Brushing our teeth is such a routine part of our day, we don’t tend to give it much thought, but it might be that you’re actually brushing your teeth the wrong way and jeopardising your oral health. Looking after your teeth properly will ensure that they last you a lifetime and reduce the treatment you have to undergo when you visit the dentist. Here are 9 common mistakes many of us make when it comes to brushing our teeth…
- Using the wrong toothbrush
You may think that a firm bristled brush will get your teeth cleaner than a soft one, but it’s actually the soft bristled brushes that clean the best, getting under the gum line and giving a thorough clean. You also need a brush that is flexible so you can reach every surface of every tooth. A toothbrush with a large head may be problematic when it comes to accessing all the teeth at the back of your mouth, especially if you have a smaller mouth.
- You don’t change your toothbrush often enough
Replacing your toothbrush probably isn’t high on your list of fun purchases but it’s so important to have a brush that is in good condition. The older they get the less effective they are at cleaning your teeth and the less hygienic they will become. You should be investing in a new toothbrush about every 3 months, and if the brush looks grubby or the bristles have frayed, get rid of it and get a fresh one.
- You’re only brushing one side of your teeth
Some people simply don’t brush the inside of their teeth, only the outside that we see when we look in the mirror, but the inside can soon have a build up of calculus that your dentist will need to remove so be sure to brush your teeth inside and out!
- You brush too much
Furiously attacking your teeth with the brush, scrubbing them constantly can actually do more harm than good. Brushing your teeth should be a gentle process, more rubbing than scrubbing.
- You’re not putting in the extra effort once a day
You brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and you think you’ve got a great toothbrushing routine. However, one of your daily toothbrushing sessions should also include flossing and mouthwash. One in-depth clean a day will ensure you truly are looking after your teeth.
- You brush too soon after a meal
You may feel that the right thing to do is to brush your teeth straight after eating, to get rid of any potentially damaging food remnants, but at this points there is acid in your mouth from eating and when you scrub that into your teeth it can cause damage. You should wait around 15 minutes after eating for the acid levels to fall or have a drink of water to lower the acid levels if you need to brush your teeth sooner.
- You brush from side to side
The best way to brush your teeth is not from side to side but up and down and in a slightly circular motion. Brushing from side to side can actually cause damage and should be avoided.
- You rush when you brush
You know you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day but do you actually brush your teeth for that long? Two minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you’re brushing your teeth it can feel like much longer. So you might think you’re putting in the full two minutes but actually you are not. Try counting to 120 in your head slowly. That’s a long time right? A good tip is to have a timer in the bathroom. This could be a simple egg timer, a stopwatch on your mobile phone, or just listen to a 2 minute song and when it’s finished, you’ll know your teeth will be perfectly clean.
- You’re not getting under the gum line
Where your teeth go under your gum is a danger zone for bacteria build up so you need to ensure you’re brushing this area really thoroughly.
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