Which toothbrush to choose: regular or electric? What about pasta? Whitening, anti-inflammatory, herbal, or lemon and chocolate? Doctor Gabueva helped aif.ru figure out how to choose the best method of oral hygiene.
Electric or conventional: which is better
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, the choice depends on the individual needs and preferences of each person.
A regular toothbrush is more affordable and therefore more common. It is simple in design and consists, as a rule, only of a handle and bristles. The bristles can be of different stiffness and from different materials, the choice depends on the characteristics of the enamel. However, when using a conventional toothbrush, the consumer will have to use more intense brushing strokes to remove plaque and food debris from the surface of the teeth.
An electric toothbrush is a more effective cleaning tool. Due to the various rotational movements of the head, it better removes plaque and food debris from the surface of the teeth. In addition, electric toothbrushes are often equipped with a timing system, which disciplines the user, who performs the hygiene process for the prescribed time (at least two to three minutes), which also helps to maintain oral health. In addition, electric brushes can have several modes – and you can choose the most suitable one.
There are three types of these devices: rotary, sonic and ultrasonic electric toothbrushes. Each of them performs “cleaning in the mouth” in its own way:
- for rotary brushes, the cleaning head rotates quickly from side to side;
- sonic bristles are set in motion by high-frequency sound waves;
- ultrasonic ones use ultrasound for this, so they work silently, but this is where their advantages end. The aif.ru expert does not advise their patients to use them.
However, electric toothbrushes also have disadvantages. They are more expensive than regular ones and require a replacement head or batteries. Also, not all people can easily adapt to their use.
“If there is no difficulty in brushing your teeth, you can continue to use a regular toothbrush. But if you need to improve the quality of brushing, in particular in hard-to-reach places, or if you already have problems with the health of your teeth and gums, you should consider buying an electric toothbrush. After all, oral health is an investment in the future,” says the expert.
What kind of toothpaste do we use?
No less important is the choice of toothpastes, since not all of them are equally useful and safe. There are several criteria to consider when choosing:
1. Compliance with GOST 7983-99
This standard ensures that the toothpaste meets certain quality and safety requirements. So that you can be sure of its effectiveness, you should pay attention to the appropriate labeling on the package.
Abrasiveness is an indicator that determines the ability of the paste to cause wear of tooth enamel and dentin under the influence of friction. It is measured by the RDA index:
- for children under three years old, you need to choose pastes with an RDA index of 0-20;
- for sensitive gums and teeth – RDA 20-50;
- low-abrasive pastes that are suitable for daily use have an RDA index of 50-80;
- medium abrasive pastes with good whitening characteristics have an RDA index of 80-110;
- highly abrasive pastes with a strong whitening effect have an RDA index of 110 or more. They are not suitable for permanent use and are strictly prohibited with high sensitivity of the teeth.
All ingredients, their quantity and percentage must be indicated on the packaging of the paste. And there should also be a colored strip, which indicates the ratio of the ingredients of natural and chemical origin present in the paste:
- green color indicates the most natural composition. Such a paste will belong to the category of hygienic, preventive hygiene products. With caution, you need to choose “green” pastes for people with allergies;
- red color indicates a balanced composition of chemical and natural components. It is used as a hygienic, prophylactic agent;
- the blue color of the label indicates that up to 80% of the chemicals in the paste are a high-intensity agent. You can use it on a regular basis, however, alternating with other, less active pastes;
- black color indicates 100% chemical composition, which means a high content of active substances. Such pastes, as a rule, are medicinal, that is, they are not intended for permanent use.
As for therapeutic pastes with fluorine and calcium, our expert does not prescribe them to all patients, but only to those who suffer from enamel hypersensitivity and signs of initial caries in the stain stage. Of course, if caries is already at a more significant stage, no paste will help, you have to go to treat your teeth. There is an opinion that using fluoride toothpaste is harmful. To date, it has been scientifically proven that fluorides, which are part of the pastes, are not toxic. They neutralize the process of reproduction of bacteria that contribute to the appearance of carious cavities. The maximum allowable concentration of fluorine is 0.15%, i.e. 1500 ppm.
4. Consistency and taste
But this is, of course, a matter of personal preference. However, it is important to remember that toothpaste is not a food product, so taste and aroma should not be the main selection criteria.
“Using toothpaste and brushing is the first step towards healthy teeth and pleasant breath, but it is not the only way to care. To achieve a truly healthy mouth and fresh breath, it is also important to follow the correct technique of brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with special solutions (dental elixirs), use dental floss and irrigator, and visit the dentist regularly, which will allow you to identify the problem at an early stage and avoid more serious problems in the future,” advises Dr. Gabueva.