Not all dentist-recommended toothbrushes are created equal. While choosing the right toothpaste is essential for good oral health, it can’t get the job done without the proper tool in hand. “The quality of your toothbrush is what really determines the cleanliness of your teeth,” says Marianna Weiner, DDS, a leading cosmetic dentist in Brooklyn, New York. “If you’re using a toothbrush that isn’t high-quality, rather than removing plaque and protecting your gums, it’s further enabling the growth of bad bacteria; low-quality toothbrushes do little beyond the removal of surface stains.”
For the healthiest teeth and gums, Dr. Weiner says to look for two things when choosing a toothbrush: the softness and shape of the bristles. “Soft bristles are the safest option, as medium to hard bristles can actually damage teeth and gums if you’re brushing aggressively—especially when using an electric toothbrush,” she says. “Regarding bristle shape, there are a few different variations that determine the type of cleaning you’re getting. There are specific bristle patterns for cleaning bridges and partials, just like they have brush bristles designed for teeth that have not been touched by a dentist yet.”
Dr. Weiner says to stay away from coarse or hard bristles at all costs. That harshness can severely damage your enamel, ultimately leading to sensitivity. “Harsh bristles may also increase the risk of hurting your gums and further irritating periodontal conditions,” she says.
Shop now: Philips Sonicare Toothbrush ($240)
With more than 26 years of experience as a dentist, Dr. Weiner recommends two toothbrushes above all others. “The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean ($240) is the best electric toothbrush. It has sensors within the bristles that are trackable on an app that’s included with your purchase,” she says. “It has five modes and three intensities for full customization of the clean, and it also comes with a deluxe travel case for charging on the go.” Other models are less expensive, but they just don’t offer as much as this the DiamondClean, she says.
For a more affordable electric toothbrush, Dr. Weiner suggests the RotaDent ProCare Electric Toothbrush ($120). “It’s the only toothbrush that’s clinically proven to be as effective as brushing and flossing combined when used. You still need to floss regularly, but the extra movement and increase in quality of clean is very effective in preventing worsening of periodontal conditions,” she says. “I especially like this toothbrush because it’s modeled after a traditional hygienist handpiece that we would use for your in-office cleaning. The feeling of taking your dental office home can be exciting for some of our dental hygiene fanatics, and the 92 percent surface stain removal rate of this toothbrush speaks for itself.”
With the right toothbrush in hand, your dentist is sure to be impressed with your oral hygiene at your next appointment.
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