In my dental practice at ArtLab Dentistry, I deal with the most advanced and demanding cosmetic procedures from reparative dental implant therapy treatments to Complete Smile Makeovers (All-On-4 dental implants) and full mouth reconstruction and rehabilitation treatments.
However, one of the most common questions I get from patients isn’t about highly technical dental minutia or surgical procedures. Instead, most people want to know one thing: “How can I keep my teeth beautiful, strong, and healthy?”
To that question, I always answer: Brush your teeth every day, twice a day, floss once a day, and visit ArtLab Dentistry for a professional examination and cleaning at least once every six months to one year.
"The best time to brush your teeth is once in the morning about an hour after eating breakfast (or drinking coffee) and again at night before you go to bed."
--- DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS
As a rule of thumb, this is excellent advice everyone should heed. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups are the three foundational tenets of an effective oral health routine.
Of these three foundational dental health habits, the one I get the most questions about is perhaps about brushing, and in particular, what toothbrush to buy.
Electronic Toothbrush vs. Manual
I am sure you probably feel like I do when it comes to dental products. There are so many choices that it is difficult to be on top of all of them. However, when it comes to choosing a toothbrush you want to make sure you make the right choice.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of the most common questions I receive on brushing your teeth followed by my recommendations on what I consider the Top 5 Manual Toothbrushes and my Top 5 Electric Toothbrushes that I recommend to patients at ArtLab Dentistry.
Top 5 Questions on Toothbrushes
The best time to brush your teeth is once in the morning about an hour after eating breakfast (or drinking coffee) and again at night before you go to bed. Some dentists recommend also brushing a third time every day after lunch. While removing food debris before bacteria gets a chance to proliferate is always a good idea, it is entirely possible to overbrush. If you do decide to brush your teeth following a meal you will want to be sure to wait for about one hour after eating. This will give your teeth a chance to remineralize after an acidic meal. For most people, I recommend sticking to a morning and evening brushing routine and flossing during the day and after meals when necessary.
Of course, there is also plenty you can do outside of these foundational oral health practices that are also important.
For example, I also advise patients to watch what they eat and drink and make holistically healthy lifestyle choices. Consuming a diet low in refined sugars will drastically reduce the likelihood of cavities. Likewise, maintaining overall bodily health will also contribute to oral health. The reverse is also true. As it turns out, oral health can’t be separated or compartmentalized from whole body health. When your body is sick, this will be reflected in your oral and dental health. Moreover, sometimes poor oral or dental health is a sign of underlying diseases or illness.
Both are great options - when used correctly.
Whether to purchase electric or stick to a simple manual toothbrush will depend on your own needs. In most cases, a manual toothbrush will suffice. This is, of course, assuming proper toothbrush technique and regular use. However, in many cases, you cannot go wrong with an electric toothbrush.
For example, young children will benefit from an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes do most of the work of brushing through vibrations. That makes it easier for kids who may not have the hand-eye coordination, grip strength, or patience to brush correctly with a traditional brush.
There are many electric models designed to make brushing for children fun with built-in timers, game modes, and funny noises. With children, the goal is to build strong dental hygiene habits. By making brushing more exciting and fun, an electric toothbrush can make that goal easier for parents.
On the other end of the age spectrum, electric toothbrushes are an excellent option for mature adults with arthritis or unsteady hands. Dental hygiene is particularly important for older adults. It is during this time that years of neglect, bad habits, or simple aging tend to manifest themselves in the form of tooth loss. To prevent this type of outcome, it is vital to brush on a regular basis. To this end, an electric toothbrush can aid in maintaining healthy, durable, and beautiful teeth.
Choosing a toothbrush needn’t be an ordeal. Simply check out my list of Expert Toothbrush Picks for 2019 which you will find below, or look for these 5 simple characteristics:
Soft brush head (Essential for preventing toothbrush abrasion)
Brush head sized correctly (Shouldn’t be too small or too large - able to cover 2 to 3 teeth.)
Good grip (Should be able to hold it without slipping.)
Good reach (Should be able to reach the rear molars in the back of the mouth.)
Bent or flexible head (Allows for better manipulation.)
While an electric toothbrush, especially the more advanced models with all the bells and whistles such as custom controls or multiple vibration settings aren’t necessary for an effective oral health routine, they can undoubtedly make brushing that much more comfortable and fun.
This is particularly true for older and very young patients who may have difficulty holding or gripping a manual toothbrush as a result of arthritis, unsteady hands, or difficulty with hand-eye coordination.
As simple as it might sound, electric toothbrushes make brushing teeth even more comfortable than it already is for those without any mobility concerns. Merely hold the brush to the surface of your teeth and move in gentle circles and the toothbrush does all the rest.
Ultimately, whether or not an electric toothbrush is worth paying a little extra will depend on each individual’s personal needs. Many people practice excellent oral hygiene with a manual toothbrush. If using an electric toothbrush is easier to use, encourages you to brush better, or is just more fun, I would recommend investing in an electronic one.
