Summary: Choosing the correct type of toothbrush is important as it will make brushing easier and more effective. Certain areas of the mouth are more prone to collecting plaque and calculus. This includes the area below the lower incisors which are constantly washed by the ducts of the salivary glands under the tongue. A fluoride toothpaste will also help prevent tooth decay and help freshen your breath.
When choosing a toothbrush you should consider the following factors;

Size of the head :

Toothbrushes with small heads are better as they can reach difficult to clean areas near the back of the mouth and between the tongue and lower molar teeth.

Shape of the bristles :

Some toothbrushes have bristles that stick out in all directions, whether you like them is a matter of personal preference. The extra bristles may just get in the way if you use the correct toothbrushing technique. For those with less dexterity the brushes with the extra bristles may be an advantage but generally should be avoided.

Changing your toothbrush :

After three months of use a toothbrushes bristles will start to wear and not clean as efficiently. Some brands of toothbrush have coloured indicators which fade with use. Once the colour bar is not visible the toothbrush should be changed.

Each tooth has three surfaces that needs to be cleaned. Brush each surface five times.
The toothbrush should be held at 45 degrees to the tooth and moved in a circular motion gently.

Toothpastes have many ingredients which help to clean and maintain our mouths in a healthy condition. Several ingredients are important and are outlined below. When buying toothpaste you can check which the ingredients on the side of the tube/packet.

Fluoride helps prevent toothdecay by strengthening the enamel which covers the teeth. Today, most toothpastes contain fluoride due to its ability to help reduce toothdecay. Childrens toothpaste has less fluoride in it as at high levels fluoride may interfere with the formation of the adult teeth which are still growing inside the gums. The technical name for this is fluorosis.

Fluorosis? Whats this? Teeth are formed inside the gum when we are young, the cells that build the teeth are very delicate and can be disrupted by things like chicken pox or high doses of fluoride. Some children eat toothpaste and therefore have a high level of fluoride in their bloodstream. This disrupts the cells which are making the teeth and can cause a white mottling of the enamel. Generally this is very mild though in some extreme cases the enamel can become crumbly.

Strontium chloride

Dentine hypersensitivity may be reduced using a toothpaste which contains strontium or potassium chloride. These act by blocking up the open dentine tubules which have acted as communication channels with the nerve chamber. A typical example would be Sensodyne toothpaste which is recommended for those with sensitive teeth.


This is an antibacterial agent which is added to some toothpastes. Clinical studies in Sweden have shown that this agent may reduce the levels of gum inflammation.