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Instructions: Brushing teeth correctly with an electric toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes promise a simplified approach to your dental hygiene routine. After all, the brush does all the work for you. But does an electric toothbrush truly rival, and perhaps surpass, the cleaning efficacy of a manual toothbrush? What are the advantages and disadvantages? How do you find the right model? We have put together all the information you need below.  

min read
Aug 2023
https://curaprox.co.nz/blog/post/instructions-brushing-teeth-correctly-with-an-electric-toothbrush
min read
Aug 2023
https://curaprox.co.nz/blog/post/instructions-brushing-teeth-correctly-with-an-electric-toothbrush

What is an electric toothbrush? 

An electric toothbrush comprises two essential components: The charging station and the actual toothbrush. Typically, both components come as a set. The charging station enables wireless operation by recharging the battery of the toothbrush.

Two electric toothbrush variants are available: Sonic toothbrushes and oscillating-rotating toothbrushes. Discover the differences below. 

Sonic toothbrush

Sonic toothbrushes generate vibrations through the interaction of magnetic fields with opposing poles. The fast, lateral bristle vibrations are considered to be highly effective: Since this approach enables significantly greater movement compared to a conventional manual toothbrush. It has been proven that sonic toothbrushes, performing over 60,000 movements per minute, employ two distinct cleaning methods: 

  1. Mechanically – through direct contact of the slightly longer, outer bristles with the tooth. 
  2. Hydrodynamically – through rapid movements that induce turbulence in the oral fluid. Saliva, toothpaste and water create waves, which also reach between the teeth and beneath the gum line. This ensures that areas untouched by the bristles are also cleaned effectively. 

Thanks to their customisable settings, sonic toothbrushes, such as the Curaprox Hydrosonic pro, provide a particularly enjoyable brushing experience. With seven intensity levels to choose from, simply discover the perfect level for your needs and wants. 

 

Advantages of a sonic toothbrush at a glance

  • Exceptionally gentle on your teeth and gums: A minimal amount of pressure against the gums is sufficient when using a sonic toothbrush. This makes it ideal for individuals suffering from periodontitis and sensitive gums. 
  • Additional tooth rinsing: Sonic technology generates small water bubbles that effectively reach your interdental spaces, helping to remove dental plaque and food debris. 

When a sonic electric toothbrush is used properly, noticeable dental improvements can be observed within just two to six days. Typically, minor discolourations in the gaps and crevices vanish within this time frame. 

Good to know: 

Curaprox sonic toothbrushes offer yet another additional advantage over conventional sonic toothbrushes: They feature round, tear drop-shaped brush heads instead of the commonly available elongated heads found in other makes. These specially shaped brush heads allow for exceptionally precise cleaning of each individual tooth.

Bonus: With an extra-small tear drop-shaped head and longer outer and shorter inner bristles, this toothbrush effortlessly reaches every corner of your mouth, effectively eliminating dental plaque and food debris from even the tiniest imperfections on your teeth. 

Oscillating-rotating toothbrush

Oscillating-rotating toothbrushes typically feature a round brush head. This brush head moves alternately to the left and right while rotating in small circles on the surface of your teeth. These high-speed movements are combined with rapid pulses. Thanks to the round brush head, each individual tooth can be thoroughly cleaned. However, this is also the case with the Curaprox sonic toothbrushes Hydrosonic pro and 'Black is white' Hydrosonic, which are each equipped with specially developed, tear drop-shaped brush heads. 

By the way, oscillating-rotating toothbrushes have one significant disadvantage when compared to sonic toothbrushes: The brush movements primarily target the sides of your teeth, but not the interdental spaces. Sonic toothbrushes excel in this respect due to their hydrodynamic effect. Find out more about this effect below.

 

Electric toothbrush vs. manual toothbrush: Which one is better?

Brushing your teeth correctly with an electric toothbrush – is it possible? Or is a manual toothbrush the better option? One thing we can say: Simply choose between the two according to your personal preferences, depending on what you like best. Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective and allow you to brush your teeth thoroughly.

