How to Use an Electric Toothbrush Properly (Step-By-Step)

Electric toothbrushes are on the rise, and are fast becoming the most popular way to clean teeth! 

Their unmatched ability to remove plaque and build-up is transforming people’s oral hygiene routines and helping to fight against all sorts of dental problems. 

Making the jump to an electric toothbrush is relatively simple. However, you will need to switch up your approach to brushing your teeth!

There are a whole host of considerations to implement and take into account when using an electric toothbrush to make sure you do so safely and properly. 

To equip you with everything you need to know on how to use an electric toothbrush, this guide will cover:

  • How to prepare your electric toothbrush
  • Applying the toothpaste 
  • Brushing technique
  • Rinsing
  • The importance of floss and mouthwash 
  • Additional tips and tricks 
  • How to choose the right electric toothbrush.

Let’s get into it!

Preparing Your Electric Toothbrush

Successfully brushing your teeth starts with preparation, and it’s important you take the right steps before you even pick up your electric toothbrush!

There are several factors to consider beforehand to set up your toothbrush and ensure that you gain the most from it. 

If done correctly, you will find the brushing experience to be an easy and fuss-free experience! 

A number of the new generation electric toothbrushes are available with incorporated design features that are aimed at improving the efficacy of cleaning and reducing the likelihood of toothbrush abrasion and gingival trauma in the long term.

Charging the toothbrush

One of the key differences between manual and electric toothbrushes is, of course, the latter’s use of electricity. 

However, most electric toothbrushes are cordless and operate on a battery that needs to be charged. 

If the brush has no charge, it cannot be used effectively. This is why you need to ensure your toothbrush is charged before using it! 

Most brushes come with a stand that doubles as a charger, so a good idea is to leave the toothbrush on the stand at all times. This makes sure you’re never faced with a dead toothbrush. 

Choose the right brush head 

While you will likely only ever buy one electric toothbrush base, the brush head is removable and should be changed every few months. 

This gives the user the ability to choose their brush head, and it’s important the right one is selected. 

Not all brush heads are the same – nor are they made equally. For example, if you have sensitive teeth, you will likely benefit from a softer bristled brush head such as the charcoal bristle brush heads from Boka! 

Alternatively, if you have dentures or struggle with biofilm buildup, a medium-bristled brush head may be the right choice.

The other factor to consider here is whether the brush head will fit your toothbrush head. They are not all interchangeably compatible, and usually, you will need to buy the same brand of brush head as a brush base in order to ensure a proper fit! 

Applying Toothpaste 

Once you have undertaken the preliminary steps, the next step to successfully use an electric toothbrush is to apply the toothpaste. 

Experts generally recommend that a “pea-sized amount” is more than enough to properly clean your teeth – no matter if you’re using an electric or manual toothbrush.  

Any more, and you risk wasting toothpaste and potentially overexposing the tooth’s enamel to the cleaning agents! 

Keep in mind that you need to be conscious about your choice of toothpaste. 

You need a product that will safely but effectively clean your teeth and help fight against enamel erosion. 

We love the Boka n-Ha toothpaste, as it is gentle yet effective at cleaning the surface of each tooth and works well with electric toothbrushes.  

Brushing Technique 

Technique is everything when it comes to using an electric toothbrush, and it is imperative you employ the right technique when brushing to ensure you are properly cleaning your teeth!

In 1998, the European Workshop on Mechanical Plaque Control conducted a thorough review of the evidence supporting the use of powered toothbrushes. The workshop concluded that powered toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones in removing plaque from the interproximal area, and that professional motivation (reinforcement) is crucial for achieving optimal results with powered toothbrushes. 

Furthermore, the workshop found that powered toothbrushes are safe to use and do not cause any adverse effects in terms of trauma. These findings were supported by clinical trials, which demonstrated the superior efficacy of powered toothbrushes compared to manual ones.

Here are some of the key elements of the technique for you to use next time you use your electric toothbrush:

Turn on the toothbrush 

The first step is always to turn on the toothbrush. This is usually done by pushing a button located on the front of the brush. 

Positioning the brush 

The next consideration is how you position the brush. The positioning will change as you move around your mouth; however, your principal aim should be to cover all surface area in your mouth.

This means you need to swivel your wrist and hand as needed as you move from tooth to tooth to make sure that each one is properly cleaned. 

Proper grip 

How you grip the toothbrush is important, as this is what controls how hard and how well you brush your teeth. 

You should wrap your hands around the middle of the base of the brush, as this allows you to have a steady hand and ample control as you move the brush head around your mouth.

Brushing time

How long you brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush is perhaps the easiest step as it has already been decided for you! 

Most brushes have a built-in timer for two minutes, which you should stick to. This is generally considered to be the best brush time that allows for teeth to be thoroughly cleaned without damaging them. 

Turn off the toothbrush

Once you are done brushing your teeth, make sure to turn off the toothbrush to allow for proper storage and charging for the next use. 

Rinse your mouth and toothbrush 

Your tooth-brushing experience is not complete once you have turned the brush off. Next, you must rinse out your mouth and your toothbrush! 

Rinsing out your mouth is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for excess food particles and bacteria that were released during the brushing experience to be washed away – allowing for a cleaner mouth. 

