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by Noelle Copeland December 16, 2021 4 min read

DISCLOSURE:Noelle Copeland RDH is an Oral Care Specialist and Dental Consultant who provides content for Brilliant Oral Care and Baby Buddy.

Using an electric toothbrush can benefit your oral health in many ways. Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque and bacteria by utilizing frequencies of VPM (vibrations per minute); they also provide irrigation with gum massage, and certain models do all the work for you as you drive the brush around your mouth. But misusing an electric toothbrush can do damage to your teeth and gums. If you already have sensitive teeth, an electric toothbrush for sensitive teeth is a viable option, but it has to be used correctly to be effective. The same applies to a children’s electric toothbrush. Supervision is always required, but brushing technique is just as important.

Tip #1 Follow The Manufacturers Instructions For Brushing

Tip #2 Change The Brush Head Every Three Months

Tip #3 Don’t Be A Scrubber

Each electric toothbrush should have specific instructions created by the manufacturer included for your education. These instructions should come with the brush, but you can quickly look them up online if you don’t have them.

Two types of electric toothbrushes that function differently

1) Rotating-Oscillating Electric toothbrushes-

  • Have small circular brush heads that rotate rapidly back and forth, like a windshield wiper.
  • When using this type of toothbrush, the brushing technique should be applied to one tooth and then the next tooth.
  • Brushing with a sweeping “back-and-forth” brush stroke is not recommended for this style because the brush head should "hug and cup" each tooth individually.
  • Instead, place the rotating brush head on each tooth for about 2-5 seconds, repeating on all tooth surfaces.

2) Sonic Electric toothbrushes- 

  • Have rectangular brush heads and use vibration technology to loosen plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
  • They come in various frequencies with gear adjusting modes that account for desired results.
  • The frequency strength determines the brushing method and technique to follow when being used.
  • Additionally, there are two types of sonic electric toothbrushes:
    * Rechargeable High-Frequency models
    * Battery Powered Low-Frequency models.

High-Frequency Sonic Toothbrush

  • A Sonic toothbrush with a 25K-45K frequency range.
  • Used by guiding it over the teeth with little to no pressure.
  • If misused, it can cause gum tissue recession and tooth sensitivity.
  • Option for 8+years.
  • Greater plaque control.
  • Helpful for those with dexterity challenges.
  • It creates more vibrations that may be more challenging to acclimate to.
  • The motor is louder and could be bothersome while using.
  • Use caution on those with sensory disorders.
  • Not recommended for those with generalized recession concerns.

Low-Frequency Sonic Toothbrush

  • Battery-powered units with sonic plate motors.
  • Designs range from 10k- 20k.
  • While they are much less powerful, they still provide sonic vibrations and power waves.
  • More tolerable and gentle, especially for sensitive mouthed individuals.
  • Low-powered units require the regular brushing patterns most people are used to performing, brushing back and forth or in small circles.
  • An excellent option for children.
  • Less expensive, generally.
  • Much less vibration to get used to, higher compliance rate.

It's easier to use an electric toothbrush head past its expiration time; for one reason, they are more expensive to replace, so I find that some will try and push the usage past a reasonable time frame. Any toothbrush needs to be regularly rotated every three months and sooner if the bristles are worn. Something to consider from the opposite side of the table is; if you are wearing your bristles down before a 3-month mark, you need to ponder that you may be brushing too aggressively. It's best to consult with a dental professional to confirm this and go over this concern.

Some people are just heavy-handed brushers. They do a great job scrubbing away the plaque on their teeth, along with scrubbing away their tooth enamel. That applies to manual toothbrush users and electric toothbrush users. However, pressure per square inch amplifies if you are using an electric toothbrush. Most dentists will not recommend an electric toothbrush to patients with chronically sensitive teeth, recession, or severe gum issues.

On the other side is not using enough pressure, and this comes into play quite often for kids who get the brush in their mouth but end up doing minimal "brushing" with it. Parental supervision is necessary. My recommendation is:

  • Start with a manual toothbrush and strictly use that to brush train your child.
  • Then, once they can mimic your instructions, you can introduce a battery-powered sonic toothbrush.
  • A battery-powered sonic toothbrush is less jarring and does not tickle the mouth as much, preventing compliance aversion.
  • Then when a child is older, you can try a higher frequency sonic toothbrush.

If you were looking for the best way to establish an effective home care routine, you’ve found the right place at Brilliant Oral Care. Our patented round head toothbrush not only removes the plaque on teeth, it simultaneously cleans and removes the plaque and bacteria found on the cheeks, gums, teeth, and tongue. If you want to start oral care for your child with the best kids electric toothbrush, look no further than Brilliant Oral Care.  It’s the soft bristle electric toothbrush that makes all the difference in performing oral care for sensitive teeth and gums, being gentle yet effective. Don’t forget to #BRUSHBRILLIANT.

© 2021 Compac Industries. All rights reserved. This article provides information about "oral health topics" as expressed through the perspective and experience of the author. The information provided does not substitute professional advice or counsel, including diagnosing or treating any condition. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, an oral condition, an illness, or treatment of any listed or unlisted situation above. By using this site, you signify your assent to our Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree to all of these Terms and Conditions, do not use this site.


Noelle Copeland
Noelle Copeland

Noelle Copeland is a licensed dental hygienist and Brilliant’s® first oral care specialist. She brings 25 years of clinical dental experience to the Brilliant® family and has become a regular contributor, creator and editor to the overall content and presentation of Brilliants® oral care line. She graduated with honors, Phi Theta Kappa, from Georgia State University Perimeter College in Dunwoody, Georgia, where she had been president of her dental class. Noelle has spent the majority of her career in the direct treatment of patients clinically and specializes in patient education and prevention strategies. She enjoys studying nutrition, oral care science and natural health.


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