Brushing your teeth is the easiest thing to do, but very few of us brush our teeth using the correct techniques. Here are some of the mistakes we make and how to fix them
. 1. Picking the wrong toothbrush
How do you select from the hundreds of toothbrushes displayed on the supermarket shelves? A professional dentist from Farmington, MN, Kimberly Harms, recommends making sure the toothbrush reaching the places in your mouth where it needs to cover. Whether you choose a manual or power brush, it should be able to reach all parts of your teeth. It’s a rule that isn’t negotiable as per Kimberly. The brush should have soft bristles that need to be able to bend and get right under your gum. The size of the toothbrush head is also important. For example, people with smaller mouths should choose an appropriate toothbrush head to suit their teeth to avoid the need for teeth whitening treatments. Some brushes have handles that are more flexible than others. The most critical part of a toothbrush is the bristles that help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Plaque causes gum disease that may lead to tooth decay over time. Most people think the harder the bristles are, the more they will clean your teeth. But this isn’t actually true.
2. You go to town on your teeth!
When brushing your teeth, harder isn’t always better. The best way to brush your teeth is to get rid of the idea of scrubbing your teeth with the brush and just massage them.
3. You rush to save time!
Brush for two minutes at a time at least twice a day. But if you think you are late for work or school or need to get to bed soon, don’t cut that brushing short. Make sure you follow the rule and brush for at least two minutes each time.
4. You are holding on too long!
When you find a good toothbrush, you may find it hard to get rid of it at times. But when the bristles become discoloured, bend, or become dirty, you need to change the toothbrush. When the bristles are frayed, the brush loses its power. You need to change the toothbrush every 3-4 months. Don’t share the brush with anyone else. Keeping it in the open air helps prevent the growth of mould and bacteria.
5. You go back and forth!
Instead of brushing the teeth back and forth with the toothbrush, you should brush in up-and-down circular motions. But be careful not to damage the gum line when brushing your teeth.
6. You forget the gum line!
Bacteria will most often hang around where your teeth meet the gum line. Most people miss this area a lot. There is about a millimetre of gum tissue where the teeth come outside the gum. You should get under there – about 2-3 millimetres right under the gum. The bristles should bend properly to brush the gum line without damaging it. Brushing your teeth involves brushing the complete tooth. Or at least, everything you could get to with the toothbrush. It includes under the gum as well. Most people spend more time on the chewing surface of the tooth and not really the gum line. This is one of the most common mistakes made by us. We don’t brush along the gum line.
7. You go in too soon!
It could be tempting to get to the restroom to get rid of the remnants of that last meal. It is better than not brushing at all. But professionals say that you should back off just a tad. You are using an abrasive on the acids that are already sitting in your mouth from the food. It will help the acid erode your teeth. How long do you have to wait before you brush your teeth after a meal? In fact, you should wait at least 15-20 minutes for the saliva in your mouth to do its work on the acid before you brush the teeth. The aforementioned article provides information on some of the most common toothbrushing mistakes and how to fix them.