Silver, Ionic And Silicone Toothbrushes: Do They Work?

The standard toothbrush has been undergoing a lot of makeovers lately, and along with new silicone-bristled brushes, other manufacturers are producing toothbrushes they claim harbor less bacteria than traditional ones or simply clean teeth better. You may wonder if these new types of toothbrushes do have any advantage over typical brushes. Here is a guide to three of the brushes and how they claim to work.

Nano-silver Brushes

One new type of antibacterial toothbrush that is being produced by several companies is the nano-silver brush. If you have heard of colloidal silver and how it was used to fight infections in humans many years ago before antibiotics were invented, then that gives you an idea of the antibacterial powers of silver. Manufacturers of many products have been adding nano-silver to products to give them an antibacterial action, and now they are making toothbrushes with nano-silver particles within the bristles.

While new to the US, dental-hygiene products with nano-silver in them have been used in other countries for years. The questions are: does this technology work, and is it safe?

When dentists were asked, very few stated that they would recommend toothpaste containing silver to their patients. Many even stated that they believe these products may be harmful to the health of their patients. That makes sense given the side effects of colloidal silver, which is why it is no longer considered safe by the FDA.

While the dentists were asked about toothpaste, the fact the same particles are in the brush that are in the paste would likely lead to the same conclusion regarding their view of nano-silver toothbrushes, as both expose your mouth to the same substance.

If you are still interested in trying a toothbrush that contains silver nano particles, then ask your dentist what he or she thinks about it. Sanitizing a typical toothbrush is easy, and most dentists would likely agree that it is a better idea than using a toothbrush that has not yet been approved by the FDA.

Ionic Toothbrushes

Ionic technology has been used in many other applications for years, but it is now being used in some toothbrushes. The theory is that everything has a negative or positive charge, and makers of these toothbrushes claim that their positive-charged bristles remove plaque better because it also has a positive charge, while teeth supposedly have a negative charge.

While using this brush may sound like an easy way to get cleaner teeth, studies have shown that ionic toothbrushes remove no more plaque than traditional brushes. Don't worry if you have used one, though, as these brushes are not believed to have any ill health effects.

Silicone-bristled Brushes

Among the newest alternative toothbrushes on the market is the silicone-bristled brush. While this gadget is in many ways comparable to standard electronic toothbrushes on the market, it has silicone bristles instead of typical nylon ones. While dentists typically advise all patients to purchase a new toothbrush or change the head of an electronic toothbrush every three months, the makers of this brush claim that its head only needs to be changed every year. Users claim it is gentle on teeth and gums.

Although silicone itself is believed to be non-toxic and resistant to bacteria due to its non-porous nature, there have yet to be studies conducted on its use as a toothbrush bristle material and how much plaque it removes compared to typical nylon bristles.

If you want to try this type of toothbrush, then it is best to ask your dentist about his or her opinion before purchasing it. If you have very sensitive teeth and gums, then he or she may think it is a good choice in a gentle toothbrush for you. If you have longstanding dental problems or frequent cavities, then your dentist may prefer that you stick with tried-and-true nylon toothbrushes to make sure you are getting your teeth as clean as possible when you brush.

Many companies are trying to give the standard toothbrush a makeover. If you want to try a new type of toothbrush to relive dental boredom or in attempt to make brushing more fun, then be sure to ask your dentist what he or she thinks before you make the switch.

For more information, you may want to make an appointment at a family dentistry clinic.