Much more important than the question of electric toothbrush versus traditional manual toothbrush is the regular and adequate use of your preferred toothbrush. Since: After just 16 hours without brushing, the task of plaque removal is 93 percent more challenging – paving the way for the imminent formation of tartar.

By the way: In addition to maintaining a regular dental hygiene routine, employing the correct brushing technique is essential.

If you are still uncertain about whether to choose a manual toothbrush or an electric one, consider the following tips that can help you make the right decision. 

Things you should know about manual toothbrushes

If you use a manual toothbrush correctly, its cleaning efficacy is on a par with an electric model. You should, however, know that there is a risk of brushing your teeth too imprecisely or too firmly when employing a manual toothbrush. 

To prevent this from happening to you, make sure to choose a manual toothbrush specifically tailored to your individual requirements. The most important thing is to use a toothbrush with soft filaments. 

Do you have sensitive gums or perhaps even gingivitis? If this is the case, you should definitely opt for a model with a soft brush head, for example the CS 5460. Its finely crafted individual filaments provide a gentle yet effective cleaning effect, effortlessly eliminating dental plaque and food debris. Thanks to its compact and subtly angled head, this toothbrush effortlessly accesses all areas of your mouth. 

Good to know: 

Regardless of whether you are using a manual or an electric toothbrush, do not apply more than 120 g of pressure to your teeth and gums. Use your kitchen scales to check out just how much pressure this actually is! Press down gently on the scales with your toothbrush. You will probably be surprised just how little force you require. 

Things you should know about electric toothbrushes

As said, electric toothbrushes offer a lot of comfort by eliminating the need for manual brushing. Sonic toothbrushes, in particular, have the advantage of being gentle on both your teeth and gums.

Nonetheless, electric toothbrushes do not offer the time-saving benefits that some people hope for. Even with the electric variant, it remains crucial to brush your teeth for a sufficient amount of time. But for how long should you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush? Ideally, three minutes. However, two minutes is the bare minimum.

Before buying an electric toothbrush, it is important to be aware of the following: Remember that you are always dependent on a power source and battery capacity. For instance, when travelling, it is crucial to think about taking along the appropriate equipment. You can, of course, always switch to a manual toothbrush when on holiday.

Another key tip: Since electric toothbrushes are, as the name implies, electrical devices, you should always read the package leaflet and instructions carefully before using one for the first time to prevent any operational errors. 

Also suitable for implants

People with implants or with sensitive teeth often think about their toothbrushing technique and consider whether an electric toothbrush is also an option for them. Yes!

However, in this case, we recommend using a sonic toothbrush. As it is particularly gentle on gums and teeth. A sonic toothbrush is also highly recommendable for people with periodontitis. 

Good to know: 

Hard to believe, but: Electric toothbrushes have been around since 1886. At that time, they were considered significant milestones in home dental care. In contrast, the first sonic toothbrushes were developed much later, in 1954. They are still highly popular to this day as they clean gums and teeth very gently. 

Instructions: How to brush your teeth electrically

At first glance, you might think that an electric toothbrush does all the brushing for you. Obviously: Its use can be quite convenient. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. How do you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush? We have summarised the main points for you below. 

Step 1: Charge the electric toothbrush sufficiently  

Charge your electric toothbrush fully prior initial use. This ensures maximum power for the best possible cleaning experience. Also read the package leaflet carefully. 

Step 2: Apply toothpaste and find the right angle

Put some toothpaste on your electric toothbrush before you start brushing. When using a sonic toothbrush, make sure to keep your mouth closed while cleaning. And do not switch on the electric toothbrush before it is in your mouth. 

Step 3: Brush correctly employing the Bass brushing technique

You can also employ the Bass brushing technique when using an electric toothbrush. Proceed as follows: 

  1. Hold the electric toothbrush at a 45 degree angle – just as you would a manual toothbrush. 

  2. Then start with the upper jaw, beginning on the outside of the right molars at the far back. Position the toothbrush on the outer surfaces. When using an oscillating-rotating toothbrush, delicately glide the rounded brush head over each tooth, ensuring slow and steady movement. Dedicate several seconds to each tooth and pay close attention to the gum line. You can also clean each tooth very precisely with a sonic toothbrush. 

