Tips For Choosing The Best Toothbrush And Toothpaste

Walking down the dental hygiene aisle of the drug store, you'll see dozens of toothbrushes and toothpastes. Many of them claim to be the best at taking care of your teeth. How do you pick the right products for you? Here are some tips to help you navigate the seemingly endless variety of dental care products in that aisle.

Start With Your Dentist

Your dentist can recommend a toothbrush and toothpaste for you based on their knowledge of your dental health. If you have especially sensitive teeth, or your gums are prone to bleeding when you brush, the dentist may suggest a special toothbrush and toothpaste. But a general dentistry clinic doesn't have the time to review all of the various products that are out there. Take their recommendations with you to the store and find other products that match their suggestions.

Choosing a Toothbrush

An important element in choosing a toothbrush is finding one that you will consistently use. If the toothbrush is uncomfortable or hard to use, you may not be as diligent about your brushing as you should be. Look for a toothbrush that will keep you on a regular brushing schedule. Here are some tips for finding the right toothbrush for you:

  • Get the right bristle stiffness for you. The harder you hold the toothbrush against your teeth when you brush, the softer the bristles should me. Most toothbrush brands come with soft, medium or hard bristles.
  • Get the right size toothbrush head for your mouth. The are no standard sizes so compare the heads in the store. Some are much shorter than other styles. If you have a small mouth and it's difficult for you to brush your back teeth, get the smallest head you can find.
  • Get the right handle for you. Toothbrush handles come in different shapes and sizes from small and straight to large and molded to fit your hand. If the handle is too small for your hand, it could be hard to hold onto, especially when wet. Too large, and the handle may be uncomfortable to hold onto for long periods.

Choosing a Toothpaste

As with the toothbrush, you want to pick a toothpaste that keeps you brushing. This usually means a product that has an appealing taste and does not irritate your gums or cheeks. Here are some things to keep in mind as you wander through the toothpaste aisle:

  • Pastes and gels are equally effective on your teeth.
  • Flavors added to toothpaste don't improve the results of your brushing, but the taste may help you brush longer and more regularly.
  • Check the ingredient list for added sugar to make the product taste better. Make sure the sugar is low on the list and rinse your mouth out thoroughly after brushing if you choose a product that contains sugar.
  • Products with added fluoride may be helpful if you get cavities easily.
  • Anti-tartar products may be good for you if your dentist has told you that you develop plaque easily.
  • Toothpaste with added baking soda can help remove stains, if your teeth are easily stained by foods.

You may have to try several toothbrushes and toothpastes to find the combination you like best. When you have the combination that makes you brush on a regular basis, those are the best products for you. For more tips on dental care, contact a company like Barnstable Dental Associates.