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How to use an electric toothbrush

 

Have you ever learnt how to use an electric toothbrush?  Or how to brush your teeth properly with any kind of toothbrush?  

Electric toothbrushes can be better than manual ones, but only if they are used correctly.

If your brushing technique is poor, there’s no toothbrush in the world that will completely clean your teeth for you.  

I’m going to show you exactly what to do, starting with a few basic pros and cons of electric toothbrushes.

Pros

  • Easy to use.
  • More efficient at removing plaque than a manual brush.
  • Helps reduce staining.

Cons

  • Can be expensive.
  • To charge, it needs a shaver socket or an adapter and an ordinary electrical socket.

What to use to brush your teeth properly

You will need fluoridated toothpaste, and the brush itself.  I usually recommend Oral b 2000. It moves just as fast as the top of the range brush, it just doesn’t have as many features.  But you only need the one anyway!

How to use an electric toothbrush

The path that the brush should follow around your mouth is exactly the same as for a manual toothbrush (see guide here).  

Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle with a little pressure, and hold on each tooth for 3 to 5 seconds. 

Start from the outside of the back of your upper teeth on the right, and brush all the way around the outside of your upper teeth until you reach back left.  Then guide the brush under your very back teeth to brush the inside from back left to back right. 
Move the brush down to the lower teeth and repeat the process by starting at the back inside right, to back inside left and then outside left all the way around to outside right.

Then finally you can scrub the biting surfaces, applying a little more pressure.

You don’t need to rinse, just spit out the toothpaste.  And you can finish by brushing your tongue by starting near the back and brushing towards the tip.

Electric toothbrushes have a two minute timer, which should be enough to brush all your teeth, but if you need longer to make sure you’ve brushed each individual tooth well, that’s fine.  And they also have a red indicator light which shows if you’re applying too much pressure, so do pay attention to that.

Toothbrushing tip and tricks

The most common mistake people make when brushing their teeth is to move around a lot. They do a little bit on the bottom, then brush the top right biting surfaces, then back to the bottom, then front teeth. This is an ineffective use of time and not very efficient. Brushing should be methodical so you know each tooth is getting exactly the same amount of time spent on it.

Do floss before brushing – fluoride cannot penetrate through sticky plaque, so if you’ve not removed it from in ­between the teeth, then they’re not as protected as you might think.

Don’t rinse after brushing – all the ingredients in toothpaste are there to help care for your mouth. When you rinse it out you’re getting rid of them.

Don’t scrub your teeth – watch your pressure.

Do use a medium textured toothbrush.

Do use fluoridated toothpaste.

Change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months.

Avoid battery powered brushes – these tend to die after about three weeks and don’t deliver the power needed to move such a small head.

Do make sure you brush for the whole 2 minutes.

I can show you how to brush your teeth

If you have any questions about how to brush your own teeth, or perhaps want guidance about how to instruct or supervise your child’s brushing, I’m always happy to show you the correct techniques as part of your routine hygiene appointment.  Just book in and I’ll see you soon.

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How to Use an Electric Toothbrush

Oral health is an important part of maintaining your overall well-being. Studies have shown that both manual and electric toothbrushes can be effective at keeping your oral cavity clean.[1] However, you might feel an electric version does a better job on your mouth. By following proper technique of using an electric toothbrush and guidelines for twice daily brushing, you can keep your teeth pearly white, your breath fresh, and help prevent cavities or other infections.[2]

Using the Toothbrush

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    Charge the unit. You won’t be able to use an electronic toothbrush if your batteries are dead or it isn’t charged. Either keep the toothbrush cradled in its charger or change the batteries when you notice it’s losing its power, which can help ensure that you can use the toothbrush most effectively. If you run out of power, then you can either continue brushing manually or get a regular toothbrush if you have one.

    • Store your toothbrush close enough to the sink so it is easy to reach, but far enough away that you won’t accidentally knock it into the sink and get electrocuted if the toothbrush is plugged in.
    • Consider keeping extra batteries on hand so that you can always brush your teeth.
     
