What is a Professional Toothbrush?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The term "professional toothbrush" is used rather loosely to market and sell toothbrushes. It is meant to indicate that a toothbrush offers the user a tooth cleaning experience that is on par with the kind of experience that one would have in a dentist's office. While some toothbrushes that are labeled as "professional" do use new technology, others are similar to the old manual bristle toothbrushes that most people have been using for decades. A professional toothbrush that does use relatively new technology may be battery-operated or electric and may use a bristle alternative to clean the teeth. Some of these toothbrushes use high-speed vibrations that help to clean the teeth in a way that is either impossible or quite difficult to replicate using a manual toothbrush.

Some professional toothbrushes have settings for deep cleaning and whitening.
Some professional toothbrushes have settings for deep cleaning and whitening.

For those who are looking for a professional toothbrush, the best place to start is the dentist's office. Ask for recommendations about the best products on the market. Also, ask the dentist what professional toothbrush really incorporates important new technology. This is a good way to identify a product that really will offer a professional-grade cleaning at home.

The dentist's office is a good place to start for a professional toothbrush recommendation.
The dentist's office is a good place to start for a professional toothbrush recommendation.

A professional toothbrush that does use new technology to offer superior dental cleaning may have a number of features that allow the user to enjoy different kinds of teeth cleaning experiences. Some of these toothbrushes have multiple settings such as daily cleaning, deep cleaning, and whitening. The user can choose the daily cleaning setting on a regular basis just to keep the teeth in good shape. The deep cleaning setting can be used on a semi-regular basis in order to remove plaque build up, even in areas that are difficult to access. A whitening setting is a setting that is used entirely for cosmetic purposes but is nonetheless quite important to some users.

Some toothbrushes that are labeled as "professional" don't integrate innovative technology.
Some toothbrushes that are labeled as "professional" don't integrate innovative technology.

Sometimes a professional toothbrush will also come equipped with a timer. This timer helps to ensure that the professional toothbrush user is spending adequate time cleaning each tooth or each area of the mouth. Some of these toothbrushes claim to have capabilities that replace dental flossing. These claims should be met with suspicion as most dentists assert that, no matter what kind of toothbrush one uses, flossing is an important part of daily dental hygiene. This sort of feature may help to get the areas between the teeth as clean as possible, but might not be able to clean between the teeth as well as floss can.

A professional toothbrush may provide deep cleaning of the oral cavity and help prevent tooth loss.
A professional toothbrush may provide deep cleaning of the oral cavity and help prevent tooth loss.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

stoneMason

I think that there are some very good toothbrushes out there now. They have different mechanisms of cleaning and can be electric or manual. The bristles also come with a variety of shapes and sizes to get into the creases of teeth and remove plaque buildup.

There are even ionic toothbrushes that use positive ions to attract and remove plaque, stains or food particles. So although brushing with a professional toothbrush may not be the equivalent of a dentist visit, one can get a very good oral cleaning this way. The use of the term "professional" doesn't bother me at all for this reason.

There are also people who don't want to or can't make it to an annual cleaning at the dentist's office. So I think that regularly brushing with a professional toothbrush can be an acceptable alternative.

fBoyle

Why aren't the terms used on various products supervised more closely? What's so professional about a toothbrush? It's not like the cleaning gadgets dentists use.

ddljohn

I don't see how any toothbrush will provide a cleaning experience that's on par with a professional cleaning at the dentist's office. The term "professional" on brushes just means that this brush is just a tiny bit better than a regular, flat bristled brush. Some electric brushes do clean better, but I don't think that they ought to be called "professional" either.

So although I do use a "professional" toothbrush, I know that I still need to go in for a cleaning at my dentist's office once or twice a year.

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