This is one of the top questions I get asked on a daily basis!
While It would be easy to just tell you my favorite and why I love it. I would be doing you a disservice.
When it comes to health care there is not a one size fits all! Ever! This includes your mouth. I am a huge promoter of prevention and what action you can take to have a healthy mouth and body so you can live a long happy life.
Today we are going to talk about how to pick out a toothbrush for yourself, infant, toddler, or another member of your family. The toothbrush that you use, depends on the age and size of your child. Smart parents like to start caring for their infant’s gums before the teeth come in and that can be very helpful to get them used to you putting your hands in their mouth.
You begin by using a wet washcloth, gauze, or a small silicone finger brush. There are lots of options being marketed towards parents to brush their infants’ gums. I love the baby banana brush and the silicone finger brushes or you can just use a wet washcloth,
Once your baby gets teeth in their mouth, you will want to start brushing them as soon as they come in. What you want to find is a toothbrush that has a soft bristle head and one that’s small enough to fit in your child’s mouth.
There are so many toothbrushes that are marketed for children, I love tepe products for manual toothbrushes and their products are perfect as the kids get older, there are different sizes and shapes to get in all of the nooks and crannies. I used more than one brush and a water flosser on my daughter. You will need to see what works best for you. It has everything to do with your mindset, beliefs, and personal experiences that will or will not work for you. If you are not a fan of electric toothbrushes your brain will justify your thoughts. So being open will go a long way to finding the products that are the right fit for your family.
I had an idea of how toothbrushing and mouth care was going to go as a mom and dental hygienist, by the time I had my daughter I had thirteen years of experience and teaching parents how to care for their kiddo’s teeth. What I envisioned would happen when I had kids was not even close to my reality. I was not going to have a child that had cavities or sucked her thumb! Well, she did not have cavities. That part was true. When her six-year molars came in they took out her baby molar prematurity. She needed interceptive orthodontics, a space maintainer, a palatal expander, she did suck her fingers until she was 12, her braces were on and off until she was 15. Until this day she has Invisalign to hold open a space for a premolar that has still not erupted.
There is a lot more to our journey of a healthy mouth but today we are talking toothbrushes. I just want you to know very really do things go as planned at least that has been my experience!
Back to toothbrushes, the brand you choose is not important..You can go with Crest Colgate, or oral B, bamboo, manual electric, whatever characters, or coloring and marketing packaging appeal to you. I found letting my daughter choose made her more likely to want to use it!
Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Disney princess, Lightning McQueen, Buzz, or Woody, you know whenever characters are popular at the moment! So, again, find a toothbrush that has a soft bristle head that’s appropriate for your child and a marking that appeals to your child.
The next question that I get very frequently from parents is, should I use an electric toothbrush or should I use a manual toothbrush. My short answer, get what your child will use so toothbrushing is not a fight.
The long answer you get roughly 300 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush. You will need to make sure you have the correct angle and motion to not cause damage to the gums, known as rescission. We will discuss this more in a moment.
I found the battery-operated toothbrushes do not really clean that much more effectively than a regular manual toothbrush. The movement of the heads on these toothbrushes is not particularly sophisticated, but again, if your child likes it, they like brushing with it, it appeals to them and they’ll brush longer, I’m all for it. You just need to be careful when you take the toothbrush out of their mouth, that the heads moving it can spray toothpaste all over the place, so be careful with that.
Another good feature to look for is if there’s a timer. Our goal is to get all of the surfaces clean top, inside, and outside that usually takes around two minutes to get all of the surfaces properly clean, so if the toothbrush has a two-minute timer. That’s great. When they are little and have fewer teeth it may not take that long.
Now electric toothbrushes are great, the heads have sophisticated movements, and they clean very effectively. These toothbrushes can sometimes be a bit too intense for the younger children especially if they have sensory issues like my daughter. If you have a limited amount of time your child tolerates a brush in their mouth an electric toothbrush can do a better job in a shorter amount of time.
