General & Cosmetic Dentistry

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How to Properly Use Your Electric Toothbrush

At Laurelhurst Dentistry we will always recommend brushing your teeth with the proper toothbrush. We understand that some of you prefer an electric toothbrush. It’s important to follow proper brushing guidelines so that you are getting the right care and not damaging your teeth and gums.

PROPER BRUSHING

When using an electric toothbrush, be sure to take your time. Allow the brush to do its job on each side of your teeth. When you get your routine cleaning at Laurelhurst Dentistry, do as we do and break up the brush time evenly. Try putting focus on one quadrant at a time. That way you can put more emphasis on each individual tooth and prevent rushing. You may start to notice areas that are commonly neglected.

Look out for brushing too hard with your electric toothbrush, as it could eventually cause your gums to recede. Once your gums recede, you’re potentially exposed to pain and nerve exposure. In more severe cases, there can be a loss of the tooth. The American Dental Association reccomends short gentle strokes. This is done best by holding the brush at a forty-five degree angle. Also, holding the brush at an angle away from your gum line will allow for the right amount of pressure on the enamel. You want just enough brush away buildup, yet keeping your gum line protected.

Electric toothbrushes have small heads that are purposely positioned at a forty five-degree angle for the hard to reach areas. Also make sure to use only a pea-sized dab of toothpaste to prevent a lot of foaming. Too much toothpaste foam can tempt you to spit it out and stop too early.

Be sure to return the brush to the charger when finished. It’s important to have the brush fully charged so that it’s always performing at it’s peak. Speaking of which, changing the head regularly on your electric toothbrush is very important. You will want the best performance and some heads will actually have indicators on them to let you know when it’s time to change. It’s also a good idea to switch them out after being sick with a cold or flu. Or if not a change, then soaking them in a solution such as vinegar or mouthwash. Bristles contain tiny microbes that need to be eliminated to prevent problems.

TAKE YOUR TIME

Spending about two minutes brushing your teeth is recommended. Following the procedure of breaking up the time evenly which means spending a good thirty seconds on each quadrant will deliver a nice complete brushing. Set a timer or a clock. Perhaps even sing a song which is great for children so that you stay on a good time scale.

At Laurelhurst Dentistry we always instruct brushing. Using an electric or regular toothbrush shouldn’t be that different. We recommend following the above suggestions so that your investment in an electric toothbrush will be extremely beneficial. Be sure to ask us at your next cleaning if you have any other questions.