So What Toothbrush Do Dentists Really Recommend?

Disclosure :: Maybe you’ve never thought about the brand, type or style of toothbrush you buy, but some people stare aimlessly at the toothbrush choices and wonder if it matters what toothbrush you use. This post is sponsored by Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry {a pediatric dentist right here in Lafayette, LA} and authored by Dr. Anita Gouri. 

Does It Matter What Toothbrush You Use?

Aisles with miles of products; that is what your average American consumer is presented with when attempting to purchase a simple, everyday item these days. With toothbrushes, the situation is no different. How is it possible to choose from hundreds of toothbrushes, and does it really matter what you pick? Especially when you have multiple errands to run, a busy schedule, and a crying toddler in your cart?

Kids toothbrush selection which to choose soft bristleThe short answer: for the most part, adults and kids should use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Any toothbrush brand is fine, as they are all very similar. That being said, we do have some favorite toothbrushes we recommend for specific reasons. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Best Toothbrushes for Kids

Electric

We firmly recommend (and even sell in our pediatric dental office in Lafayette, LA) the Phillips Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush. Sonic vibrations help get the toothpaste into all the nooks and crannieselectric toothbrush for children between the teeth better than a manual toothbrush, but this one is gentler than the adult versions. Additionally, you can download the accompanying free app on your phone that motivates kids to brush with rewards, times them to ensure they don’t rush, and educates them about the importance of brushing!

Manual

Sometimes, however, kids are just not fans of electric toothbrushes—and that’s ok! Manual toothbrushes are just as effective (and cheaper!), provided the teeth are brushed properly and thoroughly. Any soft-bristled toothbrush (example: Oral-B stages) is good here, starting with the small head for infancy thru early elementary years.  You can graduate to a medium size for later elementary and middle school years, switching to adult size for the pre-teen and teen years. Kids do not have the proper dexterity to brush their molars well until the age of 8, so we always recommend parental involvement with brushing to ensure thorough cleaning!

When they get a little lazy with tooth brushing….

Even when kids do have the proper development, children often “rush” through brushing or miss a lot of areas where plaque builds up the most—particularly along the gum line and the surfaces of the very last molars/hard to reach areas.  For this reason, we highly recommend the Triple Bristle Toothbrush! The head is three-sided, with bristles that hit the tongue surface, cheek surface, and biting surface of a tooth all at once! Also great for kids with braces. For a non-electric option, try this version from DenTrust! Triple-headed toothbrushes are also wonderful for those with special needs, limited opening, and sensitive gag reflexes.

When they get a little aggressive…

There is such a thing as pressing too hard when you brush. Aggressive tooth brushing can contribute to gum recession and/or enamel erosion over time, so if you tend to brush more forcefully as a habit, harder bristles are a big no-no! Enamel can also be eroded by conditions like acid reflux, grinding, or certain medications.  The Nimbus Extra Soft or the Colgate Gum Health Ultra Soft toothbrushes are perfect in these cases, or for any teeth experiencing sensitivity or receding gums.

So when do you need harder bristles?

When you have braces, we often recommend a medium or hard bristled brush, as this helps get all the debris off of the brackets better. We also recommend harder bristles for people who have more stubborn stains or who are more prone to heavier tartar buildup.  Ask your dentist if harder bristles would be better for you.

While we’re at it, what dental floss do we recommend?

best floss oral b pro-health glideWe find that the Oral-B Glide Pro Health is the most comfortable on the gums and the easiest to slide into those tight contacts between the teeth. Rarely shreds and affordable too!

For kids, their dexterity is better able to handle floss picks instead of the traditional thread.  We highly recommend Glide Pro Health again, in the pick version, or plackers Kids Dual Gripz, which have wider handles and also have a fluoride coating on the floss!

Can’t I just use a Waterpik instead of flossing?

Unfortunately, no. The Waterpik is a great adjunct to helping remove the food and debris that is loosened up by brushing and flossing, particularly with braces, and we recommend the Nano or the Sonic Fusion, which is a sonic brush and floss combo. Just keep in mind that it is not nearly as effective as floss alone.  You need the mechanical contact of bristles and floss to get those teeth squeaky clean!

To find out what toothpaste we recommend, stay tuned for our next piece of content! We love answering your questions about your children’s dental health, and we are proud to serve the families in Lafayette, LA.

We love serving as pediatric dentists in Lafayatte, Louisiana – call us anytime if you’d like more information! 337-981-9242 x1

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Dr. Anita Gouri, a pediatric dentist, has been practicing in Lafayette for 10 years and  is the Dr. Anita Gouri pediatric dentist in Lafayette, LAowner of Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry. She graduated from LSU School of Dentistry in 2006, receiving honors including Outstanding Achievement in Pediatric Dentistry, Honors in Research, and the Carl A. Baldridge Academic  Scholarship. She completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC in 2008 and became a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 2009.  In 2010, her research on dental pain assessment was published in Pediatric Dentistry. She also has specialized training in treating babies and children who have tongue and lip ties. She is a member of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Louisiana Dental Association, the Southwestern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, as well as the C. Edmund Kells and Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Societies. Dr. Gouri, her husband, and their two children enjoy travel, Saints football, good food and good friends.

Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry is one of Acadiana’s premier pediatric dental practices, specializing in treating infants to adolescents. We are a boutique-style office that is known for quality, customized care for your child, focusing on making the dental experience fun, comfortable, and fear-free! Dr. Anita J Gouri has had extensive training in laser dentistry, sedation/hospital dentistry, and special needs dentistry. She is also one of the area’s recommended providers for diagnosis and treatment of tongue and lip ties. She graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in 2006, completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC in 2008, and became a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 2009. She has been practicing in Lafayette for over 11 years. Dr. Gouri, her husband Brian, and their two children enjoy travel, Saints football, good food and good friends.

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