You are confronted, literally, with a wall of choices when buying even that simple tool of personal grooming, hygiene and health: the toothbrush.
There is a dazzling array of colors, sizes, styles, shapes, weights. Bristle patterns are rectangular, round, oval, square. You can “do it yourself” with a manual brush, or just steer one around your mouth while battery power spins the bristles and does all the work.
Dr. Eric Salud, lead dentist at Complete Comfort Dental in Channahon, says any of those will do the job, used properly, since a toothbrush is basically a toothbrush.
But he also says many people forget the most important factor in making the choice: softness.
“Most people think they’re only brushing their teeth, but they’re brushing their gums at the same time,” he said. “The most important part is the bristles, to make sure you get soft bristles.”
“People normally brush too hard, apply too much pressure, because they think the harder they brush, the cleaner their teeth. But hard bristles damage the gums.”
Gums don’t need any help getting damaged, especially for people who do not brush regularly. For example, when bacteria and tartar are on teeth for a long time, they can cause inflammation (gingivitis). Just like hard brushing, that makes the gums red, swollen and easy to bleed.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, an infection below the gum line that can break down the bone and tissue that holds teeth in place.
Your dentist can tell whether a problem is developing. They can also explain how to brush properly, a good defense if you have the right tool.
Dr. Salud also said a toothbrush with a tongue scraper might also help reduce bacteria. That bacteria is also a source of bad breath.
Complete Comfort Dental
25445 S. Pheasant Lane, Suite I, Channahon, IL., 60410
Call (815) 828-5355, or visit www.completecomfortdental.com.