With a wide range of toothbrushes available these days it can be a bit overwhelming trying to choose the right one. In general there are two main types – electric or manual. Either way you go, it’s all about using the correct technique. Aim to get the bristles of your brush 45 degrees towards the gum line, brushing half on the gums and half on the tooth surfaces.
Electric toothbrushes have been shown to clean teeth better than a manual brush. But although they do most of the work for you, you still need to have the right technique and placement of the bristles. Guide the brush head gently around your teeth making sure to spend at least a few seconds on each tooth. Depending on the brand of electric brush there may be different heads that attach for various functions. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. This type of brush can be particularly helpful for people that have trouble cleaning well or get fatigued easily with manual brushing.
Manual toothbrushes are a good choice too, with the benefit that they never run out of power. Keep the angle of the bristles the same but try small circular motions or a gentle back and forth motion to disrupt bacteria and plaque on the teeth and around the gum line. Children’s brushes have a slightly smaller brush head and larger handle for grip. Some people like to alternate between their electric and manual brushes. Whatever works for you is fine, just remember that the most important thing is how well you brush!
Tips to Remember:
Change your toothbrush or electric brush head regularly. Every 3 months or earlier, or when the colour begins to fade from the bristles.
Keep your electric brush charged. The last thing you want is for it to run out of power before you've finished.
Many manual toothbrushes come with a tongue cleaner on the back of the head. To complete that "fresh clean feel" give your tongue a gentle scrape after brushing.
Using fluoridated toothpaste is an important part of the brushing routine. The topical application of fluoride to the surfaces of teeth helps to strengthen and repair them. As with toothbrushes, there are many types of pastes available on the market for different ages and specific needs.
Up to the age of 6 years, a low strength fluoride toothpaste suitable for children should be used. For adults and children aged 6 years on wards, a full strength toothpaste should be used to help protect and strengthen the permanent teeth.
There are special types of toothpastes available too for people with sensitive teeth, diets higher in acidic foods or drinks, those with high risk of tooth decay, or even whitening toothpastes. It is important to get your teeth checked out by your dental professional if you notice sensitivity, pain or other dental problems. We may recommend a certain kind of toothpaste necessary to help treat your specific problem.