from very soft to very hard.
What are Different Types of Toothbrushes?
Primarily there are two types of toothbrushes:
- Conventional or Manual
- Powered or Electric
- The Green Brush-Although no records are available but it can be conjectured that brushing of teeth started with our earliest ancestor who lived long enough to see many generations of his offspring. The earliest form of the tooth brush was most likely a part of a green branch, normally with one end chewed or beaten to split into fibers. These fibers are the equivalent of the bristles on modern tooth brushes, while the rest of the stick forms the handle. It is also claimed that sticks of certain trees have medicinal properties and protect the users’ teeth against gum disease. The brush can be disposed away after use. Alternatively, the head can be cleaned and dried; and the brush stored for reuse. Reuse is easy after wetting the head. The bristles can be renewed by cutting them off and chewing or beating the end revealed after cutting. The brush is still popular in Muslim populated regions, and is called the ‘miswak’. The miswak comes from a green branch, and is also ‘green’ in the sense that it has no carbon foot-print. It is biodegradable.
- The Conventional Bristle Brush- It has a plastic handle, and a head having bristles. Variations exist in the handle size (length, width, thickness, grip contouring, and curvature of the stem), and the bristles which are at right angles to the handle. While the handle is not important except for the grip, the bristle design is important. Bristles must be well implanted into the handle so that they do not shed off, should have ends well rounded so that they not injure the gums. Bristles are categorized as soft, medium, and hard. The hard types may help remove plaque better, but may also injure the gum, and fail to clean surfaces between adjacent teeth.
- The Interdental Tooth Brush- It is a special purpose tooth brush for use when wearing fixed appliances e.g. braces, and for cleaning abnormal spaces between adjacent teeth. Teeth surfaces are best cleaned when bristles are nearly vertical to the surface. For cleaning in between adjacent teeth with irregular spacing, interdental brushes have bristles more or less parallel to the handle axis. The bristles may be attached directly to the handle axially, or in the form of a micro bottle brush whose stem is at right angles to the handle. One end of some interdental brushes may have a pick.
Powered or Electric Toothbrushes
Electric tooth brushes are gaining ground over the manual ones because they are expected to do a better cleaning. Also handicapped people may find the electric tooth brush the only choice. The brush consists of a handle and a replaceable brush-head, and may be a separate control and display unit. Motions available are vibrational (back and forth, rotary, and rotary oscillations). Some state of the art brushes offer programmable brushing motions of the head. Since the motor is dc powered, most brushes will have a chargeable battery and a charging stand.
Selecting a Toothbrush
Select a brush with which you are comfortable, which you like to possess, and one which carries the ADA seal. It could be powered or manual. Choose one with a handle which gives a comfortable grip, and brush head whose size fits your mouth comfortably, and whose bristles are of medium hardness and rounded at the tips.
We are not trained dental professionals to offer dental advice. You should always consult your own dental provider when making decisions about your dental health. If you do not have a personal dentist or are looking to change your dentist, you can find a dental provider in the United States (most states) at http://www.discountdentalwork.com to discuss any tooth and oral concerns or questions about dental related topics or types of toothbrushes.