In our dental office, we are often  asked our opinions on the best products for keeping the mouth healthy.  In regard to toothbrushes, there are  so many on the market these days,  how do you choose? Is one more  effective than another? And what is  the best technique when using that toothbrush?  

Some studies have shown that  toothbrushes with either multi-level  bristles or angled bristles perform  better. In any case, a soft bristled  toothbrush, whether manual or electric, is best for protecting the gums  while removing the soft plaque and  food debris. People who have dexterity problems such as the elderly,  people with disabilities, or children,  or those who have dental appliances, like braces, may find a powered  toothbrush easier to use. And some people just enjoy using an electric toothbrush and are more likely to  brush better with one! Know that  once plaque hardens and becomes  tartar, no amount of brushing, no  

Our favorite manual toothbrush here at Cheek Dental is the Butler GUM Technique Deep Clean tooth brush. We love its multilevel, soft,  thin bristles. Among the electric  ones, we like the Oral BiO, the Sonicare Diamond Clean, and the Waterpik Sonic Fusion 2.0. One cool  extra about the Waterpik toothbrush  is that a selected setting allows for  water to spray from the toothbrush  head as you use it, helping to remove  the plaque and food debris in  between your teeth while you brush.  

Whichever toothbrush you choose,  you should brush your teeth twice a  day for two minutes using a fluoride  toothpaste. Two minutes is necessary to achieve significant plaque  removal, and use of a toothpaste  containing fluoride decreases your  risk of caries (decay) and helps remineralize teeth, strengthening them.  The best technique is to place the  toothbrush against the gumline at  a 45-degree angle to remove plaque  from above and just below the gum line. If it is a manual toothbrush,  move the toothbrush gently in a circular motion. Electric toothbrushes  do most of this motion for you… you just have to put the toothbrush  in the right spot! Brushing should  touch upon all surfaces of the teeth  – inner, outer and chewing. should replace your toothbrush (or  electric toothbrush head) every three  to four months, more often if the  bristles are visibly matted or frayed. 

After using a toothbrush, rinse it  thoroughly to remove any remaining paste and debris. Then when  you store your toothbrush, be sure  to place it in an upright position  and allow sit to air dry. Storing a  moist toothbrush in a closed container promotes growth of bacteria.  And never share your toothbrush!  Sharing a toothbrush could result  in an exchange of microorganisms  between people and can spread  viruses and disease from one mouth  to another. 

No matter which toothbrush you choose, be sure to use it at least twice a day. And matter how hard, can remove it. A  professional cleaning with your dentist will be necessary.  And the perfect  ending to some really good tooth brushing is FLOSS! 

Dr. Cristi Cheek is the  owner of Cheek Dental  here in East Cobb. You may contact her at  770-993-3775 or visit