Which Toothbrush Is Should You Use?
If you are really good at your oral hygiene, it probably doesn’t matter much which toothbrush that you buy. You would likely find no difference in how clean my hygienists’ teeth are after brushing and flossing no matter which toothbrush that I gave them. Stick with a soft bristled brush so that you don’t damage your teeth over time. Also, make sure that the head is not too large to reach your back teeth. If you have been told by your dentist that you have some recession of otherwise healthy gums, then a soft bristled tooth brush becomes even more important. I know that harder bristles feel like they are cleaning better, but over time, they can cause damage which can lead to a need for fillings or even a trip to the periodontist for gum surgery. Angle the toothbrush and stick with small circles instead of a sawing motion when you brush. You are trying to get those bristles below the gumline too as that is where plaque likes to hide.
Try a Dental Hygienist
Most people are not going to do as good of a job brushing our teeth as my dental hygienists do. Electric toothbrushes seem to do a better job- especially for those of us less diligent in our home care. In the past, both Sonicare and Oral B have given me samples of their toothbrushes, and I like both. Stick with the models that sit in a charger rather than the ones that require you to replace batteries. The rotation seems more powerful in the former. Recommended is Oral B to people who are prone to brushing too hard. If you push too hard as you brush on the Oral B, the noise will change reminding you to lighten up. Move the toothbrush from surface to surface allowing time for the rotation of the brush to do its work. Brush the chewing surface of the tooth and also the 4 sides. Imagine a tooth like a box on the ground. You want to clean the top of the box and all four sides of the box- even the sides that have another box (tooth) next to them.
Take Your Time Brushing Your Teeth
You won’t be able to get fully to the two sides between the teeth but still allow for some time in these areas. And angle the toothbrush and allow the bristles to get below the gumline. Don’t forget the backside of the back teeth (loop your floss back there also). For people with a history of periodontal disease, we recommend the Sonicare toothbrushes. The Sonicares seem to be a little more aggressive in the mouth. This might be a good or a bad thing, but it is generally a good thing in the presence of periodontal disease. It is probably wise to change your brush heads every 3-6 months depending on how quickly your brush head gets frayed and the bristles start spreading. I don’t remember seeing much research on this matter and toothbrush wear likely varies from person to person.
For most people, a good electric toothbrush is a worthwhile investment for the health of your mouth. Both OralB and Sonicare are good, but there are likely other good products out there that I am not aware of. You should also be flossing, but that is another topic for another entry.