It also rinses out any excess toothpaste which can be harmful to teeth if left on the surface for too long. It also minimizes the risk of swallowing excess toothpaste, which can cause an upset stomach. 

Rinsing off your electric toothbrush is also important. Due to the cleaning process, bacteria can build up on the bristles – which means your toothbrush is less than hygienic and should not be put in your mouth!

By rinsing it off, you remove any bacteria and ensure the brush stays clean and safe to use. 

Remember to Floss Your Teeth And Use Mouthwash 

Once you have rinsed your mouth and your toothbrush, the next step is to floss and use mouthwash.

Flossing

Flossing is the unsung hero of the dental world as many people do not incorporate it into their routines. 

However, when done correctly, it can be one of the best defenses against cavities and other dental issues!

Flossing helps to remove food and debris stitch between the teeth and up in the gum line where the toothbrush head can’t reach.

If ignored, these particles can decay and subsequently cause the tooth to decay along with it. 

By flossing, you are stopping this process from ever beginning and ensuring your mouth is squeaky clean! 

Make sure you pick a high-quality floss such as the Boka floss, which is sturdy enough to get the job done but also gentle so that it won’t hurt your gums.

Mouthwash

Mouthwash is also important to use after you have used your electric toothbrush, as it acts as one final measure to ensure your mouth is completely clean. 

Most mouthwash is antibacterial, which means it will kill off any bacteria that survived the brushing, rinsing, and flossing. 

Plus, it kills the bacteria that can make your breath smell – keeping your mouth fresh and clean all day long! 

If you don’t like using traditional mouthwash, mouthwash tablets like these from Boka are a great solution. 

They are activated by your saliva and thoroughly eliminate any lingering bacteria and toothpaste residue. Swishing twice a day keeps the bacteria levels down which can reverse mild gingivitis and keep periodontitis from getting worse.

Additional Tips For You

Here are some of our best tips to help you take your electric toothbrush game up a notch:

  • Store your brush correctly: One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to store your brush correctly!

Your brush should be kept in a cool and relatively sunless environment such as your bathroom. 

After rinsing, it is a good idea to store it upright on its charging stand. This allows it to properly dry off and keeps the bristles from remaining damp. 

These measures all contribute to minimizing the amount of bacteria exposed to and growing on the brush head, which ultimately results in you having a more hygienic and effective toothbrush. 

  • Keep an eye on the bristles: Electric toothbrush head bristles are not built to last forever – and if you use bristles that are past their prime, you could be doing more harm than good to your teeth!

Most brushes come with some sort of indicator that tells you when to change them for new ones. 

Usually, this is a change in the color of the bristles. However, some brands employ unique techniques that are communicated on the packaging. 

regardless of the indicator, if your bristles are looking split, matted, or generally untidy, it is typically a good time to change them out for a new brush head. 

  • Be gentle: Electric toothbrushes are extremely powerful devices, and if used incorrectly can damage the enamel on your teeth. 

You must let the brush do most of the work and not apply additional pressure when brushing your teeth!

Doing so increases the likelihood of you wearing away at your tooth's enamel, which opens you up to problems such as cavities and sensitivity. 

Instead of scrubbing away as you would with a manual toothbrush, simply place the brush head on each tooth and let the vibrations and rotations do the cleaning. 

  • Stick to the timer:  Electric toothbrushes have a timer for a reason – and you should stick to it!

The two-minute timer is built in to give you enough time to properly clean your teeth without over-brushing. 

If you go over the timer, you run the risk of wearing away at your enamel – which can cause all sorts of issues further down the track. 

By sticking to the timer, you allow your electric toothbrush to work at its optimum and give you the best results. 

  • Check-in with your dentist: Regular checkups with your dentist are important, and you should make a habit of going at least once a year. 

This way, you can check in with your dentist about your electric toothbrush use and ensure you are using it safely and effectively. 

Your dentist can instruct you on the best way to brush, as well as recommend the right brush head and toothpaste for you. 

Choosing the Right Electric Toothbrush 

Choosing the right electric toothbrush is also a key part of using the device properly. 

The toothbrush you use can make or break your browsing experience, which is why you must do your research beforehand!

Currently, various types of powered toothbrushes with different power supplies and different modes of action are available. So, choose your toothbrush wisely. 

There are two main types of electric toothbrushes. The first is an oscillating brush, which involves a brush head that turns at a high speed to clean the teeth. 

Oscillating brushes make anywhere from 2500-7500 vibrations a minute, which completely outperforms any manual toothbrush’s capabilities. 

On the other hand, a sonic toothbrush uses sonic technology to move the brush head side-to-side to clean the tooth and can make over 30,000 vibrations a minute. 

Both types of brush are highly recommended by dental professionals. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which one is right for you! 

You should also take into account other features of the toothbrush when selecting it, including whether it has a timer, what other special features it offers, and which brush heads it is compatible with. 

If you want a gentle yet effective electric toothbrush that is easy to use (but still looks and feels like a high-end piece of technology), we highly recommend the Boka Electric Toothbrush 2.0

This electric toothbrush uses sonic technology and charcoal bristles to gently clean each tooth without stripping the enamel. 

It is the ultimate companion to any dental hygiene routine and one you should seriously consider incorporating into your regime! 

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