p12 Which brush?

There are many types of toothbrush available. Below is the information

you need to decide for yourself and your family which ones you buy.

The filaments: man-made or natural bristle.

I've never seen much difference between them in effect. Perhaps the natural bristle lasts a bit longer - it usually costs a bit more too.

Stiffness of the filaments: lots of arguments about this over the years in the professional literature. I don't think there's a problem. If we use the parallel of a domestic sweeping brush, consider the following.

If the bristles are too soft, they bend over onto their sides. If that is what you need to do to clean fluff off your deep-pile carpets, that's fine. But it's no use in the mouth - we need the tip of the bristle to be the active part of the brush, not the sides.

If the bristles are too rigid, the broom will skate across the top of the hard floor, leaving behind half of the rubbish - fine out in the yard where it's the grass cuttings or straw you're sweeping, but useless in the mouth where you need the bristles to bend over the uneven surface.

So it's a compromise that the individual needs to decide on - it's the end result that matters. Again, try them out, use what feels best, check the end result. If you are having real problems, check 'Specialist types on toothbrush' on page13 for more advice.

How old is your brush? If you think about what you are doing with the toothbrush and how it works in the mouth, you get a clue as to how effective it is.

The individual bristles have to be straight for the tip of the filaments to be in contact with the teeth and gums. That's at all times. If they're not straight, throw the brush out - or put it your car tool bag, or your paint box, or in your greenhouse, or a thousand-and-one other places - they come in handy for so many things!

Look at a new toothbrush end on. All of the bristles are bunched together or evenly splayed out, depending on the design.

Use it a couple of times and you will see the outer bristles lean outwards a bit but stay straight within their own length. That's fine.

But when those outer ones start to curve outwards - that is, the bristle curves within its own length - then when you are using it, those bristles are lying on their sides. That's no use at all - chuck it out.


If I had the money, I'd get the best brush in the world.

No I wouldn't - it doesn't make any difference. If you follow the advice above,

you could do what I do. Buy the cheapest model you can that will do

the job. Then buy a whole lot of them at the same time. Then when the

bristles of the one you're using at the time start to curve outwards, you

don't have to remind yourself to buy a replacement, just stretch out for a

new one. Then your teeth and gums don't miss a day!


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