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  • Anderson Family Dental

Choosing Wisely: Which Toothbrush is Best?

You use it at least twice every day (we hope). But are you sure your toothbrush is the best fit for you?

several different toothbrushes

Here are our top three recommendations for choosing your ideal toothbrush.


For most patients, an electric toothbrush is a great recommendation. Electric brushes help break up sticky plaque effectively with less work on your part. They are less technique sensitive than manual brushes. Overall, we see less plaque and healthier gums when our patients switch to an electric brush. Keep in mind that battery operated doesn’t count! Those cheap disposable alternatives to an electric brush honestly don’t work better than a manual toothbrush. You’re better off sticking to the old fashioned option.

However, there are a few to choose from. 


A Sonicare brush is a great option. The vibration is so powerful it can actually disrupt biofilm up to four milimeters away from where the bristles are touching your tooth! That means it cleans down into those little nooks and crannies, and even a little bit between the teeth and under the gums.  Yet, it is still super gentle on your gums and is a top choice for patients with gum recession. Main complaint from patients on this brush is that it can trigger a little sensitivity from time to time.


This brush features vibration and oscillation. That little circular brush head really gives a great scrub. However, the brush head can be a bit small, so be sure that you’re polishing each tooth across its entire height. This one works well for patients who are sensitive to the strong vibrations of the Sonicare.


This newcomer to the field is really holding its own! This small, streamline brush does a great job as long as you’re willing to be attentive to your technique (which we will talk about in an upcoming post, so stay tuned). Main benefits of these brushes is that the replacement heads come mailed to you automatically every three months. Since I know most of us are guilty of using our brushes way too long, this is a major advantage.


We will get into details in that upcoming post, but suffice it to say, soft bristles are better. Ultrasoft is better still. The softer your brush, the thinner the bristles. 

Not to belabor the point, but those electric brushes from section one all have soft bristles. The Sonicare Diamond Clean even has extra-soft brush heads with diamond shaped bristles that break up plaque and debris even better.


Brushes come in all shapes and sizes. Try to be attentive to the size of your brush head. If your toothbrush is too big, it can be difficult to access all areas of your mouth. Too small, you’ll probably miss some stuff. This doesn’t always have to do with the size of your mouth as much as the range of motion in your jaw, or the length of your teeth. 

Your best brush head should fit comfortably all the way back into those hard to reach areas, and should cover about two teeth at a time. If you have crowded teeth up front, you may want to get something narrow so that you can really dig into those overlaps. Or consider orthodontics to make brushing even easier!

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