Friday, December 20, 2013

Which Toothbrush Should I Use?

                    If you have ever walked down the aisle where toothbrushes are sold, it can be a little overwhelming. With traditional brushes, there are different brands, sizes, shapes and bristle hardness. Electric toothbrushes offer different brands, shapes, brush heads, and extra features. They can range in price from around $30 to over $200! Hopefully we can add a little clarity on what works best and what is most important when purchasing and using a toothbrush at home.
                 In my opinion, an electric toothbrush offers the best opportunity to provide the good yourself with good oral hygiene at home. One of the most important features an electric toothbrush can offer is a two minute timer. It is recommended that you spend two minutes each time you brush. Unfortunately, our internal clock usually goes off a lot sooner than the full amount of time. This feature takes out that risk and helps us clean our teeth more effectively each day.
                   We must also discuss which type of brush head is most effective. Oral B offers brushes with a circular motion of cleaning, while Sonicare offers a vibrating head. I believe both can prove equally effective when used properly, but the key is to let the brush do the work. If you aggressively ‘scrub’ your teeth instead of simply moving the brush head across the tooth surface, damage can still be done to your gums. You must trust that the motion of the brush head will do the job, and extra hard scrubbing is no longer necessary. 
                    Now you need to decide how much to spend on your brush and what features are most important. For this, I think it depends what is most important to you. If used correctly, a $50 brush can work just as effectively as a $200 brush. But if having a visible timer is important to you, or having a self-cleaning function is vital, there is nothing wrong with getting a brush with all the bells and whistles. The first thing I would look for when comparing brushes at a different price would be the replacement brush heads. If the $50 brush has the same replacements heads as the $200 brush, chances are the brush itself is very similar. This is not always 100% true, but hopefully it can help narrow your search. 
                      There are lots of different brushes that can help you maintain good oral hygiene on a daily basis. The key is to find one you feel comfortable using, and make sure you are using it correctly. The most expensive brush available won’t keep you healthy unless you know what you’re doing. So whether it is an electric or manual toothbrush, be sure to consult your dentist or hygienist on proper use.

For more tips and FAQs on keeping your teeth healthy, check out

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS
(513) 860-3660


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