A regular manual toothbrush is a great 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 correctly, as described above, and both you and your dentist are happy with the state of your oral health, you're doing great! There's no need for any extra tools (except floss, which should be used 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?
Electric toothbrushes that have small, round, rotating heads mimic the ideal brushing motion. Avoid electric toothbrushes that make a sawing motion if you can.
Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier 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 have to perform the brushing motion yourself, which makes cleaning the backs of your front teeth much easier (which can be awkward with a manual toothbrush), and the small round head makes cleaning your back molars and other tight or difficult-to-reach areas a little easier as well.
And because the head spins so quickly, electric toothbrushes can do a great job of removing surface stains from your teeth. 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.
Are you concerned about brushing too hard?
Some people hesitate to try an electric toothbrush because they are concerned it would not be gentle on the enamel of their teeth, or their gums.
However, because they don't have to make the scrubbing motion themselves, many electric toothbrush users find that it actually helps them brush more gently. Scrubbing tends to make you want to apply pressure, which an electric toothbrush eliminates because 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.