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4 Mistakes You are Making While Using An Electric Toothbrush
Oct 13, 2021

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Brushing with an electric toothbrush is more likely to give you cleaner teeth, but it’s no guarantee — especially if you are brushing incorrectly.

Both manual and electric toothbrushes work just fine. However, according to a study outlined in Consumer Reports, “compared with manual toothbrushes, electrics reduced dental plaque 21 percent more and gingivitis (i.e., inflammation of the gums) 11 percent more after three months of use.” Studies show it doesn’t matter which type of electric toothbrush you use or whether the head oscillates or moves side to side.

Electric toothbrushes are also helpful for those with dexterity problems or arthritis, who may find it easier to brush well. Kids may also prefer electric toothbrushes, finding them more fun.

Still, if you’re are using the brush improperly, you won’t get the clean you are seeking, and you may even harm your teeth and gums.  Here are four common mistakes people make while using an electric toothbrush:

  • Buying the wrong toothbrush. All electric toothbrushes are not equal. Make sure the brush comfortably fits in your hands and the electric head fits easily in your mouth. Buy soft-bristled brushes, so you don’t brush too hard and hurt your gums.
  • Not brushing long enough. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for a full two minutes. Most electric toothbrushes have a timer, but many people still quite early. Make sure you rely on the timer to let you know you’ve brushed long enough.  
  • Brushing too often or too hard. Brushing more than three times a day is not ideal; it is hurting you more than helping you. Brushing too much can wear down tooth enamel and hurt your gums. You may also hurt your gums if you use too much pressure or a hard-bristled brush. Guide the brush on its path and let the bristles do the work.
  • Overusing your toothbrush head. After three months, replace your toothbrush head. If you notice frayed or broken bristles, it’s time to replace; they are useless when brushing your teeth. Many brush heads are color-coded, with the bristles fading to white to let you know it’s time for a replacement. Note that you should also replace your brush head if you have been sick.

Sales of manual toothbrushes still far outnumber electric, possibly because of the cost. Regardless of which type of toothbrush you use, it’s easy to fall into some bad habits. Stick to two minutes twice a day and contact us if you have any questions about your oral hygiene.