What type of toothbrush should i choose?

June 10, 2020


“By taking control of your oral health you increase your chance of living a happier, healthier and longer life,” says Dr Soha Dattani, Director Scientific & Professional Affairs, GSK as part of National Smile Month, which runs until June 18.

Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, say Drayton dentists, Debbie Paramani and Vasiliki Stamatoukou.  Our dental team is happy to recommend a toothbrush suitable for your needs.

National Smile Month organisers, the Oral Health Foundation, explain that adults should be looking for a small-to-medium-sized brush head. This should have soft-to-medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles or ‘filaments’.  The head should be small enough to reach all parts of the mouth - especially the back of the mouth where it can be difficult to reach. Children should use smaller brushes but with the same type of filaments.

It is now possible to buy more specialised toothbrushes. For instance, if you suffer from sensitive teeth, you can now use softer-bristled brushes. There are also smaller brush heads for those with irregular-shaped teeth.

Some may also find it difficult to hold a toothbrush, for example because of limited movements or disabilities. There are now toothbrushes which have large handles and angled heads to make them easier to use.

Going electric

Electric toothbrushes have oscillating rotating or vibrating heads. Tests show these toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque.

Everyone can benefit from an electric brush. They are particularly useful those with limited movement, such as disabled or elderly people.

As many now come with mobile apps, they can also be better for children, who are motivated by the interactive nature of using an electric brush.

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums are extremely common. So much so, that most people will suffer from them at some point during their life.  Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease and should be taken seriously.

Any bleeding should stop once you have broken down all the plaque that sits on your gumline.  This can be done by brushing twice-a-day, and cleaning in between your teeth interdentally once-a-day. If the bleeding does not stop, you should tell your dental team.

Changing your toothbrush

Worn-out toothbrushes cannot clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. It is important to change your toothbrush, or toothbrush head (for electric users) every two-to-three months, or sooner if the filaments become worn. When bristles become splayed, they do not clean properly.

It only takes two minutes

Two minutes – that’s all it takes to brush your teeth effectively. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric one, it’s important you take time to cover the surfaces of your teeth and all areas of your mouth.


A pea-sized blob of fluoride toothpaste should be used when brushing your teeth. After three-years-old, the amount of fluoride should be between 1350ppm to 1500ppm. This is enough to help strengthen your teeth and protect you from tooth decay.

As well as regular toothpastes, there are many specialised toothpastes. These include tartar control for people who get tartar build-up, and a choice of toothpastes for people with sensitive teeth. ‘Total care’ toothpastes include ingredients to help fight gum disease, freshen breath and reduce plaque build-up. ‘Whitening’ toothpastes are good at removing staining to help restore the natural colour of your teeth.

Remember to spit out after brushing and do not rinse your mouth with water. This helps the fluoride stay on your teeth longer.


A fluoride mouthwash can help you prevent tooth decay. Your dental team may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash, such as Corsodyl, to help control plaque and reduce gum disease. Mouthwashes can also help eliminate bad breath and give your mouth that fresh feeling it deserves.

Interdental cleaning

Cleaning in between your teeth removes plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline. This can be done with interdental brushes or floss - both can reach areas that a toothbrush can’t.  For a healthy mouth, you should clean in between your teeth at least once a day.

Dental visits

It is always better to prevent problems rather than have to cure them when they happen. Because of this, you should visit our dental team regularly, as often as we recommend. This allows us to spot any problems earlier, making treatments easier, less invasive and much cheaper.

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