Apr 142015

Finding the Perfect Toothbrush

In the several years that I have been in practice, I have had many patients ask me questions like “What kind of toothbrush should I be using?” or “Does an electric toothbrush do better than a regular toothbrush?”  The conundrum to this is that there is no correct toothbrush for every person for every situation.  My answer to patients is always, “it varies.”  I happen to be a manual toothbrush girl.  I enjoy the ritual of flossing, standing in front of the mirror, brushing my teeth well, making small circles at the gumline, with my soft toothbrush (modified-bass technique).  However, my hygiene is exemplary as I spend more time than the average person brushing my teeth and generally thinking about teeth.  Using a manual toothbrush is effective for patients that have the time, dedication and mastery of brushing.

I see patients with gum recession and I would advise them that using an extra-soft toothbrush with light pressure on the gum tissue (technically the Stillman technique) may help prevent them from getting more recession.  A lot of patients use electric toothbrushes and say their teeth feel cleaner after brushing.  Kudos to them.  If that motivates you to brush your teeth and you like the timer on the brush, please use one.  These are especially effective if you are a child, have braces or any time of motor impairment that makes brushing difficult.  I will warn you that no matter what kind of fancy packaging or diagrams the companies “wow” you with, no electric (or manual for that matter) toothbrush is a substitute for an interproximal aid (ie flossing).   So what’s the answer for the next patient that asks me what kind of toothbrush to use? The right toothbrush is the one that works best in your hands…

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