First things first, you need to be brushing your teeth twice daily. If you are not doing this the tooth brush you are not using will not make a difference!
I have a lot of patients who are able to effectively brush their teeth with a manual toothbrush and these have a solid track record as being effective.
It is recommended to use a soft or ultra soft toothbrush. Studies have shown that using medium or hard bristled toothbrushes lead to increased gum recession. The good news is that it is difficult to find these and chances are that if you have a standard toothbrush it is most likely soft bristled.
Often patients have questions about powered toothbrushes. For the record, I am a fan of these and have been using them for years. I feel like my teeth are cleaner with less effort than a manual toothbrush.
They make brushing easier for everyone and are especially helpful for those with mobility issues or arthritis. The single best feature of most power toothbrushes is that they have a timer built into them to encourage brushing for the full two minutes.
They usually beep or vibrate every thirty seconds to remind you to move onto the next quadrant. The lack of timers on spin toothbrushes is one reason I am not a fan of these. Additionally, these brushes are often chintzy and the circular spinning movement mimics the back and forth brushing we preach against.
That being said, they are a viable cost modified option to the more elite power toothbrushes. For the spin toothbrushes or standard manual toothbrush you can always keep a two minute egg timer nearby. I have used several toothbrushes over the years but the one I am currently using is my favorite.
It is the Phillips Sonicare Diamond Head. It is a little more sleek than some of the bulky power brushes I've used in the past. Talking with my hygienists and staff I have only heard positive reviews.
One thing with all power toothbrushes I've found is that they will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Usually where the toothbrush head attaches to the motorized handle I've had to weekly clean them with cotton gauze and rubbing alcohol.
The con to power brushes is the high cost and the high cost of replacement heads. I've used knockoff brand brush heads in the past and have had no issues. When considering a power brush make sure it has a built in timer feature and make sure you use it two times everyday for two minutes.