Electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning teeth than manual toothbrushes, can help prevent tooth staining, and will lower your risk for toothbrush abrasion. If you have the money you should definitely invest in one.
There is a bit of a learning curve to using an electric toothbrush correctly. Since the brushing motion is done entirely by the toothbrush, all you have to do is position the toothbrush head so the bristles reach the right areas.
Before You Begin
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).
Two Minutes, Twice a Day
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 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.
Correct brushing technique requires that you develop a sense of where the toothbrush bristles are touching. Everyone’s teeth are different and applying one brushing method to all people simply won’t work. You must be able to feel the bristles slightly in-between your teeth and also along your gumline so you can individualize your brushing and know you are cleaning the right spots. I find that it is best to start using your electric toothbrush without toothpaste, wetting the bristles just like we did with manual toothbrushes. Without the distraction of the sudsy toothpaste you can really focus on where the toothbrush bristles are touching.
Positioning The Electric Toothbrush
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 electric toothbrushes, like Oral-B ProfessionalCare 5000 with Wireless SmartGuide,TM 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.