Who knew! Taking care of your gums as well as your teeth is important to your overall health, not just staying away from dentures as long as possible. Besides improving your health, brushing your teeth and gums well can make for shorter, less painful trips to the dentist.
In come the electric toothbrushes to the rescue! We have a Sonicare Elite, available for $89.99 from drugstore.com and thanks to the built-in timing function, we brush our teeth for the full two minutes dentists recommend (seriously: try timing yourself sometime if you don't use a brush with a timer built in). An electric toothbrush can take some getting used to, but the Sonicare brushes come with a "ramp up" function for first time users to make it easier to get used to the feel of the vibrations.
It took us a bit of encouragement from our dentist to plunk down the $100 for one of these, but the clean feeling we get every day after brushing can't be compared to a regular toothbrush. Consider it an investment in your health for the long-term: there's a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease--one you definitely want to avoid.