Another advantage of an end electric toothbrush is the timer. I’m a dental professional, I know you’re supposed to take two minutes to brush your teeth, but when you’re ready to go to bed, two minutes seems like a long time. Burst, Oral B, and Sonicare all have two-minute timers, so you can keep track of how long you brush your teeth.
These days electric toothbrushes have been proven to remove 10 times more plaque than a manual brush. This helps to reduce the number of cavities in our mouths because they are actually disrupting plaque and bacteria more effectively and efficiently.
As mentioned earlier when you are brushing with a manual toothbrush, you get on average 300 strokes per minute and it’s very hard to remove everything even if you use the proper technique. I recommend a modified bass. Angling the toothbrush toward the gum line so the bristles are allowed two to three millimeters below and disrupt the plaque. With an electric toothbrush, you get 33,000 strokes per minute.
We’re not sure if we did remove all the plaque or debris in our mouth unless we check, by staining the plaque using what we call disclosing solution. It comes in tablets, liquid, and in toothpaste. If you are not staining the plaque to see where you are missing I really recommend the Burst brush. I feel it is the most effective toothbrush on the market at removing plaque and bacteria. I love it so much I became an ambassador for their products. Burst has tapered charcoal bristles that are amazing at removing those extrinsic or external stains on a daily basis which is why they are also whitening. You will notice an improvement in the appearance of your teeth and gums as well. When you brush with an electric toothbrush, they feel so much cleaner it’s really hard to go back to a manual one after that. I recommend getting one for the whole family. It’ll save you a lot of money in the long run because if it saves you from getting one cavity it pays for itself multiple times over so I think it’s a great investment to make in yourself and your dental health as well as for your family.
One of the features to be aware of when looking for the best toothbrush are the size, shape, and stiffness of the bristles, what type of bristles do you want? Soft bristles!
Here’s the thing when it comes to tooth brushing harder is not better and that goes for both the bristles and the pressure you’re using with your hand while you brush.
The best toothbrush to use in your mouth is one that fits the mouth you are using it in. Size does matter here as well as soft bristles, and the best way to use it is with gentle pressure, angles toward the gum line. Unfortunately, a lot of my patients tend to think that hard bristles and scrubbing are better. I see many patients that tend to be a bit aggressive and overzealous with their brushing technique. I also have patients that brush like zombies, half asleep, and may or may not be getting all the surfaces and under the gums.
Many people have that mindset of thinking that the harder you brush the cleaner your teeth will be, although your teeth are the hardest substance in your body, your gums are not! So brushing too hard and or using a hard toothbrush can cause your gums to start pulling away from your tooth and over time people who brush too hard or use a hard toothbrush can actually give themselves gum recession, which is when your gums pull away from your tooth exposing the roots which can lead to tooth sensitivity. In some cases brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause enamel abrasion, this is when notches are actually worn into the sides of your teeth, so to prevent all of this from happening, use a soft or an extra soft toothbrush and apply gentle pressure, just enough to make your tissue blanch, and if you’re not sure if you’re using the correct pressure, ask your dental provider at your next dental visit, they will be able to evaluate if you have any signs of aggressive tooth brushing on your gums and or teeth. If you’ve been using a medium or hard or firm toothbrush, and have not been to the dentist in a while you might want to look at your gums and see if you have any recession.
Sometimes recession can also be caused by traumatic occlusion. This is when your teeth are not hitting properly or out of alignment. A dental examination looks for clues about not only your mouth health but your overall health as well. I will discuss more what we look for in a dental examination in a future episode. ( blog)
If you decide to invest in an electric toothbrush, make sure you let the brush do the work for you. You need to remember to simply hold it in place and allow it to do the job it was made to do. Sometimes people need to be conscious of how they are brushing, which can be quite a challenge, but being aware is a great start to getting areas you were missing before and breaking an aggressive tooth brushing habit.
