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Choosing a Toothbrush
 

Most of us hover over the shelves, picking up one brush then another. After some minutes we make a purchase, seemingly at random. When new patients are asked how they select a toothbrush, they usually say, ‘Oh, I choose any brush really, one that looks nice in its wrapper.’ A toothbrush is an important factor in preventing dental disease, especially gum problems. Therefore the purchaser should be quite specific when going into the shop. The dentist will tell you which brush is suitable for you. Write it down and ask for it. Do not be fooled off with something else ‘almost the same’ or try somewhere else!

Expensive brushes are usually not satisfactory. These are probably hand-made (as if that made them better) and have natural bristles (hog bristles) or sometimes-softer badger hair. None of these is satisfactory. Natural bristle was believed by many (dentists, too) to be better, but this is erroneous. Natural bristles have variable textures and the filaments are hollow and absorbent and rapidly become soggy and infected. Nylon can be made exactly to specification and, because of mass production methods; good brushes can be made much cheaper. As has been shown already, both dental caries and periodontal disease are the result of bacterial action, in the plaque, which collects on the teeth and gums.

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