Have you replaced your toothbrush lately? Most experts recommend you don’t use a toothbrush longer than 3 to 4 months, as the bristles can begin to fall out or wear down, decreasing cleaning effectiveness. Before you make your next trip to the drug store, however, you might be interested in mixing things up a bit by trying out a new type of toothbrush.

In addition to the standard manual variety we’re all familiar with, there’s actually a wide selection of different toothbrush designs you may not be familiar with, each with unique advantages and purposes. It’s normal to become lazy or form bad habits if you go through the same routine every night, so it may be a good idea to learn a new brushing technique to re-focus your efforts on your brushing. Read on to learn about some unique toothbrush designs!

Electronic

The most commonly seen design after standard manual brushes, the electronic toothbrush has bristles that are spun in circles by a motor. While tests show that electronic brushes aren’t actually more effective at plaque removal than manual, many models have pressure sensors and timers that can greatly improve your cleaning techniques. They come in a variety of rotation speeds from standard to “sonic” and “ultrasonic”, but the best speed really depends on what you’re most comfortable with.

Interdental

Designed to be used along side a traditional toothbrush in the place of flossing, interdental or “proxy” brushes have small, round disposable heads that fit into the gaps between teeth. They come in a variety of sizes to be used between differently spaced teeth, with the different diameters being color coded. Some studies suggest that, when used alongside traditional brushing, interdental toothbrushes are even more effective than flossing.

End-Tuft

These brushes have a small, rounded tuft of bristles at the end of a long handle designed to allow easier access to difficult to reach places like wisdom teeth, braces, and crowded teeth. The handles have ergonomic grips so you can get the control you need to thoroughly clean these difficult places. Similarly, a variety of end-tufts called the “sulcabrush” has an even smaller, angled tuft designed specifically for cleaning between the teeth and gums.

Eco-Friendly

Because most toothbrushes are plastic and have synthetic bristles, they contribute to the ever-growing problem of non-biodegradable waste when they’re inevitably thrown out. To help cut down on this pollution, some manufacturers have come out with ecological toothbrushes that are made with bio-degradable materials or have disposable heads.

We hope you learned a thing or two from this list! These toothbrush designs may be the perfect alternative or supplement to your normal brushing routine, but not all of them are right for everyone. If you have questions or need some feedback and tips on your oral hygiene techniques, come stop by our San Marcos dentist office. We’re always glad to help people take care of their teeth!