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Tips on Using an Electric Toothbrush

The word toothbrush is associated with the manual toothbrush with its modern invention coming in the late 1930s. Several updates and upgrades have been added to the toothbrush of that era, but the original concept has never changed.

Then in the 1990s, electric toothbrushes came to be a popular alternative to the traditional, manual style. There are two main styles of electric toothbrushes rotation oscillation type powered toothbrushes and side-to-side sonic type electric toothbrushes. According to, “evidence suggests that a certain type of powered toothbrush called a rotation oscillation toothbrush (the bristles go round and round and back and forth) is more effective than manual toothbrushes.” Like any change, electric toothbrushes come with both pros and cons. On the plus side they are easy to use, all you need to do is place the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and let the toothbrush do all the work, some designs offer better results, makes brushing more fun for children, and some models offer a built in timer that stops the toothbrush once two minutes are up. On the down side you will have to charge your toothbrush or replace its batteries, an electric toothbrush cost significantly more than a manual toothbrush, are bulky when travelling, and can break when dropped. The real difference between manual and electric toothbrushes is in how each area gets cleaned. Since the electric toothbrush is doing all the work, you only need to tilt the toothbrush gently around each tooth to clean slightly in-between teeth and along your gums. Slowly clean tooth to tooth going around the outside of all your teeth first and then the tongue side before finishing up by cleaning the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Keep in mind when you get to your front teeth you may need to hold the toothbrush vertically so that you can rock the toothbrush back and forth to clean around those teeth. Begin by mastering brushing without toothpaste and once you are comfortable, look into getting a low abrasive toothpaste. Your oral health will remain healthy regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, as long as you consistently take care of your teeth. If you are on the fence about buying an electric toothbrush, use your toothbrush as a reminder to schedule a checkup - when you’re ready to discard your next toothbrush, call Westmount Dental Centre at 780-454-1269.


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