Do You Use a Power Toothbrush Different Than a Regular Toothbrush?

Do You Use a Power Toothbrush Different Than a Regular Toothbrush?

The short answer:  Yes.

With an power toothbrush, you only have to move it slowly around all your teeth and let it do the work.  You do not need a lot of pressure.  In fact, many electric toothbrushes have warnings if you are too aggressive.  This is particularly helpful if you have a tendency to saw on your teeth.

That’s about it.  Still, brush for two minutes.  And floss.  Yeah, I know.  But manual or power toothbrushes can’t reach between teeth.

Power Toothbrush

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How to Brush Your Teeth in 6 Steps

How to Brush Your Teeth in 6 Steps

1.  Correct Brush

Yes Freddie, there is a right sort of brush and a wrong sort of brush.  You should have, whether you want it or not, a soft bristle brush.  We’re not going to fall for the excuse, “But it just doesn’t feel clean unless I have a steel wire brush.”  We’re taking off sticky, soft plaque, but we would like to leave the gums and enamel undamaged.


It Is Your Destiny photo credit: _Teb via photopin cc

Change your brush about every three months, more often if it’s showing signs of wear.  If by three months all the bristles are flayed out like a bad hair day, then you’re using too much force when you brush your teeth.  This isn’t isometric exercise.  You can flex those muscles to show off later in the day.

After you’ve been sick, go ahead and change your brush.  If the dog has licked it or the kids have used it to poke around in the flower bed or you’ve dropped it in the toilet, then I’d go ahead and change it immediately.

Do not be deceived, a bad brush corrupts good teeth.

2.  Toothpaste

Okay, now don’t put so much toothpaste on your brush that you’re going to look rabid.  You need about the size of a pea.  For children under six, about a split pea.  I know, the toothpaste commercials show a pretty glob that ends in a curl.  Well, they’re selling toothpaste.  Even the instructions on the tube will tell you about the size of a pea.

Use a fluoridated toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association.  These toothpastes have been proven to be effective in helping prevent tooth decay.  You can get the toothpastes with all the bells and whistles if you want – ones that decrease tartar formation, help with sensitivity, bleach, taste like pumpkin pie, cause members of the opposite gender to swoon, or allow you to sing in perfect pitch – but a good, standard toothpaste is just as good.


Table Top photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc

3.  Table Tops

Scrub on the biting surfaces of the teeth, that is, the table tops of the teeth where the grooves are.  You want to get down into those grooves so that means taking your time, not bearing down like your scrubbing a tub.  Easy does it.

4.  Sides of Teeth

First, it’s a brush not a saw.  So don’t scrub on the sides of the teeth.  There are gums down there and they are finicky.  Aim the bristles toward the gums at a 45° angle and rotate slowly.  I said, s-l-o-w-l-y!  Pick up the toothbrush and move on.  Scrubbing at the gums can abrade both teeth and gums.

For brushing the cheek surfaces of the upper molars, bite down just a bit to relax your cheek.  This will allow your toothbrush to get back to those second molars and clean without having to fight a tight cheek.

For the tongue surfaces of the lower molars, do the opposite, that is, open wide so your tongue will have enough room to move out of the way while your aiming the toothbrush bristles down under those molars.


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5.  Two Minutes

Yeah, two minutes.  Take your time.  We have two minute timers we can give you to help you brush long enough that everything gets clean.  You can brush your tongue if you want to, but don’t gag yourself.  We like to floss first then brush as the floss loosens the in-between plaque so the toothbrush can carry it off.

6.  Spit and Smile

Now doesn’t that feel and look good?  Yowsa!

For a helpful video, link to the following site:  How to Brush

How to Care for Braces in 4 Steps

How to Care for Braces in 4 Steps

1.  Remember

The first thing is to remember you have braces.  The teeth will remind you for the first week, but after that, you must keep yourself in check.  Avoid sticky and hard foods as these will break the brackets, bend the wires, and loosen the bands.

2.  Rubber Bands, Rubber Bands, Rubber Bands

Wear your elastics as instructed.  The rubber bands coordinate the two arch wires and drive your orthodontic treatment forward.  Get use to them now as teeth move very slowly without elastics.  Four hours without elastics will set you back two days.  The bone responds to steady, light force, but will ignore you if you’re not serious.  Your estimated treatment time is based on the assumption of faithful elastic wear.

3.  Clean

Keep your teeth sparkling clean, making sure to take time to use all your brushes.  Look closely in the mirror for any plaque hiding between teeth or under brackets.  Plaque will look like soggy white bread.  Get it out of there!  We don’t want to take you out of braces and then have to do a bunch of fillings.  Decrease your sugar intake and use your special toothpaste to keep your teeth strong and gorgeous.

Braces Care

Get Tough photo credit: Grufnik via photopin cc

4.  Hang in There

The first week in braces is tough.  Teeth are sore, and lips and cheeks are irritated.  Use the ortho wax provided over any rough brackets or bands.  If a wire is poking you or if anything loosens, call us.  Use Tylenol or ibuprofen as needed, though it has been shown that long-term use of ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will slow tooth movement down.  By the second week in braces you’ll be feeling a lot better.  Keep up your with the other three steps because you’ll eventually get to that great smile.

How to Floss in 4 Easy Steps

How to Floss in 4 Easy Steps


Not That Kind of Wrap photo credit: allerleirau via photopin cc

1. Wrap

You can do it!  Take about 12 to 18 inches of floss.  Wrap the floss around the middle fingers of each hand, though more floss on one hand than the other, leaving about 3 inches between hands.  Use your index fingers and thumbs to pinch about an inch of taut floss.  As the floss becomes soiled take it up on the hand that started with less floss and give your teeth the clean floss.

2. Guide

Time to get to the mouth.  Work the floss gently between two teeth.  Watch it!  Don’t pop the floss; this will hurt your gums.  You know floss can cut cake, so misused, it can cut you.  It’s a wonder they let it on airplanes

3. Clean

Now stay with me here.  Once between the teeth, wrap the floss against one tooth in a ‘c’ shape and move the floss up and down in gentle strokes.  Gentle now!  Come back over the gums but not out from between the teeth and wrap around the other tooth.  Don’t shoe-shine the teeth with back and forth motions.  Use up and down strokes only.  Once finished with those two teeth, take a breath and proceed until all the teeth are flossed.

It doesn’t take that long, so don’t gripe.  Remember to floss the back of the last tooth; even though it’s the last tooth, the brush can’t turn the corner, so floss is needed.  Use your fingers to get to all areas and keep the floss tight.  Don’t try to stick your hand in your mouth.  And don’t cross your hands.

It all sounds much more complicated than it is.  Hurray!  You did it!


Not That Kind of Floss photo credit: meg’s my name via photopin cc

4. Habit

It takes about a week to get the hang of it, after which your gums should not bleed unless you’re being too aggressive.  Start by flossing only on the days you go to work or school.  Then of course you’ll want to floss for Jesus on Sundays.  If you get six days a week under your belt, we’ll give you the other day as your Sabbath rest from floss.

Bad habits are easy to start, but good habits take a bit of work.  It’s hard to cut out a bad habit, but a good habit is mostly easy to drop.  That said, once you’re use to flossing, you won’t want to go back to furry teeth.

Now for a whole new take on floss check out this blog on my author website:  Do Fantasy Characters Need to Floss?