Toothbrush Basics

Toothbrush Basics For Good Teeth Anatomy


The toothbrush is an indispensable instrument for the removal of plaque and food debris from dental surfaces.

There are many types of toothbrushes that differ in size, form, stiffness of bristles, and length and array of tufts.

The ideal toothbrush doesn’t exist (Bergenholtz et al. 1984), but various studies have shown that a short-headed manual toothbrush and synthetic bristles with rounded tips are more effective.

The SHORT HEAD has fewer tufts and is very functional because it can easily reach all areas of the mouth.


In fact, the fewer tufts present on the head of the toothbrush, the more effective it will be in removing plaque.

SYNTHETIC BRISTLES (e.g. nylon, tynes) are the best choice because they do not absorb water and therefore remain stiff, whereas natural ones tend to lose their original consistency and become very soft, and, therefore, ineffective in removing plaque (Bay et al. 1967).

Natural bristles have hollows in which bacteria can colonize and furthermore, they do not have rounded tips, which are, instead, indispensable because they reduce lesions of the gingiva.

The longer a toothbrush is used, the more its signs of wear increase, and its cleaning potential diminishes.

Due consideration should also be given to other factors that determine the wear of the toothbrush, such as the length and frequency of brushing, the brushing force applied, and the quality of the toothpaste. These factors vary a great deal according to the individual, and any variations will determine the rapidity with which the toothbrush begins to show signs of wear.


The toothbrush must be replaced when it loses its initial form and becomes matted.

As a general rule, even if the toothbrush is not deformed, it is advisable to change it every two and a half to three months, because in this lapse of time, variations in the form of the bristle tips can occur and this alteration reduces the effectiveness of the toothbrush in removing plaque (Kreifeldt et al. 1980, Massassati – Frank 1982).


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