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Which toothbrush? Alaska expert weighs in

added on: September 17, 2014

Even here in Alaska, high tech gadgets rule our lives, from smartphones to tablets to computers. Have you ever considered how a smart toothbrush could improve your smile? Dr. Crosby tells us why an automatic toothbrush might be the smartest tool for a cleaner mouth.

“I’d say the best brush is the one you like to use,” Dr. Crosby explains. “Great toothbrushes sitting abandoned in bathroom cabinets don’t even clean your sink.”

When it comes to choosing the brush, Dr. Crosby says it is possible for a patient to get the same results with a manual toothbrush as an electric one, but it would take a lot more work.  For most people, an electric toothbrush, like a Sonicare, will yield better results.

The ultrasonic waves on a Sonicare toothbrush actually kill bacteria beyond the tip of the bristles, meaning the brush doesn’t even need to touch the bacteria to kill it. “This is great news for areas between our teeth where the little buggers like to hide,” Dr. Crosby adds.

With manual brushes, it seems that some people act like they’re cleaning their car tires. Dr. Crosby stresses that when it comes to brushing, harder is not better. In fact, it can actually cause damage to teeth and gums.

“I often have to tell patients it’s not a competition,” Dr. Crosby laughs. “Remember, the deposits we’re removing from our teeth are generally pretty soft.  The hard deposits on our teeth won’t come off with any toothbrush and are the reason we recommend visiting your dentist regularly.”

A Sonicare toothbrush will feel very different than a manual one and it sometimes turns users off, but if you can stick with it your gums will thank you.  “I’ve been using a Sonicare for 20 years and you’d be hard pressed to find a hygienist that doesn’t use one,” Dr. Crosby says. “That should say something.”

The moral of the story is that the right toothbrush is the one you feel most comfortable using, but the automatic version will get your whole mouth cleaner with less work. Now that’s smart!