Question:  How do I select a toothbrush that is right for me?  There are so many available in the store and I am confused.  Please help clarify this.

 Answer:  This is a very good question that you ask.  There is so much marketing done that it can be very confusing for even the dental professional to sort out what the best is for their patients.  There are a few considerations that need to be made when selecting a toothbrush that best suits your needs.

The entire objective of brushing and flossing is to disrupt the growth of bacteria and introduce oxygen below the gum line. Tooth brushing cleans the surface of the teeth and gum that you can see and flossing cleans between the teeth, which is not usually seen.

What is important when selecting a toothbrush is to use one with a SOFT bristle brush.  Hard and medium bristles are damaging to the tooth and gum tissue and are not recommended even though some people mistakenly believe that they clean better.  I believe that battery operated brushes are better for almost everyone.  They are designed to vibrate or go in a circular motion and move the bristles around much faster and more effectively than a handheld brush.  They also have large handles so seniors or those who have difficulty in holding small objects in their hands can do so with ease.   The automatic brushes require the operator to hold the brush in the proper position which is where the tooth and gum tissue meet.  The newer sonicare type of  brushes pulsate and attempt to deliver the oxygen between the teeth, but not as effective as flossing.

Flossing or using toothpicks/stimudents get between the teeth the best.  Cavities and periodontal disease usually start between the teeth so it is critical to disrupt the growth of harmful bacteria at this location.

Both brushing and flossing are critical to oral hygiene maintenance, but not any more important than having regular checkups and cleanings at your dentist.  If you would like more help selecting a toothbrush or have bleeding around your teeth when you brush call our Shelby Township office at (586) 573-4500 to make an appointment.

Shelby Township Dentist Explains How To Select a Toothbrush

The Gentle Dentist Logo