  3. After brushing the outer surfaces of the upper row of teeth, switch to the inner surfaces. Then repeat the process on your lower jaw. 

  4. And finally, clean the chewing surfaces and switch off your electric toothbrush. 

Good to know: 

Not only your gums and teeth need cleaning; the brush head of an electric toothbrush needs to be cleaned, too. In order to maintain the hygienic condition of the brush head, rinse it with clean water after each use and simply let it air dry. 

When should you replace an electric toothbrush?  

Opting for an electric toothbrush means that you have chosen a very sustainable option for oral hygiene. After all, you only need to dispose of and replace the brush heads – not the entire device. This obviously results in less waste.

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. This is, of course, only a rough guideline. If your brush head shows signs of wear or discolouration before then, take action and replace it with a new one.

However, we recommend you to replace the brush head after three months at the latest, no matter how good it still looks. Since: Using an excessively worn toothbrush increases the risk of not brushing your teeth correctly. This results in plaque residue on your teeth, which can develop into dental decay.

A tip for all wearers of fixed braces: Due to the potential accelerated wear caused by the wires and brackets, we recommend replacing the brush head every six to eight weeks to achieve optimal results. 

Caring for and cleaning your electric toothbrush: How to do it  

Luckily, an electric toothbrush is not a disposable item. You only have to change the brush heads – not the actual device. However, over time, an electric toothbrush can become quite dirty. This is how to take care of your electric toothbrush: 

Clean the handpiece

If you rinse the handpiece with clean water on a regular basis, it should not get too dirty in the first place. However, if dirt accumulates despite regular rinsing, first remove the brush head and then try to remove the dirt with a damp cloth. You may also use a small amount of washing-up liquid to get rid of any really stubborn dirt. Do not worry: Water and soap will not damage the technology inside the handpiece. Electric toothbrushes are waterproof. 

Clean the contact points 

The interface between the handpiece and the brush head attachment is typically the most vulnerable to contamination. As this is exactly where a small necessary gap forms, allowing the brush head to pivot freely. Over time, unsightly and unhygienic deposits can accumulate within this narrow gap. To remove the dirt, gently and carefully clean this area of your electric toothbrush with a damp cloth or cotton bud. The best way to do this is obviously to remove the brush head and then to clean both contact points thoroughly. 

Clean the charging station 

The charging station is also a popular place for dirt and grime to accumulate. So, make sure to clean the charging station as well, thus preventing the transfer of any deposits to your device, as both devices come into close contact with each other. To do so, first unplug your charging station and ensure that the cable cannot come into contact with water. Now take a cloth and clean the dirty areas. If this does not work with a dry cloth, dampen it a little. 

Remove limescale now and then 

Daily exposure to water can lead to the accumulation of limescale on your electric toothbrush. This is best prevented by regular cleaning as described above. But you can also remove any limescale from the handpiece with white vinegar. Just add a few drops to a glass of warm water. Dip a cloth into it and then wipe your device. And do not forget to rinse with water afterwards. 

Which toothpaste is best for an electric toothbrush? 

Everyone should take toothbrushing seriously, and the same also applies to choosing the right toothpaste. When using an electric toothbrush, make sure that your preferred toothpaste does not contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate).

This substance is responsible for the foaming action in your mouth. While it may create the feeling of a particularly intensive cleansing effect, this perception is misleading. A lot of foam does not automatically make your teeth cleaner – in fact, the opposite is true. The foam can reduce the hydrodynamic effect of your sonic toothbrush.

You should also know: Due to its foaming properties, SLS is also a popular ingredient in shower gels, dishwashing products and shampoos. SLS, when used as an additive in toothpaste, remains a subject of controversy due to its potential allergenic and skin-irritating effects. Moreover, SLS can contribute to dryness of the mouth, increasing the risk of dental decay. 

Good to know: 

SLS is not used as an ingredient in any Curaprox toothpaste. Instead, our products offer a natural and gentle alternative, utilising enzymes that are also found in saliva, thereby effectively cleaning your teeth, while also strengthening the enamel and providing protection.

It is also advisable for your toothpaste to contain fluoride. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of your teeth, effectively preventing dental decay. For school children, teenagers and adults, the recommended maximum fluoride concentration is 1,500 ppm. While for younger children, it should not exceed 1,000 ppm. 

Cleaning interdental spaces with an electric toothbrush? 

Sonic toothbrushes effectively target and clean hard-to-reach interdental spaces. The hydrodynamic action of sonic toothbrushes creates waves of saliva and toothpaste that reach between the teeth and beneath the gum line with the aid of gentle pressure. 

But: To achieve all-round oral hygiene, it is essential to prioritise the cleaning of interdental spaces by utilising interdental brushes. Interdental brushes are a proven and effective tool for thoroughly cleaning interdental spaces, making them the ideal complement to your toothbrush. It is, however, important to find the right size prior to use. Insufficiently sized interdental brushes are unable to adequately capture and remove dental plaque and food debris from your interdental spaces. Conversely, excessively large interdental brushes will not fit through the contact points of your teeth. 

Brushing children's teeth correctly: Electrically or manually? 

Are you curious about the suitability of electric toothbrushes for children and when the right time to start using them is? Generally speaking, electric toothbrushes are a viable option for promoting comprehensive oral hygiene in children as well. Nevertheless, we advise you to use a manual toothbrush to clean your child's teeth for the first few years of their life. This approach helps develop their motor skills and has the learning effect that brushing teeth is an active task.

Using an electric toothbrush poses the risk, especially among young children, of passively holding the toothbrush in their mouth without actively engaging in brushing. Parents may also be tempted to believe that the electric toothbrush is solely responsible for the entire brushing process.

It is nicer to transform toothbrushing with a manual toothbrush into a shared experience, creating a positive atmosphere and fostering your child's awareness and sensitivity towards their daily dental hygiene routine. When selecting a toothbrush for your child, make sure that the brush is extra soft and that the brush head is small enough to reach every area within their mouth. 

Good to know: 

Our Little Bacteria Edition kids toothbrush features 5,500 super soft and fine filaments, along with an octagonal handle designed for effortless grip even by small hands. The vibrant green and purple design, adorned with playful little monsters, simply adds to the fun.

When can children start using an electric toothbrush?

There is no clear guideline here. Seeing as children usually develop the motor skills necessary to reach all areas of their mouth between the ages of five and seven, we recommend switching to an electric toothbrush during this period.

It is important for you as a parent to brush your child's teeth until at least the age of six and to consistently assess the thoroughness of their brushing, even as they grow older. Although electric toothbrushes can deliver excellent cleaning results, there is a risk that children may become distracted and allow the toothbrush to simply remain in their mouth without effectively reaching all the essential areas. 

Summary: Is an electric toothbrush recommendable?

The choice between an electric and a manual toothbrush is a matter of personal preference and individual taste. One is not better or worse than the other. Both variants are effective – as long as you maintain a dedicated approach to oral hygiene and brush for a sufficiently long period of time.

For thorough brushing with an electric toothbrush, the sonic toothbrush surpasses the oscillating-rotating toothbrush in terms of its cleaning effectiveness. Due to its hydrodynamics, the toothpaste reaches the interdental spaces and areas beneath the gum line more effectively. In addition, a sonic toothbrush cleans very gently.

Children can brush their teeth effectively and correctly with an electric toothbrush as well. However, we recommend letting your child get used to a traditional manual toothbrush first. This approach helps develop their motor skills and fosters the understanding that brushing teeth is an active task. Around age six, if your child expresses an interest, it might be a good idea to transition to an electric toothbrush. 

  

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All websites last accessed on 23 May 2023

https://curaprox.co.nz/blog/post/instructions-brushing-teeth-correctly-with-an-electric-toothbrush