The recommended advice is to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast and once in the evening before bed. Many of us don't give it much thought on if we are using the brush correctly, and what brush should be used.
These are usually very cheap to buy and accessible from many general stores around the UK.Whilst they don't have all the bells and whistles as an electric, they are effective at removing plaque build up and keeping oral hygiene in good shape.
One drawback is that people have a tendency to brush too hard believing this is more effective at removing plaque, but in fact this can irritate gums and break down enamel. There are usually no built-in timers too, so users may brush for too long or too short.
Manual toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes, so you will have more variety depending on your personal choice and comfort.
These are much more expensive (£15-50) and require regular battery charging for them to work. They usually have a very small circular brush which works by vibrating when turned on. This motion helps to very effectively remove plaque, particularly in more difficult areas that regular brushes can get to.
In addition, because the user holds it over the teeth rather than the full action of actively brushing it, this means you get a consistently clean and prevents the user from wearing down enamel or irritating the gums with over-brushing.
Electric toothbrushes usually come with a replaceable head that can be swapped once out when the bristles become spread and worn out, however these need to be purchased separately. This usually needs to be replaced every 6 months to a year depending on the brand and how long you brush for.
Electric toothbrushes often come with extra features such as timers, speed settings, brushing tooth hard sound warnings that can guide you to getting a consistent clean every day.
Whether you choose to use electric or manual, the most important thing is you are doing it properly and you are able to clean all tooth surfaces with fluoride toothpaste.
You should brush for approximately 2 mins (30 seconds for each side, top and bottom) using a small but adequate amount of toothpaste. There's no need to apply too much pressure but to ensure there is contact between the bristles and the teeth.
Once you have finished brushing, don't wash your mouth with water but simply spit out the excess toothpaste. The fluoride toothpaste chemical provides you lasting protection throughout the day as it comes into contact with food and drink, so it's important not to remove this by rinsing it out with water.
It would be a good idea to use fluride based mouth wash after or before however its our recommendation this is optional.
In addition, you may want to use dental floss, which can remove plaque in places brushes can't reach (in between the teeth)
If you aren't sure, or want further advice, our highly qualified dentists at Chuch Lane Dental Stafford can give you advice. We can personalise our support to, if you have particular needs based on your oral health.