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    Maintain the integrity of your brush. Your electric toothbrush should have soft, nylon, and round-ended bristles for the most effective brushing.[3] These bristles can wear with regular use and you should inspect the brush regularly to maintain its integrity, which can help ensure that you get the best brush possible.[4]

    • Make sure the bristles don’t have any sharp or jagged edges or endpoints.[5]
    • Make sure that the bristles are not falling out.[6] Also, check the colored bristles. If they start fading, it means that you should change the tip with a new one.
    • Replace your electronic toothbrush head every three to four months, or more often if you notice any of the above-mentioned issues.[7]
     
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    Prepare your toothbrush. Run your toothbrush under some water and apply a pea-sized dab of toothpaste onto the brush.[8] This can help prepare your toothbrush for the most effective cleaning of your teeth and oral cavity.[9] You can also apply the toothpaste on your teeth while toothbrush is turned off to better spread the paste around your mouth.

    • Consider using a fluoride toothpaste, which can help strengthen your teeth and remove plaque that causes disease and decay.[10]
    • If you have sensitive teeth, consider using a fluoride toothpaste formulated to help minimize sensitivity.[11]
     
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    Divide your mouth into four quadrants. Dividing your mouth into top, left, right, and bottom quadrants to tackle your brushing routine. This can help ensure that you brush each section of your teeth and mouth cavity.

    • You can start with whichever quadrant you like or is most comfortable to you and you should spend about 40 seconds on each quadrant while brushing every single surface of your teeth.
    • Make sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
     
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    Place toothbrush bristles along gum line. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line. Keep the bristles in contact with your tooth surface and gum line, which can help ensure you get the most effective brush possible.[12]

    • Apply only gentle pressure, as too much can injure your teeth and gums. The vibrations of your electronic toothbrush can also add a little additional pressure.[13]
     
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    Brush from outer to inner tooth surfaces. Maintaining the 45-degree angle, brush the outer surfaces of two to three teeth using a back and forth rolling motion.[14] Once you’ve completed this procedure for a quadrant, move to the inner surfaces of your teeth and repeat the same procedure.[15]

    • The rolling motion is achieved by contacting the brush to the gum line and then moving downward with the toothbrush towards the chewing surface.[16] Also, brush your gums with gentle pressure and avoid holding the brush for too long next to the gum line because the rotation can cause gum recession over time.
    • To brush behind your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make up and down strokes using only the front half of your brush.[17]
     
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    Clean biting surfaces, your tongue, and soft palate. You’ll also need to brush your tongue and palate as well as the biting surfaces of your teeth.[18]This can help remove debris and other odor-causing bacteria.

    • Use a gentle back and forth scrubbing motion to clean the biting surfaces and your tongue.[19]
    • Use an equally or more gentle back and forth motion to clean your soft palate, or the roof of your mouth.
     
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    Brush gently and thoroughly. Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth, or about 30 seconds per quadrant.[20] Doing this at least twice a day can help prevent cavities and tooth decay by minimizing the debris and bacteria in your mouth.[21]

    • Pressing too hard can damage your gums or wear down your enamel.[22]
    • Wait 30 to 60 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods to help maintain your enamel.[23] This will provide plenty of time for the saliva to remineralize the enamel and create an alkaline environment. Instead, chew a piece of sugar-free gum that contains xylitol after meals and before brushing.
     
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    Floss between your teeth. Even with thorough brushing, dentists recommend flossing your teeth twice a day. This can help remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth that brushing couldn’t reach.[24]

    • Remove about 18 inches (46 cm) of floss from the packaging. Wrap it around your middle fingers.[25] You can then grasp the floss between your thumbs and forefingers which can help you clean more effectively.[26]
    • Make sure to be very gentle when guiding the floss between your teeth. Curve it against your tooth when it hits your gumline.[27]
    • Rub the side of each tooth with the floss in an up and down motion.[28] Try to remove the plaque formed under your gums and practice until you get the best results.
    • You may brush or floss first. Some studies have shown, however, that flossing before brushing may increase the efficacy of fluoride.[29]
     
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    Use an antiseptic mouth rinse. After you have brushed and flossed, rinse out your mouth with some clean water and a mouthwash. Some studies have shown that mouthwash can reduce plaque and gingivitis and promote overall oral health. Mouthwash can also remove lingering particles of food or other germs.[30]

    • Swish around the water and mouthwash in your mouth.
    • Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine are generally the preferred type of mouthwash. Products that contain alcohol may dry out your mouth and cause bad breath or even sores or ulcers.[31]
     
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    Store your toothbrush. Once you’ve finished your brushing routine, rinse off the toothbrush head and return it to its storage unit. This can help maintain the integrity and life of your toothbrush. Remove the brush from the handle, and hold it under running water for a few seconds. Set it upright in its holder to dry.

