Most people have a hand brush in their bathroom instead of an electric so I'll begin there. Any hand brush you use needs to be soft. If you are using a medium or hard bristle brush, please throw it away (or use it for cleaning grout). Your gum tissue is very soft and sensitive. A hard brush will damage the gums and cause recession and will actually wear away the tooth surface! There are even extra-soft (or gentle) brushes for those who already have recession or exposed roots.
Think of the toothpaste as a the scrubber and the brush as the massager. All you need to do is gently apply the paste by rotating the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and let the paste do the work for you.
I highly recommend an electric brush for most people. The two major brands that have been tested and approved by the ADA are the Sonicare and Oral B (Braun) Triumph brushes. Both have supportive research that they do a great job cleaning which begs the question of which to use? Here are the main differences:
1. Brush shape: The sonicare has a diamond shaped head while the Oral B has a round head. If you have a hard time getting around your upper back tooth, the round head may do a better job. Otherwise, it is personal preference!
2. Sound: The sonicare creates a higher pitch and quieter sound. Sensitive teeth may like the less aggressive feel of this brush, but some people say it feels like it tickles. If you want a quiet and gentle feel, Sonicare may be for you. If you are typically a hard brusher, the deeper sound and more vigorous feel of the Oral B may feel better to you.
3. Triggers: Both brushes generally feature a buzz or pause in vibration every 30 seconds to tell you to change to the next part of your mouth. (You should be brushing for 2 minutes regardless of which brush you use.) They also both feature a light that flashes to let you know you've been brushing too hard. In the Oral B, this light is high in the handle making it easier to see. If you are a hard brusher, I recommend the Oral B for this reason. If that isn't an issue, the Sonicare will work fine!
I hope that helps you pick a brush. Remember to change the head of your brush every 3 months or anytime you get sick. If you have questions, please feel free to call us at (512) 346-1212.