The Proper Way to Use an Electric Toothbrush - Panatella Dental (2024)

Electric vs Manual Toothbrushes

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective tools for keeping our teeth clean and our mouths happy. To properly clean your teeth you should be brushing for a full two minutes, brush the fronts and backs of your teeth, and make sure you aren’t neglecting those hard to reach teeth at the back of your mouth.

Unfortunately, most people don’t brush for the full two minutes, and often miss some of their teeth entirely. That is where having an electric toothbrush comes in handy.

The Benefits of Going Electric

When we brush with manual toothbrushes we average about three hundred strokes per minute. An electric toothbrush is capable of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of strokes in the same period of time. A systematic review published in the Journal of Dentistry looked at twenty-nine different studies that compared the effectiveness of manual and electric toothbrushes and found that electric toothbrushes were significantly more effective at reducing plaque buildup and gingivitis than manual toothbrushes.

Everyone can benefit from using electric toothbrushes. However, electric toothbrushes can be particularly effective for:

  • Individuals who have trouble using their hands. Electric toothbrushes require less effort and dexterity to use and can help you ensure that you are cleaning your teeth effectively.
  • Young children. Most young children are still developing their brushing technique, so they may not be brushing effectively. Many children also find electric toothbrushes more fun to use than manual toothbrushes, making it easier for parents to encourage children to brush their teeth.
  • Individuals with braces. Electric brushes can effectively clean behind and around the braces, and their smaller heads make it easier to reach those hard to reach places.
  • Individuals with a lot of tartar buildup. If your dentist or dental hygienist has mentioned that your teeth have a lot of tartar buildup you may not be brushing as effectively as you should. An electric toothbrush can help you refine your brushing technique, and keep your mouth happy and healthy.

Using Your Electric Toothbrush Effectively

Many electric toothbrushes come with a built-in two-minute timer, which can help you ensure that you are spending enough time brushes. Some models even include timers that chime every thirty seconds to prompt you to move on to the next section of your mouth. When brushing you should divide your mouth into four sections:

  • The front of your teeth
  • The back of your teeth
  • The chewing surfaces of your teeth and behind your back teeth
  • Your tongue and the roof of your mouth

When using an electric toothbrush it is not necessary to press hard or scrub while brushing. Instead, gently guide the brush along as it scrubs. Some electric toothbrush models include pressure sensors, which will let you know if you are pressing too hard.

Depending on the size of your teeth and the size of the brush head your electric toothbrush should brush about one tooth at a time. Take your time while brushing so you can ensure you are being thorough.

How to Use Your Electric Toothbrush

  1. Before you begin brushing make sure your electric toothbrush is charged. Most models are equipped with a charge indicator light to let you know if your brush is ready for use. You should also floss your teeth before you begin brushing. This helps to loosen any plaque or food particles that are sitting between your teeth and makes it easier for your toothbrush to sweep them away.
  2. When you begin brushing hold your brush at a 45-degree angle, just like you would with a manual toothbrush. Starting with the outside surfaces of your teeth gently guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth. Make sure you hold the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before you move on to the next one. While brushing, make sure you follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of your gums.
  3. When you have finished the outer surfaces of your teeth repeat your actions on the inside surfaces, and then again on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush behind your back teeth.
  4. When you have finished brushing your teeth take a few seconds to direct the brush head along your gum line and on your gums. This will help remove any remaining plaque. Be careful not to press too hard when brushing your gums or you may irritate them.
  5. Finally, use your brush to gently clean your tongue and the roof of your mouth. This will help remove any lingering food particles and help you freshen your breath.

Brushing your teeth effectively is a critical part of any oral hygiene routine, and helps fight plaque and prevent gingivitis and other gum diseases. Electric toothbrushes can make this task easy, and help you ensure that you are removing any plaque or food particles every time you brush.

The Proper Way to Use an Electric Toothbrush - Panatella Dental (2024)

FAQs

The Proper Way to Use an Electric Toothbrush - Panatella Dental? ›

Starting with the outside surfaces of your teeth gently guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth. Make sure you hold the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before you move on to the next one. While brushing, make sure you follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of your gums.

Do you brush back and forth with an electric toothbrush? ›

Many come with timers to help you maintain a long brushing session. Electric toothbrushes are more advantageous for those who aren't very mobile, such as people dealing with arthritis or carpal tunnel. The electric toothbrush does most of the back and forth work for you.

What angle do you brush teeth with electric toothbrush? ›

Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line. When brushing your teeth, move the brush back and forth gently, with a circular movement over the front, back and top (chewing surface) of your teeth.

Should electric toothbrush touch gums? ›

Scrubbing back and forth with an electric toothbrush can irritate and wear away at your gums over time, resulting in receding gums. Instead, simply guide your toothbrush along your teeth at a 45 degree angle to your gums – the ideal angle for sweeping away plaque from the gum line.

Do you close your mouth when using an electric toothbrush? ›

This will avoid splashing the toothpaste all around and wasting it. Once you are comfortable using the electric toothbrush, you can brush with a closed mouth. We suggest tracing the gum line around all of your teeth again at 45-degree angle.

What are the best practices for electric toothbrush? ›

Starting with the outside surfaces of your teeth gently guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth. Make sure you hold the brush head in place for a few seconds against each tooth before you move on to the next one. While brushing, make sure you follow along with the shape of each tooth and the curve of your gums.

Are you supposed to brush hard with an electric toothbrush? ›

Try to brush with the curvature of the teeth. This is the most effective method for removing plaque and food particles. Place the brush on the outside of each tooth for a few seconds at a time. There's no need to press hard or scrub back and forth—the electric toothbrush will do that for you.

Should you rinse after brushing your teeth? ›

Don't rinse with water straight after toothbrushing

After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste. Don't rinse your mouth immediately after brushing, as it'll wash away the concentrated fluoride in the remaining toothpaste.

Why does my mouth not feel clean after electric toothbrush? ›

Don't rush your brush. The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day with a brush with soft bristles. Rushing this makes it more likely that you won't scrub away enough of the plaque that builds on your teeth.

What is the disadvantage of using an electric toothbrush? ›

The Cons of Electric Toothbrushes

Higher Cost- Battery-powered toothbrushes are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. They also require replacement heads, which can be quite pricey. Higher Risk of Damage- Because of their electronics, they are at a higher risk of damage if dropped or falling in the water.

Should you floss before or after brushing? ›

While it may be surprising, a study has found that flossing first followed by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is more effective in removing interdental plaque than brushing first, flossing second. In addition, flossing before brushing results in greater fluoride retention between teeth.

What are the 5 settings on electric toothbrush? ›

Five brushing modes to deep clean your teeth (clean, white, polish, soft, sensitive).

Which is better rotating or vibrating electric toothbrush? ›

From the data of this study, researchers concluded that to maintain good plaque control and improve gingival health, the oscillating rotation electric toothbrush offers clinically relevant advantages compared to the sonic toothbrush, albeit with a small but significant difference.

Should you do a brushing motion with an electric toothbrush? ›

When using an electric toothbrush it is not necessary to press hard or scrub while brushing. Instead, gently guide the brush along as it scrubs. Some electric toothbrush models include pressure sensors, which will let you know if you are pressing too hard.

How many times should you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush? ›

If you brush your teeth regularly with an electric toothbrush, ideally twice a day, you will typically only need to replace the brush head every two to three months.

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