What Sort of Toothbrush Should I Use?
Plaque can be successfully removed using either a manual or electric toothbrush. Your Periodontist or Dental Hygienist will make a recommendation for you depending on your current level of plaque control and what you find easiest to use.
It is important to use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Many patients believe that their brushing will be more effective if they use a harder brush, but this is not the case. Plaque removal can be carried out just as effectively using a soft toothbrush. Soft toothbrushes are also less likely to damage your gums.
Your toothbrush should have a small head. A small toothbrush head allows you better access to clean in difficult to reach areas. Other than this, the toothbrush shape is not very important. It is not necessary for the brush to have fancy criss-crossing bristles, which may be promoted by toothbrush companies. Your brushing technique is more important than the shape of toothbrush used. Despite advertising claims, there is no toothbrush that effectively cleans in between the teeth properly. Therefore, it is important to also use dental floss.
Plaque can be effectively removed with either a manual or an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush can be very helpful for some patients, particularly those who find a manual toothbrush difficult to use.
There are many electric toothbrushes on the market, some of which are more effective than others. Your Periodontist or Dental Hygienist will be happy to recommend an electric toothbrush that is suitable for you.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Dental plaque forms at the gum line, so it is important to focus on cleaning this area. The toothbrush bristles should be placed at a 45 degree angle to the tooth surface, aiming towards the gum line. The brush can then be used in a small, circular, jiggling motion.
It can be quite difficult to use a circular brushing motion in some areas of your mouth, including the inside surfaces of the teeth. In these cases, a small back and forth motion can be used. It is helpful to be systematic when brushing your teeth, so that you do not miss any areas. It is important to brush the outside and inside of your teeth, as well as the biting surfaces.
A gentle brushing technique and soft toothbrush should be used to prevent damage to the gums. It is recommended that you spend at least two minutes each time you brush. This is actually much longer than many people realise and it can be helpful to use a timer once in a while. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day improves the likelihood that you will effectively remove dental plaque.