I always recommend a soft toothbrush. Hard brushes can give you a really nice clean feeling, but they can cause damage to teeth, gums, and over time, around the roots. The damage is irreversible and it can make your teeth very sensitive and painful. When you use a thorough brushing technique, soft toothbrushes are just as effective at removing plaque, bacteria, and food, but they’ll be gentle on your teeth and gums. So choose a soft toothbrush. If you are an aggressive brusher I absolutely recommend using an electric toothbrush with the pressure sensor. It’ll give you that nice clean feeling that you’re after without causing irreversible damage. Awareness is key to avoiding this before it happens.
In general, soft toothbrushes are the way to go to prevent gum recession and enamel abrasion, remember the harder you scrub is bad for your gums.
So in all, remember to always use a soft toothbrush and if you aren’t sure which soft toothbrush is best for your personal lifestyle, the best person to ask is your dental professional. They can recommend the best products for your individual mouth.. What they recommend will be based on their personal beliefs, experience, and expertise. Remember dentistry is not a one size fits all! You may need to try different products until you find the right fit for you and your family like I did.
I do have my personal favorites some of which I am an affiliate for I will post the links below. I like the companies, their products, what that they stand for, and the fact that their brushes are affordable.
Burst is the brush my whole family uses. It has small soft charcoal-infused tapered bristles which get below the gum line better than any other toothbrush I have used. If you like to brush hard and feel the scrubbing action this brush will take some getting used to for you. No other brush on the market has bristles like this. I feel they do a better job and I am seeing the results in my practice. If you take the time to hold it in place and allow it to do its job it really works. It also has a timer that pulses every 30 seconds to let you know when to change quadrants, it slows down if you apply too much pressure, a battery that lasts up to 4 weeks, a 90-day money-back guarantee, and a lifetime warranty if you stay on the replacement head subscription that sends you a new brush head every three months reminding you it is time to change your head. They have two double-blind studies that prove it is 10 times more effective than a manual toothbrush! This is the most amazing company I have ever worked with. They also have a water flosser, toothpaste, and probiotics specific for your mouth. https://brst.link/134d
A good toothbrush is important to your daily oral health routine, but not all toothbrushes are created equal. Every Tepe toothbrush has been descended to help deliver the highest quality most effective toothbrushes for both adults and children. Their toothbrushes are efficient, durable, and easy to use.
TePe Kids™ is suitable for children from the age of 3. With a compact brush head and short handle, brushing is simple and develops healthy, clean smiles. Keep your kids engaged with fun designs along with the handle. To get into the farthest corners and hard-to-reach areas, the toothbrush neck can be angled using hot water.
The TePe Mini™ toothbrush is developed for use from the first tooth to the age of 3 years. The tapered mini brush head has extra soft bristles for gentle cleaning. The handle provides a stable grip for the adult brushing the child’s teeth but fits just as well in the small hand. To get into the farthest corners and hard-to-reach areas, the toothbrush neck can be angled using hot water.
The TePe Universal Care allows you to reach even the most difficult-to-reach areas in your mouth. The angle of the neck is perfectly suited for the inside surfaces of the teeth, while the slim head ensures you can squeeze even in the narrowest areas.
TePe Compact Tuft™ is an angled brush with a small, dome-shaped tuft with tightly packed short bristles that give a firm feel. The stable handle and dense, firm tuft make this brush ideal for precise cleaning of hard-to-reach areas. The brush is suitable for cleaning implants, attachments for overdentures, fixed braces, or along the gum line. It is also ideal for brushing children’s erupting molars.
I have one tooth that has been a problem for years. When I use this brush with my burst water flosser every day the tooth does not bother me.
With all that being said I believe it is not what toothbrush you choose but rather how you use it that is important I have a (podcast blog video)that goes more into detail on how to use the brush you choose. If you are interested.
I hope this eliminates some of the confusion when you walk down the toothpaste and toothbrush aisle. If you have any questions about selecting the proper toothbrush for your child, feel free to contact us.
Give your teeth a few minutes of attention every day and you can keep them for a lifetime.
BURST and TEPE are my personal preferences and favorites I use daily.
Use my affiliate links below for my professional discount. Promo code 5ZMZBR
A Healthy Mouth is a Healthy Body and a Happy Healthy Life