How to use electric toothbrush?

a woman dentist holding a  dog-shaped electric toothbrush with arms acrossed

How to use electric toothbrush?

Many users misunderstand that turning on the electric toothbrush switch and putting it in their mouths is enough. Improper use of an electric toothbrush will greatly reduce the brushing efficiency, increase teeth wear and damage the gum. In this blog, you will learn how to use an electric toothbrush.


Step 1: Understand the basic structure of an electric toothbrush

The electric toothbrush is composed of a handle and a brush head. A motor, the electric toothbrush's core component, is inside the handle. A metal shaft extends from the electric toothbrush handle to transmit energy. Make sure the electric toothbrush head is firmly inserted into the metal shaft before use, this will prevent the brush head from loosening. Then you can start using it.


Step 2: Soak the bristles


Use the water temperature to adjust the hardness of the bristles before each brushing. The bristles after soaking in warm water are very soft, so it is recommended for first-time users to soak in warm water for the first five times and then decide the water temperature according to their preferences.


Step 3: Squeeze the toothpaste

Many people squeeze the toothpaste into a ball and gently put it on the bristles. It will fall off when it touches the teeth.

Toothpaste should be squeezed into the crevices of the bristles, not floating on the surface of the bristles. This way, even if the electric toothbrush starts to vibrate, the toothpaste won't splatter. It is recommended to put the electric toothbrush in the mouth and then turn on the switch so that it is less likely to cause toothpaste to splash, the toothpaste and saliva will be fully mixed to clean the teeth.


blue toothbrush with toothpaste on it

Step 4: Adjust the mode

Many electric toothbrushes have different modes, which correspond to different frequencies or amplitudes. For beginners, I recommend starting with the softest mode. It is normal to feel uncomfortable at the beginning of using an electric toothbrush. After using it a few times, you can gradually adapt to this frequency and then switch to other modes that are more powerful.


Step 5: Use the correct brushing method

There are two different types of electric toothbrushes, corresponding to two different vibration modes: Oscillating-rotating toothbrush and sonic toothbrush.

The brush head of an oscillating-rotating toothbrush is round. When in use, the round brush head can be placed on any part of the teeth (buccal-lingual and occlusal surface), the round brush head can fully touch the tooth surface. The combination of rotation and telescopic movement makes it more powerful for cleaning, the cleaning efficiency is also higher, and of course, the vibration is stronger when using.

The brush head of the sonic electric toothbrush is similar in shape to our ordinary manual toothbrush, but it is more rectangular. This electric toothbrush simulates the Bass brushing method, gently inserting the bristles into the gingival sulcus (the junction of the teeth and the gums), and uses high-frequency vibrations to clean the gingival sulcus more effectively. The cleaning power of this electric toothbrush is gentler and more friendly to those with delicate and sensitive gums that bleed easily.


Step 6: Clean the toothbrush

When you're done brushing, don't put the electric toothbrush in the cup. Although the electric toothbrush is waterproof, it should not be in contact with water for a long time. The water cup is too wet, which is easy to breed bacteria. Cleaning the electric toothbrush after use is more convenient than the manual toothbrush. You only need to put the electric toothbrush head in the water, turn on the switch and let the electric toothbrush vibrate for a while, and then you can clean the toothpaste remaining on the brush head. No need to manually shake the electric toothbrush.


a hand holding a toothbrush at the sink for washing brush head

The situation of bleeding gums after using an electric toothbrush

Bleeding after using an electric toothbrush for the first time can be a common problem for most people.

First, bleeding gums means that the gums are currently in a state of inflammation, and no healthy organ will bleed when touched, so if this happens, it may be a sign of gingivitis or even periodontitis. Going to the hospital for basic periodontal treatment as soon as possible is recommended. Bleeding is not caused by the electric toothbrush but by the unhealthy periodontal condition.

Healthy gums won't bleed easily when gum inflammation subsides.

If the gums are healthy, but the use frequency and the pressure are too high, or the brushing part is incorrect, it will damage the gums and causes bleeding. In this case, it is necessary to reduce the vibration level and reconfirm the pressure and brushing part. Get used to brushing the right way to avoid damage to healthy gums. With a period of practice, the bleeding will get better quickly.


Replacement of brush heads

The brush head of an electric toothbrush needs to be replaced every 3 months. If the bristles are curled, the cleaning efficiency will be greatly reduced, especially for cleaning the gingival sulcus. The straight bristles can easily enter the sulcus without causing damage, while the curly bristles cannot enter the sulcus and the cleaning power is greatly low.

At the same time, after the bristles are curled, the bristles are no longer vibrating in the same direction but in all directions, which easily damages the gums.

When using an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth, you need to apply light pressure on the surface of the teeth. Too much pressure can easily lead to curling of the bristles. Secondly, the quality of the electric toothbrush's bristles is closely related to the bristle rounding rate. The rounding rate of the bristles of an excellent electric toothbrush is very high. After using the bristles for a long time, the filaments on the head will gradually wear out and become less smooth and blunt. Such filaments are more likely to cause wear on the tooth surface when matched with high-frequency vibration.

Finally, bristles used for a long time are more prone to bacterial growth and are bad for oral health. So don't be reluctant to replace the brush head. If the brush head is not replaced for a long time, the cleaning efficiency is low, and it will also damage the tooth surface and gums, which is even more unsanitary.

7 toothbrushes with split bristles in the pink background.

There are a few things to pay attention to when using an electric toothbrush:

  1. Brush the inner, outer and occlusal surfaces of the teeth to achieve the effect of removing plaque.
  2. For children under 10, choose a kids' electric toothbrush with soft bristles, small brush heads and low power.
  3. The appropriate use time of an electric toothbrush is 2 minutes. Brushing too long will easily damage the gingival tissue, while too short can't clean the teeth thoroughly.
  4. The brush head of the electric toothbrush is detachable. It should be prevented from loosening or popping out, which will hurt the mouth and throat.

Using an electric toothbrush is not difficult. After practice and adaptation, you will gradually become familiar with the vibration of the electric toothbrush. With the correct brushing method, you can achieve the best cleaning result.


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