My Top 5 Manual Toothbrushes
Following are my top 5 picks for manual toothbrushes. You will not go wrong with any one of these toothbrushes.
#1: Oral-B Pro-Health All-In-One Soft Bristle Toothbrush
Oral-B Pro-Health All-In-One Soft Bristle Toothbrush - The Oral B manual toothbrush has been clinically proven to remove more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush with its CrissCross bristles, which are angled at 16 degrees to attack plaque from the right angle. It has a broad, long head that allows for excellent coverage over the tops and sides of your teeth, so you're not going to miss any surface area as long as you hit all the right angles while using it.
#2: Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra Soft Toothbrush
Curaprox CS 5460 Ultra Soft Toothbrush - When it comes to protection against cavities and periodontitis, the most important aspect of the Curaprox CS 5460 is its bristles. Each brush head contains 5,460 individual bristles that are just 0.1 mm in thickness and together provide an ultra soft brushing experience. Standard toothbrushes only have 500 to 1,000 bristles, so the increased number of bristles in this toothbrush help clean your teeth and gums more effectively. This is a great toothbrush and CURAPROX, a Swiss company, has been on the cutting edge of toothbrushes since 1972. I highly recommend this toothbrush.
#3: Boie USA
Boie USA is a New York-based startup who states that their goal is "to radically re-imagine personal care." They were a Kickstarter-funded and promoted "toothbrush of the future" according to Business Insider and were also rated by GQ as "The Best Stuff of 2017."
Boie has a stellar websites that make it easy to engage, buy, and become part of their tribe. Boie USA has four different colored toothbrushes that are $10 each (+ $3.00 shipping). They provide replacement heads for $5.00 each, or you can get a 3, 4, or 6-month subscription plan where they will send you from 2 to 4 brush head replacements per year based on the plan you select. They are environmentally conscious by making the only thing needing replacement is the toothbrush head. The brush head is made from thermoplastic elastomer. TPE combines the properties of rubber (soft and pliable) with the benefits of thermoplastic. The result is a flexible and recyclable material.
#4: Colgate® 360° Enamel Health™ Soft Toothbrush for Sensitive Teeth
The Colgate 360° toothbrush is one of Amazon's best sellers. According to Colgate®, it has 48% softer bristles versus an ordinary soft manual toothbrush. It's a toothbrush that does a good job protecting your teeth's enamel surfaces and gums. The raised cleaning tips also help reach hard places.
#5: Dr. Collins Ultra Soft & Super Slim Perio Toothbrush
Dr. Collins Ultra Soft Perio Toothbrush has an innovative, patented tapering technique, that features super slim polyester bristles that penetrate further between the teeth helping remove plaque and debris.
My Top 5 Electronic Toothbrushes
Following are my top 5 picks for electronic toothbrushes. You will not go wrong with any one of these electronic toothbrushes.
#1: Oral-B Pro 1000 Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
Oral-B Pro 1000 - A New York Times Company called Wirecutter proclaimed the Oral-B Pro 1000 to be the best electronic toothbrush for most people. I would agree. There are other top contenders that make choosing a #1 difficult such as the Foreo ISSA 2 Toothbrush, the Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean, and my #2 and 3 in this list.
#2: Phillips Sonicare 2 Series
Phillips Sonicare 2 Series - This electronic toothbrush is safe on All-On-4 dental implants and porcelain veneers. Its gentle motion makes it so you can brush without worry to your dental implants or veneers. Phillips Sonicare claims that the toothbrush removes up to 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush. Its angled brush head provides better access to your back teeth and other hard-to-reach places.
Goby Toothbrush - There's a lot to like about Goby. For example, look at their website. They will turn you into a fan. They have a great toothbrush with a 60-day full refund guarantee, and if you are unhappy with your Goby toothbrush for any reason AT ANY TIME, they will replace it free of charge.
Golby is a subscription-based model where they replace your worn brush heads at a very reasonable price. Check out their reviews of both dentists and customers. I like them; I am confident you will too.
#4: FOREO ISSA 2
The FOREO ISSA 2 electric toothbrush has a dynamic dual-design. It can run 365 days with only 1 charge! Advertised as the world's first silicone sonic toothbrush. In addition to their excellent website, they are #1 in my book for design. This toothbrush has bacteria resistant silicone for an easier brush. Its durable brush has ultra-hygienic PBT polymer bristles that are ideal for heavier plaque buildup, while the silicone bristles remain gentle on your gums. Each brush had according to FOREO will last 6 months. Like BOIE and GOBY, which I mention above, this company has great marketing and is trying to reach college age and young adults.
#5: Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean
The Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean is a sleek elegant design. It has over 2,124 reviews, nearly all of them 5-star reviews! It has 5 brushing modes, a battery life up to 3 weeks, DiamondClean whitening brush head, and a deep clean mode. It also has an attractive charging case that connects to your laptop for power and protection away from home.
DR. MAMALY RESHAD