Dental Products

What type of toothbrush is best?

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 4.58.51 PM.png

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!

Bottom Line

…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.

Electric toothbrushes

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. 

Recommended Brands

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! ;) 

How can Xylitol help me?

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 4.25.31 PM.png


By: Denise Rysz, RDH


What is xylitol and why do we recommend it? 

What are the benefits to the oral cavity and to allergy sufferers?

Xylitol Helps Fight Tooth Decay

Xylitol is a non-fermentable sugar alcohol from fruit and vegetable fibers that is often used in today’s world as a sweetener for manufactured products, such as medicines, vitamins, toothpaste, and chewing gum. A wonderful trait of xylitol is that it has a sweet taste, and yet has negligible effects on blood sugar or insulin levels. The oral health benefit of xylitol is that it stimulates a healthy supply of saliva that, in turn, neutralizes the PH of the oral cavity within a few minutes of consumption - this acts as a buffer against the harmful acidic environment created by the bacteria in dental plaque.


Xylitol Helps Fight Seasonal Allergies

Xylitol is beneficial for common allergies because it prevents allergens from adhering to nose hairs. You can find nasal sprays and saline neti pot solutions that contain xylitol. Xlear is a popular brand that carries both a nasal spray as well as a neti pot solution.  or 


Ok, So How Do I Consume Xylitol?

In order for xylitol to best prevent tooth decay, it is recommended that the oral cavity is exposed to it 5 times a day for 5 minutes a session, after every meal and snack. Remembering to pop-in a piece of xylitol-containing chewing gum or mint, after every time you eat, is a great way to keep your teeth their healthiest! 


What Are The Best Over-the-Counter Xylitol Products?

Ice Breakers Sugar-free Gum and Mints - Ice Cubes / Frost

Orbit Sugar-free Chewing Gum

Trident Sugar-free Chewing Gum 

Breath Savers Protect Sugar-free Mints

Mentos - Pure Chewing Gum and Mints

Xylimelts - Discs to apply to oral tissue for overnight. These are great if you struggle with a dry mouth! or on 

Spry Gum, Mints, and Toothpaste - can be found at health food stores, like 14 Carrot in Lexington or on 

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 4.32.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 4.38.14 PM.png


Dogs, beware: 

Do be mindful to keep xylitol away from pets. Dogs should not ingest it, as it can be life-threatening. Contact the vet immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol.