April 01, 2014

Why Do Powered Toothbrushes Have Timers?

Have you noticed that one of the marketing advantages of powered toothbrushes is that they have built-in timers?  They do because TIME SPENT and ATTENTION TO TECHNIQUE  are more important than how hard you brush.

Brushing Routine

Most of the timers are two minutes in length, which is the universally recommended amount of time to spend on the task.  The best ones are divided into four 30 second intervals, so that you spend equal amounts of time on each quarter of your mouth.  That's because human beings tend to spend more time at the beginning and less time at the end of their normal brushing routine.  Of course, you can do it with a manual brush also, watching the clock at the same time.

Here's a challenge:  time yourself when you brush next time, and see how long it takes you to do it.  The best bet is that it will be less than two minutes.  The time after that, set a timer and spend an entire two minutes brushing all over, and you will realize how much more thorough you have been.  Remember that the brush does the work and toothpaste only provides some detergent action and tastes good.  Once you have the right amount of time down, then we'll discuss specific technique.  Suffice it to say, in two minutes you could actually brush one tooth at a time and get it all done!


One more thing: if you  are using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, FLOSS FIRST, so the fluoride in the paste has a better chance of reaching in between your teeth.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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