Should I use a manual or an electric toothbrush?
A standard manual toothbrush is an effective tool for cleaning your teeth, provided that you are thorough, and use the proper brushing technique.
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush in a circular motion across the teeth.
- Remember to brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
If you brush properly, as outlined above, and both you and your dentist are satisfied with the state of your oral health, then you’re doing great! There’s no need for any additional tools (other than floss, of course; use that once a day!).
However, if you struggle to brush all of your teeth sufficiently with a manual toothbrush, or if you or your dentist feel your oral hygiene routine could use a boost, you may find an electric toothbrush to be a helpful tool.
How can an electric toothbrush help to improve the health of my smile?
Electric toothbrushes that have small, round, rotating heads mimic the ideal brushing motion. Avoid electric toothbrushes that make a sawing motion if you can.
Brushing can be even easier when using an electric toothbrush because you hardly have to do any work! Simply apply your toothpaste to your electric toothbrush, place it up against your teeth, and turn it on. Then all you have to do is guide it gently around your mouth, over all the surfaces of your teeth.
You don’t need to perform the brushing motion yourself, and this makes it much easier to clean the backs of your front teeth (which can be awkward with a manual toothbrush), and the small round head makes cleaning your back molars and other tight or hard-to-reach areas a little easier, too.
Electric toothbrushes can also do a great job of removing surface stains from your teeth thanks to their fast-moving rotating brushes. Some electric toothbrushes even have timers so that you know when your full two minutes are up!
Overall, an electric toothbrush can help you brush more thoroughly, and may even make brushing feel like less of a chore.
What if I typically brush too hard? Will an electric toothbrush make it worse?
Some people hesitate to try an electric toothbrush because they are concerned it would be too harsh on the delicate enamel of their teeth, or their sensitive gums.
However, many electric toothbrush users find that it actually helps them brush more gently, because they don’t have to make the scrubbing motion themselves. Scrubbing tends to make you want to apply pressure, and this is a non-issue with an electric toothbrush, as it performs the motion for you.
If you are very concerned about brushing too hard, many electric toothbrush brands sell heads with soft bristles for sensitive teeth and gums.