You don’t have an electric toothbrush, you can still get great results using a manual toothbrush.The problem is, many people get lazy in their technique or do not brush for long enough and see poor results. Effective brushing should take two minutes, with the purpose of scrubbing the build-up of plaque from the surface of the teeth. If you rush through it, you will likely leave some plaque untouched. Plaque is difficult to remove without manually breaking it up, and if you don’t use the proper technique it will stay. If it stays on your teeth, it will grow, spread, and weaken the hard enamel of your teeth and break through, where it can easily eat away the soft core of your teeth and cause cavities.
With that understood, here are two techniques you can use at home to get great results from your manual toothbrush (make sure you brush for at least two minutes!)
- Circular Motions: This technique is the easiest and best for teaching children. Simply brush in small, circular motions along the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth, “drawing” tiny circles. The difficult part about brushing in circles is that motion can be difficult to perform along the surface of your back teeth and on the inside-facing surface. With repetition, it becomes simple, and the best part of this technique is that it does not depend on speed but rather motion to break up the plaque. You can make fast circles or slow circles, but the circles will manually break up the plaque and give you the freedom to take your time developing the technique.
- “Vibration” Technique: This is a technique where you basically mimic the motion of an electric toothbrush. Although this technique is very effective, the quick motions require greater dexterity than most children possess. Adults, however, can master this technique easily as they avoid long strokes and make quick, “vibrating” scrub motions along the surface of their teeth (it takes some concentration at first). One dentist in Sugarhouse, Utah tells his patients using this technique to stick to the circular motions until they feel 100% comfortable brushing fast and not hurting their gums. This is because unlike the circular scrubbing motions of the previously described technique, the effectiveness of this technique depends on speed to break up plaque.
These two techniques, when performed properly, yield excellent results. Be sure to dedicate a full two minutes, giving appropriate attention to each tooth. You don’t have to be the best dentist in Utah to keep your teeth clean using a manual toothbrush, you just need the right technique.
The author lives in Murray, Utah