We seem to be into Pickles these days, but Brian Crane in a recent cartoon gives some great advice on tooth brushing. In the cartoon Opal is telling her grandson that he can still brush his teeth even though the battery is dead in his electric brush. We all become quite dependent on our modern devices. For years we all brushed our teeth with a manual toothbrush and did quite well. They still work very efficiently when used properly. As is often the problem with any tool if it is not working right we need to first look at the operator. When you have your teeth professionally cleaned next time, ask your hygienist to give you a review on the ideal cleaning techniques with your toothbrush. Basically using a soft bristled brush at about a 45 degree angle to the tooth surface with the ends of the bristles pointing into the gum, a gentle vibrating movement will dislodge the plaque buildup. Moving around the outside and inside of each tooth and then using a scrubbing stroke on the chewing surface will leave the exposed surfaces of your teeth clean. Unfortunately only floss can get in between the teeth where the brush cannot reach, but that is another story.
We do live in an age where technology can make our lives more efficient. Electric toothbrushes work very well. These marvelous inventions make tooth brushing very effective for young people and others who might lack the dexterity to use a manual brush properly. They are also great for the rest of us who are “too busy” or “too lazy” or just want to try the latest “stuff”. They come in all shapes and sizes and work with different movements. Some come with timers and sounds and various settings and intensities. Some use a mechanical back and forth or a rotating motion and others use a vibrating motion or a combination. I prefer the brushes with the ultrasonic movement and I don’t need all the bells and whistles. My current brush cost about $40 and has lasted 6 years so far. When the battery wears down it still works like a manual brush , just like Opal’s.