When you get a professional cleaning at Vivant Dental, we use precisely shaped instruments to remove calculus (also known as tartar) that just can’t be removed at home. Home care is still necessary to help your teeth and gums stay healthy between appointments. 

Ever wondered what toothbrush to use? Drs. Chow and Bellusci answer some commonly asked questions below.

Should I use an electric toothbrush?

With good brushing technique, manual toothbrushes are very effective. However, electric toothbrushes make it easier. With an electric brush, the head oscillates at a consistent speed, so all you have to do is slowly slide the brush from tooth to tooth. Electric brushes often include a timer to help you brush the recommended 2 minutes each time. Some even have pressure indicators ensure that you’re using the right amount of force.

Soft or medium bristles?

Your toothbrush, whether manual or electric, should have soft or ultra soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles may cause damage to your teeth and gums. Some brush heads include a combination of shorter and longer bristles, bristles at different angles, and occasionally rubber extensions to get to difficult-to-reach areas. 

What shape of brush head do I need?

Brush heads come in all different shapes. Round heads, due to their smaller size allows for easier access to different surfaces. Long heads clean several teeth at a time, but may be difficult to use in tight spaces, such as behind the back molars. Specially shaped heads suited to brushing around braces or areas of recession are also available. Ask your dentist about these!


The Canadian Dental Association recommends you change your toothbrush every 3 months. Also, check the bristles – if the tips are fraying, it’s time for a new one!

What about TOOTHbrushes for children?

For children, we recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes as well. Children’s toothbrushes are generally smaller than adult toothbrushes and may include handles that allow for an easier grip. They usually have bright, colourful features that make them visually attractive to children. Manual toothbrushes are age-rated, with different sizes for each age category. When children are old enough to use them, electric brushes are great for removing plaque. 

Ask us about toothbrushes and brushing techniques at your next visit. Book your checkup and cleaning today.