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. Also.you 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 www.cheekdental.com.