National Brush Day, November 1st

Published by Dr. Sean Landgraf

Yes, the day after Halloween is a day dedicated to toothbrushing! I don’t know who dedicated the day, but it gives me a good opportunity to answer some common questions and discuss the importance of brushing.

  1. What toothpaste do your recommend?” While this seems like an important question for so many, in reality, most modern mainstream toothpastes are very good. The brushing technique is much more important. Look for a paste that is made by one of the major companies that has fluoride. Fluoride is important because fluoride incorporates itself into the tooth. This remineralizes the enamel but also makes the tooth more resistant to future damage from acid and tooth decay. Fluoride is also helpful in killing bacteria in your mouth.
  2. What toothbrush should I use?” Avoid any firm or hard bristle brushes. Stick with soft brushes only. The hard bristles won’t clean the teeth any better, but they will cause damage to the teeth. This is also why its important to use light pressure when brushing. Electric toothbrushes are better but not necessary. I will recommend them if hand dexterity is a problem.
  3. What is the best technique to brush with?” I like the ‘modified bass technique’. It involves angling the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward the gums and moving with small brush strokes. These technique allows the bristles to remove plaque on the teeth and slightly clean under the gums. It easiest to see in a video. Check out the first technique in this video.
  4. Does my toothpaste need to have the ADA seal?” While this is helpful, it isn’t a requirement. The ADA seal means the American Dental Association has tested the toothpaste’s claims and determined they are accurate and effective. This process takes time and money. So many toothpastes don’t do go through the process. They can be just as effective at a lower price. However, I would be more skeptical of their claims. Check out the ADA website to learn more about their process.


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