A toothbrush is the sole oral health friend to many! Are we lying? We all can agree on this, most reading this right now have a toothbrush as the only cleaning aid for their oral cavity. If we ask for a general description of your toothbrush, many responses will be, “a plastic and rubber-like stick with a brush-like head that we put our toothpaste on and start our day.”, Right? Sometimes we don’t care to see how it exactly works in the mouth. Commercial advertising has done the job for us, creating advanced graphic advertisements showing how “efficiently “ the toothbrush of their brand works.
While toothbrushes commercially are sold adding all these eye-catching features, as long as they follow the basic guidelines issued for the structure of a toothbrush by the ADA, there is a whole classification of toothbrushes, based on the proper use, that you might rarely get to know. So we are here to add that knowledge to you.
So, what parts are a toothbrush made of? A toothbrush consists of a head, neck and shaft.
The Different Types of Toothbrushes You Must’ve Heard About
Zig-zag bristles, diagonal bristles, angled, criss-cross etc. provide the needed care, according to them. Adding to it, as toothpaste started having exotic, miraculous and ‘effective’ recipes adding charcoal, mint, lemon, salt, green tea and the entire condiment variety available on earth, the toothbrush department didn’t want to be left behind.
So now you also find toothbrushes with green tea, charcoal, clove etc. To be eco-friendly, the plastic body is getting replaced by bamboo or other materials. We also have variations in the body like angled, straight etc. based on the comfort to use. listed above would be your answer if we ask you, “ what are types of toothbrushes?” but is it all? Definitely No!
More Types of Toothbrushes You Should Know About
1) Based on the Type of Bristles:
Bristles are the part on the head which performs the action of removing the plaque and food debris. It is the “brush” like part that you place on your teeth. This kind of variation is recently being introduced in commercial advertising too.
- Hard or medium-sized bristled toothbrushes are available and provide better removal of plaque and food particles.
- Soft and ultra-soft toothbrushes are created for people who find hard or medium bristled toothbrushes uncomfortable. People with sensitive teeth are also recommended to use soft bristles.
2) Based on the Mode of Operation:
This classification tells you the energy consumed by the toothbrush to work.
- Manual: It is the regular toothbrush that requires human energy and the brushing action is made through the movement of the hands. The advantage is controlled movement, pressure and direction by the user.
- Powered: These are electrically powered toothbrushes that do not require the patient to perform the brushing to and fro action. They are designed to effectively clean the mouth on their own. A lot of people shift to such toothbrushes but they are mainly advised for patients who are physically or psychologically unable to brush.
3) Based on Age:
Yes, it is quite obvious that children would require different toothbrushes.
- Adult: Adults have more teeth that are stronger and larger in comparison to our milk teeth. Hence, adult toothbrushes are longer in length and have a bigger head than pediatric toothbrushes. The tufts of bristles are also more in number.
- Pediatric: Pediatric toothbrushes are designed for milk teeth and have smaller structures. The bristles are also softer to be gentle on the gums while effectively cleaning the teeth. To make the brushing experience attractive and enjoyable and initiate healthy brushing habits in kids, brushes are often designed in bright attractive colours, with shafts modelled as their favourite animated characters or toys.
4) Interdental Toothbrushes:
These are special types of brushes that you might not identify as a toothbrush at first glance. They are smaller than average toothbrushes and have an angled neck with a thin cylindrical head which has bristles on all sides. It resembles a “bottle cleaning brush”.
The bristles are very thin. The use of these brushes is to clean the interdental spaces i.e. the spaces between the teeth. The bristles easily glide into these spaces and prevent plaque from accumulating in the gums. They are also used in orthodontic patients, where the wires and braces do not allow cleaning by a normal toothbrush. So, these brushes are effective in cleaning between the wires.
5) Finger Toothbrushes:
For babies, who have newly growing teeth, regular cleaning is also required. Finger brushes are good to go for newly erupted teeth in infants. These are cup-like structures with toothbrushes-like bristles. They fit on the finger and are used to clean infants’ teeth as they are not able to do it themselves.
6) Chewable Toothbrushes:
As innovations are already on the go for every sector, dentistry too is evolving with new upgrades and innovations. Chewable toothbrushes are an addition to that list. A chewable toothbrush is a small, flexible piece containing bristles, as in a regular toothbrush that can be manoeuvred with mouth movements.
It is extremely useful when you are not able to find water or in inconvenient places or situations. It doesn’t require water or even toothpaste. After a single-use, the toothbrush can be disposed of. When it comes to the efficiency of the toothbrush compared to regular ones, it is proven to be equally effective in cleaning and leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
Did you learn something new about types of toothbrushes today? We hope you did. With the continuous advancement in dentistry, there are innovations happening every day and by the time you read this article, we might have a new type of toothbrush already. So keep your knowledge of toothbrushes updated and use the right kind of brush for the right need.
Also, do not forget to replace your toothbrush regularly if it isn’t doing its job effectively. Happy brushing!