When it comes to oral hygiene, the consensus is that more expensive must mean better quality. After all, who would pay $200 for a toothbrush when you can get one for less than $20? Well, many people. There is a growing segment of consumers willing to spend more on personal care products like toothbrushes and other products to improve their appearance.
Some toothbrushes cost more than others and go much further than brand name or prestige. There are differences in materials and manufacturing processes that can directly impact the final price tag of the finished product. Here we’ll look at why some toothbrushes are more expensive than others, and what makes them worth the cost.
Differences in Manufacturing Processes
The manufacturing process for a toothbrush is crucial in determining its overall quality. Some brushes are made using injection molding, where a machine forces molten plastic into a mold. Other brushes are handcrafted from natural materials or a combination of both. While toothbrushes produced using injection molding are generally cheaper, some differences can affect the price.
For example, brushes made with natural materials like boar bristles or natural rubber may be more expensive due to the increased effort required to produce them. Additionally, materials used to construct the brush head may also impact the price. Some manufacturers use precious metals like gold or silver while others use less costly materials like aluminum.
Toothbrush Materials and Their Effect on Price
Unless a toothbrush is of gold or silver, the materials used to construct the brush head probably don’t account for the majority of the cost. The price of the materials used in the bristles, handle, and other components play a role in the overall cost. Certain materials, like natural rubber, may be more expensive because they take more time to produce.
However, many brushes made from synthetic materials are either derived from petroleum or are biodegradable. Brush heads made with natural materials like boar bristles are more expensive compared to synthetic bristles.
Unfortunately, there is no standard for grading or measuring the quality of bristles. This makes it difficult to tell what materials to use in each brush. Some manufacturers may use synthetic materials to make their “natural” bristles. Other brush heads, like those made from nylon or other synthetic materials, are generally less expensive but are still a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The durability of Toothbrushes and the Importance of Quality Construction
The durability of a toothbrush is crucial to its overall value. Unfortunately, many brushes fall apart before the bristles show signs of wear. Cheaper brushes tend to be less durable materials that may fall apart more quickly or become misshapen. While bristles are the first part to show wear, the handle is just as crucial to the lifespan of a brush. The materials and construction of the handle can make the difference between a brush that lasts a couple of months and one that lasts several years or even decades. Brushes made of metal generally last longer than other options due to their sturdiness. Unfortunately, metal toothbrushes are often quite expensive.
Some brushes, like the Colgate Total Advanced, are made with metal and plastic. These types of brushes generally cost less than those made entirely with metal.
Brushing Technique and Timing
The brushing technique will vary depending on the type of brush you use. Toothbrushes made from softer materials like nylon are easier to brush with a lighter touch. Other toothbrushes, like those made from stiffer materials like boar bristles, may require a heavier touch. Knowing how and where your brush should be used and how much pressure to use are important factors to keep in mind when selecting a brush. Brushing for two minutes once a day is the recommended amount of time for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
However, many people fail to brush for the full two minutes. A timer built into the handle of many brushes can help improve brushing time. Toothbrushes with rechargeable batteries or those that can be plug into the wall are generally more expensive compared to their non-electric counterparts.
Some Recommended Toothbrushes
Some brushes cost more than others, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth the price. When deciding which brush to purchase, keep in mind that all toothbrushes should meet federal guidelines.
Beyond meeting the bare minimum, it’s crucial to consider the type of bristles, comfort, and durability of the toothbrush head. Brushes made with softer bristles like nylon generally cost less compared to stiffer options like Oral-B Manual Toothbrush which are made with boar bristles. While softer bristles may be less effective at removing plaque and preventing gingivitis, they are generally easier to use and usually cost less.
Brushing your teeth with a toothbrush that is comfortable to use combined with proper brushing technique will improve oral hygiene and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Only you can decide which brush is worth the cost. However, before making a purchase, consider the type of bristles, brushing technique, and longevity of the toothbrush.