The brush of an electric toothbrush has rotating tufts or a vibrating head which provides a lot of the action needed for thorough cleaning.
Tests and clinical trials have shown that certain electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes at removing dental plaque. Those with heads that rotate in both directions ('oscillating' heads) are the most effective. Discuss the idea with your dentist or hygienist to find out if you would benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
With very little movement from the user there is a great deal of active cleaning movement of the bristles against the teeth. They are particularly useful for people with limited movement, such as disabled or elderly people who often find that using a normal toothbrush does not allow them to clean thoroughly.
There are different ways that the design of the toothbrush provides the necessary action to the bristles. One way is to make the individual tufts rotate, or arrange the tufts around a circular head which rotates or even make the bristles vibrate.
Electric toothbrushes can be better for children as they may be more inclined to brush regularly because of the novelty of using an electric toothbrush. Discuss the idea with your dentist or hygienist to find out if your child would benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
To have a clean and healthy mouth you need to use the correct dental care products. Ask your dentist or hygienist to tell you what is best for you. Some toothpastes come in a gel form and are ideal for electric brushes. Alternatively using a regular toothpaste requires running the head under the tap for 15 seconds after use – to prevent the mechanism from becoming clogged with dried abrasive. As well as regular family toothpastes, there are many specialist toothpastes. These include tartar control for people who are prone to tartar build-up and desensitising ingredients those with sensitive teeth. Total care toothpastes include substances to help fight gum disease, freshen breath and help reduce plaque build-up.
Yes, fluoride helps to strengthen and protect teeth which can reduce tooth decay in adults and children.Children’s toothpastes have about half the level of fluoride that adult toothpastes have. They still provide extra protection for the teeth but as children have a tendency to eat their toothpaste, there is less risk of them taking too much fluoride.
You do not need to smother the head of your brush in toothpaste. Wet the brush head and apply only a pea-sized amount. This is quite enough. Young children should use a smear of toothpaste.
Discuss with your dentist or hygienist who has examined your mouth. Usually an electric brush will improve your plaque control and so help restore your gums to a healthy condition.
Apply the toothpaste as described above. Insert the brush into your mouth before switching it on. Place the brush head with the bristles on the surface of the teeth and angled about 45° towards the gum margin. Move slowly from tooth to tooth, being sure to brush especially in between, until all surfaces of teeth have been covered.
No. The brush head automatically provides the correct cleaning action.
If excessive pressure is applied the unit will slow down or even stop.
Most recommendations say two minutes but thoroughness is more important than time. Units often have a built-in timer which switches off after two minutes. Remember to switch off before taking the brush from your mouth to avoid splashing.
If this is a new method of oral hygiene for you, the slight bleeding at first may be normal but should stop within a few days. If it continues for more than a couple of weeks then consult your dentist.
Always rinse the brush thoroughly after each use since toothpaste inside the mechanism may prevent the brush from working properly. Fifteen seconds under a running tap should be sufficient.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Normally rechargeable batteries need a 24 hour charge before the first use, after which EITHER use the toothbrush normally until fully discharged, then recharge for 12 to 16 hours OR replace it on the charger base after each use. The Unit should be run down completely and recharged for a full 24 hours once every three months.
Every three months should be sufficient.