When it comes to keeping your mouth clean, there are a lot of different tools out there- but like Marla asked, what’s the best toothbrush? Great question!

First off, I would recommend a soft toothbrush. The challenge is, the root surface of the tooth is 7 times softer than the enamel. I’ve seen some root canals come to be not because of decay, but because people put too much effort into brushing that gum line that they wore notches into those roots all the way to the nerves. There’s a formula I have for brushing your teeth: effort times technique equals results.

Good effort times a bad technique is going to get you bad results. Bad effort times a good technique gets you bad results. Good effort times a good technique gets you, you guessed it, good results. Sounds simple, right?

Before we can really decide the best toothbrush, we have to determine what our goal is in brushing our teeth. It should be to get the bacteria off of the teeth, without damaging the teeth themselves or the gums. The challenge is that bacteria and plaque are the same color as your teeth, so how do you know you did a good job? I’ve mentioned them before, but disclosing solutions or tablets are a great way of grading yourself- so no matter what toothbrush you’re using, you can chew one of these up and see what’s still on your teeth.

Now, when you’re choosing a toothbrush, you need one that’s going to be effective. I will let you in on something I’ve found: people with an electric toothbrush tend to do a better job at cleaning their teeth. I still believe you can do a good job with a manual toothbrush, but most people aren’t going to take the time to do a good job without damaging the gums.

Whichever way you go, you need to have a good effort with good technique for good results. If you don’t, you’re going to continue to get bad results- and isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

We’ll talk more about the best toothbrush and technique in this week’s episode of the “Your Filthy Mouth” podcast. Don’t forget, we have some links right here on our website to those disclosing solutions and toothbrushes I really have to recommend- just remember to put in that effort, too!

Until next week…

Charles “Dr. Chuck” Reinertsen, DMD, has been practicing dentistry in Central Florida since 1979 and is author of the book, “The Power of a Really Great Smile.” His passion is spreading the word about how the health of your mouth is intrinsically linked to the rest of your body. Learn more at www.yourfilthymouth.com