First and foremost should be the overall size of your mouth. This determines the brush head size, whether you choose an electric or manual brush. Using too big of a brush head will not necessarily cover more surface area but could pose more difficulty in doing a thorough job as it may be more challenging to manuever. So if you have a small mouth, use a smaller headed toothbrush. If you tend to have a bigger mouth, then use a larger brush head.
It used to be that "natural" bristles were the best. Studies have shown that "natural" bristle brushes, those made from hair, are somewhat porous and can actually harbor bacteria. So, we at Dr. Mangelson's office strongly encourage our patients to use a synthetic brush.
The type of brush matters as well. The texture of a toothbrush matters just as much as the proper technique used when brushing your teeth. Using the proper technique with a soft bristle brush protects the more delicate tissue, preventing recession, Some patients feel that their teeth are not clean enough when using a soft bristle brush. Thorough manual brushing requires a minimum of 5 minutes and a technique that includes angling the brush 45 degrees at the junction of the teeth and gums. Instead of "scrubbing" it is recommended that brushing in a small circular motion with a manual brush is best. This prevents tissue damage and stimulates the blood flow to the gum tissue.
It is a well known fact that toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months and they should be replaced after an illness, like the flu or the common cold.
Now, what about those electric toothbrushes that we see advertised everywhere. There has been a great deal of clinical research devoted to proving that electric toothbrushes are far superior than manual brushes when it comes to eliminating dental plaque and preventing gum disease. Electric toothbrushes are designed to vibrate at high speeds therefore producing more brush strokes per minute than manual toothbrushes. Some have different cleaning modes, timers and pressure sensors.
How do you decide between the different electric brushes on the market? Actually there are just 2 types: a normal power electric brush and a sonic electric brush. Most normal power electric brushes have rotary heads that spin in a circular motion or pulsating heads which vibrate in a horizontal forward-and-back motion.In the past these types of electric toothbrushes did not have extra features but they now have similar features to the sonic brushes.
The sonic toothbrush is similar to the power toothbrush except the key difference is brush speed and power. The mechanism of action is by sound waves or by vibrating water moloecules which are more effective in cleaning the teeth and gums.
Even with electric toothbrushes the brush head size does make a difference in the effective use and efficiency of the one's brushing. Another key factor when purchasing an electric toothbrush is the warranty. One should consider the purchase of an electric toothbrush as a long term investment. Most last about 3-5 years, with the recommended twice daily brushing. Many of the electric toothbrushes purchased in a dental office come with a longer warranty. Some come with a money back guarantee. Another thing to consider is the batery life. Most come with battery life indicators that tell you when to recharge the brush. Be sure to purchase an electric toothbrush with rechargable batteries. Most batteries will last about a week with the regular recommended brushing. Some SONICARE models come with a UV sanitzers. Dr. Mangelson and his hygienists highly recommends this brush as the UV sanitizer works to kill any existing bacteria or germs that may grow on your brush head while it is sitting in the bathroom.
Dental health is extremely important to our overall health. If you hae any questions about what type of toothbrush is best for you please contact our office.