Electric toothbrush

Do I Need to Invest in an Electric Toothbrush?

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Electric toothbrushes provide superior plaque removal compared to regular manual toothbrushes. And because they provide the brushing action for you, many people find using power toothbrushes easier than using regular manual ones.

In addition to things like your brushing technique, how often you brush and the length of time you spend doing it, the type of toothbrush you use will directly affect how well you remove plaque.

SEE ALSO: Can Mouthwash Replace Toothbrushing?

Proper brushing technique varies when using different kinds of toothbrushes. Regular manual toothbrushes require you to provide all of the brushing action, moving the brush in circular movements all along your teeth and gums. Whereas electric toothbrushes provide the cleaning action while you only need to guide it and move it slowly along all the surfaces. Once they get the hang of it, many people find this method of brushing easier.

One of the biggest issues with a manual toothbrush is the difficulty adhering to the recommended brushing time of two minutes and the correct technique. This results in a less than ideal tooth cleaning. Electric toothbrushes usually have a two-minute timer to make sure your teeth are getting the sufficient time of brushing needed to keep them clean. This ensures that every part of your mouth gets the attention it needs to maintain a good oral health.

To protect your gums while brushing, most electric toothbrushes are also designed with a built-in pressure sensor to notify you if you're using too much force while brushing. Some people might clean their teeth very well using a manual brush though, but in most cases an electric brush is a helpful tool in maintaining oral health. An electric brush might also minimize staining that occurs from smoking, coffee and tea.

Power toothbrushes may also help kids brush their teeth better but be sure to check the age recommendations on an electric toothbrush before letting your child use it.

Get your brushing technique right

There is a right way to brush your teeth, and there is a wrong way.

The correct brushing technique is very important. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth and allowing you to reach all areas easily.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are worn out. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide, circular strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and move the brush in up-and-down strokes.

Floss to clean between teeth once a day too. Bacteria still linger between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. This helps remove plaque and food between the teeth and under the gum line. Eat a balanced diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks.

See your dentist and hygienist regularly.

Felicia Bjurfjall

Felicia Bjurfjall
Dental Hygienist, Sweden
Jumeirah Clinic, Dubai

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