By Caroline N. Thomas, DMD
At PDA, we often get asked the question, “With so many options, what type of toothbrush is best for me?”…There are hard brushes, medium, soft, electric, spin, self-timers, phone apps, and perhaps the most compelling of all, the new trendy electric toothbrushes seen on social media. It is easy to see how one would get confused!
…It is more about the brushing technique than the actual brush. As long as you have the brush at a 45 degree angle along the gum line, cover all surfaces of the teeth, and use gentle pressure, you will be good to go. However, a good rule of thumb to remember ———> only buy a SOFT toothbrush. Medium and hard brushes should honestly not even be manufactured. Plaque is very soft and does not take much pressure to remove, and the more firm the brush, the more likely you will cause gum recession over time.
Manual toothbrushes are just fine to use, if used properly; though electric toothbrushes are truly beneficial for everyone. One major benefit is that, with an electric toothbrush, you no longer use a scrubbing motion. Instead, you slowly move the electric brush around your teeth and let the sonic motion of the toothbrush head do all the work. This is a wonderful way to prevent gum recession from getting worse. If you are someone who builds up heavy tartar, an electric toothbrush can also help decrease the tartar between your dental hygiene appointments.
Sonicare and Oral-B are two widely supported electric toothbrush brands, both with the ADA seal of approval. The team at PDA has used and likes both brands. It really comes down to personal preference on brush head size, as both brands do an outstanding job cleaning. The Sonicare brush has a rectangular head, while the Oral-B brush has a circular head. Just like you should change your manual toothbrush every 6 months, you will also change the electric brush head every 6 months, or sooner if it appears worn. Both Sonicare and Oral-B toothbrush bodies can last for many, many years and are an investment that will pay you back 10-fold with healthy teeth and gums….and, of course, don’t forget to floss! ;)