    • Rinsing off your toothbrush with tap water will clean off any lingering toothpaste or debris.[32]
    • Avoid covering your toothbrush head, which can help promote the growth of bacteria.
    • Make sure you store the toothbrush in an upright position.[33]
     
     
     
 
Part2

Maintaining Oral Health

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    Brush and floss twice daily. Brushing and flossing each day as well as after meals may promote the health of your oral cavity. A clean environment may prevent cavities, infections, and stains.[34]

    • Brush and floss after meals if you are able. If you have food or other debris lingering in your teeth, it can promote infection and decay. Chewing a piece of gum may help minimize this risk if you don’t have a toothbrush available.[35]
     
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    Avoid sugary and acidic foods and beverages. Foods and drinks containing sugar or acid can contribute to oral decay, and watching your intake can help maintain your oral health. Cleaning your teeth after consuming these items may minimize your risk of tooth decay and infection.[36]

    • A healthy and well-balanced diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and legumes can promote your overall well-being, including oral health.[37] Raw fruits and vegetables are best. Raw fruits and vegetables stimulate your gums and your teeth providing good blood circulation which prevents decay, gum disease or even periodontitis. Also, stick to whole grain bread and avoid sugary foods to reduce the amount of acids.
    • Some otherwise healthy foods are acidic. This includes citrus fruits and wine. Continue to enjoy these foods and beverages, but reduce how much you consume and consider brushing your teeth 30 minutes after you’re done to prevent enamel loss.
    • Some examples of sugary and acidic foods and beverages of which to steer clear are soft drinks, sweets, candies, and wine.
     
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    Use alcohol-free mouthwashes and toothpastes. Mouthwashes and toothpastes that have alcohol may damage your enamel and overall oral health. Use toothpastes or mouthwashes that have no alcohol to minimize your risk for these problems.[38]
     
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    Avoid grinding your teeth. If you clench and grind your teeth, you may damage your teeth and mouth. If you’re a tooth-grinder, talk to your dentist about wearing a mouth guard.[39]

    • Grinding can cause tooth sensitivity and damage including chips and cracks.[40]
    • Biting your nails, opening bottles or keeping objects between your teeth are also bad habits. Avoid these habits as much as possible so that you don’t damage your teeth.
     
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Using a Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

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Using Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

How to Start Brushing Your Teeth
How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?
Using Proper Electric Toothbrush Technique

A rechargeable electric toothbrush (also known as a “power” toothbrush) can help you do more to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Many rechargeable toothbrushes use oscillating-rotating technology to provide better oral health results than regular manual toothbrushes. This brushing action is very different from that of regular manual toothbrushes, as it provides the movement, while you need only guide it.

For that reason, some people may find brushing with an electric toothbrush easier once they learn how to do it properly. Just remember that the key to brushing well with an electric toothbrush is to guide the brush head to all parts of your mouth.

How to Start Brushing Your Teeth

Before you begin brushing, be sure to ask your dental professional for recommendations on technique. It also might be helpful to refer to the brushing instructions supplied with your electric toothbrush.

To start, apply a fluoride toothpaste to the brush head (and by the way, remember to replace the brush head on your power toothbrush every three months).

How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?

To brush your teeth correctly, spend at least two minutes using a recommended technique, which includes 30 seconds brushing each section of your mouth (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left), both morning and night. Most Oral-B rechargeable electric toothbrushes have built-in two-minute timers, and some even have professional timers that parse out 30 seconds for each quadrant to help you keep track.

Using Proper Electric Toothbrush Technique

When using a rechargeable electric toothbrush, it isn’t necessary to press hard or scrub. Simply guide the brush while it provides the brushing action. In fact, some Oral-B electric toothbrushes have pressure sensors that alert you when you’re brushing too hard.

Step 1: Make sure your toothbrush is charged. Many electric toothbrushes have charge level indicator lights, so you can actually see when the toothbrush is charged.
Step 2: Start with the outside surfaces of the teeth. Guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth, holding the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before moving on to the next one. Follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of the gums.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on the inside surfaces of the teeth.
Step 4: Repeat Step 2 on the chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as behind the back teeth.
Step 5: Direct the brush head along the gum line and upon the gums. Again, do not press hard or scrub.
Step 6: Try grazing the brush head along your tongue and the roof of your mouth, back to front, to help freshen your breath.

With proper brushing technique with a rechargeable electric toothbrush, a little practice every day will help make it feel like second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be brushing with confidence knowing you’re using the clinically proven technology of a rechargeable electric toothbrush to clean your teeth.

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