Monday, July 9, 2012

Toothbrushes

I am often asked, "Doc, which toothbrush should I use?". Well, for me the choice is rather simple.

I prefer electric toothbrushes over manual toothbrushes.

Soft bristle toothbrushes are as effective at removing plaque and debris as hard bristle toothbrushes, but soft bristle brushes don't cause damage to the soft tissue in the mouth.
If a manual toothbrush is used, it is best to use a soft bristled toothbrush. Many people believe that a firm toothbrush will remove plaque and debris much more effectively than a soft bristled toothbrush. That is debatable. What is certain though is that hard bristles cause more trauma to the soft tissues and gum recession is much more likely.

Electric toothbrushes remove plaque significantly better than manual ones. Now people may ask which electric toothbrush is best. Well, there are numerous companies that produce numerous models. There are some inexpensive choices and some expensive choices. There are rotating, oscillating, vibrating and combination types. There are many different sizes and different shapes. Each have their advantages and disadvantages.  I can see why the consumer can be incredibly confused with the apparently endless choices.

Sonicare is a great example of a vibratory toothbrush.
Now, which electric brush is best? Personally, I like the Sonicare line of brushes. Oral B brushes are also very good brushes. I prefer the vibratory types because they not only clean the areas that make contact with the bristles, but actually clean several millimeters beyond the point of contact. This is incredibly important in removing debris from below the gum line decreasing the chances of gingivitis and periodontitis from developing.

These brushes can range in price from 15-200 dollars. Very good brushes can be found around the 60-140 dollar range. They can be found at places such as Walmart and Walgreen's. One may argue that they are expensive. Well, yes they are. However, restorative dental work is considerably more expensive and more importantly, it is priceless to maintain natural teeth for life.

Discuss your options with your dentist to determine which may be most suitable for you.


Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit www.advanced-smiles.com

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