Should I upgrade my toothbrush?

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Blogs | 6 comments

There are so many toothbrush choices available, both inside and outside of the dentist’s office, that it’s often difficult to decide which kind you should be using. The costs and features of toothbrushes also vary widely. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which type of toothbrush is right for you.

  • Softer brushes are safer for the enamel and gums and there is no proof that a harder toothbrush does a better job removing plaque. Usually the brush packaging specifies if the bristles are soft or medium.
  • Manual brushes still work well if you polish each surface of each tooth in the mouth. Use a 45 degree angle of your brush against the gum line and a soft, circular motion. There is no need to bear down with lots of pressure. Brush with a manual for at least two minutes.
  • Power toothbrushes have many features that can help a person remove more plaque than a manual brush, as long as the user has the appropriate technique based on that brush. Some of the brushes have features like timers, speed controls, and massaging.
  • There are both spin brush heads and stationary brush heads on power toothbrushes. Many spinning/oscillating brush heads are backed by scientific research that shows they remove more plaque than manual brush heads (again, if you are using them correctly). Spin brush heads usually require you to keep the brush steady as you polish each tooth. If you prefer to have the feeling of normal brushing but with power, then a stationary power brush head is a better choice.
  • Timers on power brushes are helpful if you need help with brushing efficiency. Some powerbrushes will alert you to switch between quadrants (the upper right side, lower right, upper left, and lower left) with 30 seconds for each quadrant. This just helps you divide up your time and so you don’t spend more time brushing one side than the others. You can also ask us for a two minute timer, which we keep on hand at the office, that will give you an indication of how long to brush.

At Wellesley Dental Group, Drs. Ali and Ali do not endorse one power brush over another. However, Sonicare and Oral-B are two brands that efficiently remove plaque. The choice is yours!


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