A Beginner’s Guide: How to Properly Use an Electric Toothbrush

Posted by Priyanka Arora on

Since its invention and early market arrival nearly six decades back, the electric toothbrush has come a long way. And over the years, it has truly emerged as a game-changer for preventive oral care worldwide. Various clinical studies from the past have shown that electric toothbrushes perform with higher efficacy than their manual counterparts when it comes to removing plaque build-up in the mouth, reducing dental cavities and in improving gingival health. No wonder, even a lot of dentists nowadays recommend their patients to use an electric toothbrush!

Are you someone who was used to brushing with manual toothbrushes for many years, and has now decided to switch to an electric one? Then you might find using the task of electric brushing to be a bit daunting initially (even though electric toothbrushes are often designed to be easy to use). But worry not; after you complete reading this article, you won’t anymore!

So read on, and ensure that you follow the step-by-step instructions outlined by us, which in turn will surely help you to get the best out of your electric brushing routine:

  • The first and foremost thing to do for brushing with your electric toothbrush is to wet its bristles and apply a small (pea-sized) amount of toothpaste on it. You need not apply a larger amount of toothpaste, because electric toothbrushes do a great job in terms of evenly distributing the paste throughout your mouth.

    Applying Toothpaste on Electric Toothbrush
  • Next, you need to position the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line, and make sure that the bristles are in contact with both your gums and teeth.
  • Now, it’s time for the (brushing) action! Turn on the electric power switch in your toothbrush and begin brushing by applying gentle pressure.
  • Move the brush gently, sliding it back-and-forth along the front surface, back surface, and chewing surface of each tooth. Hold the brush head for a few seconds against each tooth before going to the next one.
  • A good thumb rule you can adhere to while using the electric toothbrush is to imagine dividing your mouth into four sections, and devote about 30 seconds in brushing each of these 4 quadrants, i.e. upper right, lower right, upper left, and lower left. (Note: some electric toothbrushes have an in-built timer that would automatically signal you every 30 seconds to move to the next quadrant, therefore removing the guesswork and making it easy to maintain a balanced brushing activity).
  • Do not forget to direct the brush upon your gums as well. Also, make sure to clean the tongue and other areas of your oral cavity, just as you would while using a manual toothbrush.
  • You may be enticed to save time on brushing after adopting an electric toothbrush. However for best results, dentists recommend brushing twice daily and spending at least two minutes per brushing session, even with an electric toothbrush! So, take no shortcuts on this front and remain committed to stay consistent and regular with your brushing.
  • After you’re done brushing, turn off the electric switch, rinse the brush head, shake off excess water and leave it to dry in an upright position.

Bonus Tips on Electric Brushing

The above-mentioned instructions are sufficient enough for you to kick-start your electric toothbrush-based oral hygiene journey. But in addition, we’re sharing a few more tips/suggestions that could come to your aid, especially as a first-time electric toothbrush user:

  • Ensure that your electric toothbrush is fully charged before you use it for the first time.
  • Most electric toothbrushes today come with a ‘beginner’ mode (sometimes it can be called the ‘sensitive’ mode), which helps you get acquainted with the power and vibrations of the brush, and adjust your cleaning technique and pressure accordingly. So, make prudent utilization of the ‘beginner’s mode’ in the early days of using your electric toothbrush.
  • Do not try to press or scrub your electric toothbrush too hard while brushing. Hold it with a ‘pencil grip’ (instead of holding with a fist) and apply minimal pressure. Bear in mind that your electric brushes offers powerful motorized movements, and pressing it too hard can prove harmful for your teeth and gums.
  • Replace the brush head once in every two-three months. Failing to do this shall likely lead to fraying of the bristles and contribute to less effective brushing outcomes.
  • Switching to an electric toothbrush doesn’t mean you don’t not to floss anymore! Remember to floss and rinse with a mouthwash daily after brushing to prevent cavities, gum diseases and infections.
  • Last but not the least, be patient and persistent. Honestly, it does take some time for a beginner to get used to an electric toothbrush and its working mechanisms. However, with a bit of practice every day, you should be able to master the craft in around a couple of weeks’ time, and eventually become a pro at electric brushing. By the time you achieve this, you might have had already promised to yourself to never go back to using a manual toothbrush ever again!

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