To me, it’s more important how you brush your teeth than the type of toothbrush or toothpaste you happen to use. You want to especially concentrate brushing on the junction where the tooth meets the gum and all chewing surfaces. Two full minutes of not brushing too hard is the goal.

I recommend soft toothbrushes to my patients. Some people do like hard brushes because they feel like they’re getting their teeth cleaner, but in my opinion you can do just as well with a soft brush without the risk of damaging your gums and teeth.

Electric toothbrushes are designed to be more efficient and effective than manual toothbrushes. It’s the same analogy as waxing your car. You can still get the job done by hand, but using a power buffer takes less effort, less time, and probably does a better job. Another advantage of the electric toothbrush is that it helps control the force that is applied to the tooth. This is especially valuable for the person who naturally tends to brush too hard manually.

The two main features, in my opinion, to look for when choosing a toothpaste are that it contains fluoride and that has the “Approved by ADA” logo. Fluoride strengthens teeth which helps prevent cavities and helps somewhat with tooth sensitivity. Approval by the ADA ensures safety. Besides these two features, personal preference is the best guide. It has been said “The best toothpaste is the one you like.”

Today there are also many choices for toothbrushes. Much research over the past several years has gone into design. Toothbrush bristles used to be flat across and handles were straight. We know the surfaces of teeth are not flat. The manufacturers in turn have designed the bristles to adapt better to the natural curves and valleys of tooth surfaces. The angled handle evolved to make it easier to reach the back teeth. Each company has a slightly different design that their researchers believe is the best. At the end of the day, its what seems to work best for you and what you like using.