It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day — you probably know this. But, how thorough are you? It’s recommended that you spend at least two minutes each session. This time should be divided equally between the four quadrants of your mouth (upper right and left sides and lower left and right sides).
You see, our mouths harbour all kinds of nasties — over 600 forms of bacteria. Though, we need some of these bacteria, most we can do without.
If you don’t clean properly
A consequence of not cleaning your teeth properly is a build-up of plaque — a coating of bacterial film that thrives on sugars left in your mouth. Plaque produces enamel-eroding acids that create tooth cavities. If plaque removal is inadequate, it will accumulate to form tartar. Gingivitis, which inflames the gums and causes them to bleed, is an early sign of tartar build up.
So, it’s important to look after your oral health. An electric toothbrush can make life easier. Here are three reasons why:
1: A more thorough clean
It is easier to clean your teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush. There are several reasons for this:
a) The speed of the bristles — an average person brushes a manual toothbrush at about 300 strokes per minute. Compare this to a standard electric toothbrush (over 3,000 rotations per minute) or a sonic toothbrush (over 30,000 strokes per minute). So, over a two-minute session, an electric toothbrush covers a lot of area.
b) Can reach hard-to-clean areas — with a small rotating head, areas, like gum lines, the back of your tongue and the backs of molars are easier to reach. If you wear braces, electric toothbrushes are particularly efficient.
c) Time your clean — some toothbrushes include timers that let you know when two minutes is up. If you struggle to brush for as long as you should, this is particularly helpful feature.
2: Easier to use
You don’t require much effort with an electric toothbrush — it does most of the work. All you do is apply the toothpaste, switch it on and move the toothbrush over your teeth. So, electric toothbrushes are particularly good if you suffer from conditions like arthritis, missing fingers or carpal tunnel syndrome.
3: Impossible to brush too hard
Brushing too hard is bad for your gums. And the thing with electric toothbrushes is it’s next to impossible to brush too hard — you shouldn’t really be brushing. Just hold the brush and let the moving bristles do the work.
Don’t forget to floss
As well as brushing, you should also floss every day. It doesn’t really matter whether you floss at day or night, just as long as you do it. This is because flossing reaches places that your toothbrush can’t — if you don’t floss, you’re, in fact, missing about one third of the tooth’s surface.
Of course these days we’re not limited to using manual floss — electric flossers, like Sonicare Airfloss, are now available. This clever device clears particles and plaque by shooting bursts of air and water between your teeth.
What do you think? Do you use a manual or electric toothbrush? I welcome your comments.