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Start the New Year right by ringing in better oral health! One of the easiest ways you can support a healthier mouth is by changing up your toothbrush. The purpose of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and to stimulate the gums to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. So what are your choices?

Manual Toothbrushes: These are made with plastic handles and nylon bristles. If you are a good brusher and flosser, manual toothbrushes are awesome. Just make sure to brush at least two minutes, and use a soft-bristled brush so you don’t harm your sensitive gum tissue. Replace your brush every three months as the bristles need to be straight and firm to clean the teeth properly. You also want to make sure you spend time on the back molars and your lower bottom teeth next to the tongue where plaque tends to build up.

Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive, you can find them anywhere, and usually get them for free after a visit to your dentist! You can take them anywhere (in your pocket or bag to brush when you are away from home) and when you travel. They do not put pressure on the teeth and gums like electric versions can, and too much pressure on the teeth can wear down your tooth enamel and result in tooth decay.

Electric Toothbrushes: these are good for children who have not mastered manual dexterity and also for older people who have arthritis and for people who have limited ability to move their shoulders, arms and hands. The electric toothbrush has larger handles which can make it easier to hold. They also let you know when your two minutes of brushing time is up!

Research has shown that toothbrushes which have bristles that rotate together in one direction and then switch and rotate in the opposite (rotating oscillating) are most effective at removing plaque and preventing gum disease, more than manual tooth brushing, and more than electric brushes that only spin in one direction. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, dental professionals found that powered toothbrushes had a positive effect on the oral health of 80% of patients.

At the dental practice of Scott Thompson, DMD , we are happy to help you reach your oral health goals. Give us a call today at 802-879-7811 if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment!