I'm a child-size toothbrush lover. I find the size of the child and youth-size brushes to be very efficient. Sure, you'll cover more teeth in a single swipe with a large brush, but the quality of plaque removal isn't as good with a large head. Plus, those last teeth in the row are difficult to reach with a brush head that's big.
In order to do a proper job with a toothbrush, the bristles must go slightly under the gums and slightly around the tooth. You probably already noticed that teeth have rounded corners; unfortunately this anatomical feature makes it difficult to remove bacteria from your teeth. Without proper placement, a large brush can easily skip right over those spots. Newer brushes, with bristles going in all directions at different levels with different colors, are helpful, but you still have to know the principles of proper tooth brushing technique in order to make them work properly.
Around a tooth is a little moat. That moat and the rounded corners of your tooth at the gum line make a terrific habitat for bacteria. Bacteria love it there: there's plenty of food, not much mechanical activity from biting and chewing, plus it's moist and warm. The bristles need to get into the moat and around those curved corners. A large brush in the hands of the hurried person will fly right past those tricky areas. Using a small head brush will force the user to practically brush one tooth at a time, which is probably the best way to brush teeth. If your hygienist keeps talking to you about properly brushing your teeth, you may want to consider a smaller or child-size toothbrush. Feel your teeth with your tongue when you're done brushing, if they aren't slippery, do them over. With enough time, brushing at home can achieve that slippery feeling you get from your dental hygienist polishing your teeth.
So when's a good time to switch your child over to a larger size tooth brush? The answer is, as soon as the child is old enough to pay for their own brush. Bacteria cause decay and the longer decay is postponed, the greater the chance that the child will never have a "caries experience." Better brushing is more likely with a smaller brush, so don't rush the big brush.
Another option for tooth brushing is an automatic, or power toothbrush. For the unmotivated brusher, a power toothbrush is a great tool. Choose one that you like. Choose one you're going to use. When making the decision, highly consider the ones with the smallest heads. A lot has happened in the world of power brushes, most notably the cost. These days they range in cost from under $20 to over $100. The best one is one you use properly every day.
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.