Although brushing your teeth two times a day and flossing are essential in keeping your teeth clean and avoiding dental issues, this routine is not enough to eliminate bacteria and plaque on your teeth.
Many people feel like they know all it takes to maintain their dental health and make mistakes in their dental care routine, affecting their oral health. Below are common mistakes that many people make while brushing their teeth.
Brushing for a short period
Dental professionals recommend brushing the teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. This means you would brush your teeth for two minutes before going to bed and any other time during the day. However, research has shown that the average person brushes the teeth for 45 – 70 seconds a day, which means 23 – 35 seconds per brushing session. This is less than half the recommended teeth brushing time.
Many people struggle to keep track of how long they brush their teeth – if you use a normal toothbrush, consider using a timer on your clock, phone or a small hourglass. If you have an electric toothbrush, it would be easier to keep track of your brushing time because most electric toothbrushes buzz at a 30-secondinterval. At this, you can divide your mouth into four areas for each 30-secondinterval.
Rinsing your mouth after brushing
Dental hygienists recommend spitting after brushing the teeth and not rinsing. This applies to both water and mouthwash. When you rinse your mouth after brushing, it washes off the substances that protect the enamel and fluoride in the toothpaste. It may be challenging to adhere to this advice, but like most new routines, as you do it often, the better your chances of getting used to it.
Using the wrong toothpaste
Although no toothpaste is labelled the best for everyone, ensure your toothpaste contains fluoride in the right quantity. For adults, the recommended amount of fluoride in toothpaste is 1350 – 1500 ppm. Fluoride in toothpaste is important because it helps prevent tooth decay.
Brushing at the wrong time
Itis common for people to brush their teeth after taking acidic food or drink or after being sick, but this is not advisable. Acidic foods and drinks act on the teeth, removing the protective layer formed by your saliva. This makes brushing more abrasive on the teeth.
Dental professionals recommend waiting for about 30 minutes after taking an acidic food or drink or falling ill before brushing, as this allows the surface of your teeth to recover from the acid attack. Instead of brushing your teeth after taking an acidic substance, you can rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water.
Brushing your teeth at the wrong time is as good as not brushing your teeth at all. A study found that 28% of Britons do not brush their teeth once in 24 hours, and one in seven people go more than two days without brushing their teeth.
Cleaning your teeth at night is anessential oral care routine. It helps remove food particles accumulated during the day and remove bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay, and other severe dental conditions.
Brushing too hard
Brushing aggressively and with the wrong technique can wear off your enamel and cause receding gums. Brushing hard does not make your teeth cleaner than usual. Using an electric toothbrush can help moderate how you brush because some electric toothbrushes have sensors that flicker a light if you brush too hard.
While brushing your teeth, ensure the toothbrush is at a slight angle to your gums, and brush one tooth at a time, instead of brushing from side to side.
Using the wrong toothbrush
There’s always the debate on which type of toothbrush is better – manual or electric. Cleaning wisdom teeth with a manual toothbrush proves to be difficult, so most people do not brush the back of their mouth, but with an electric toothbrush, cleaning the wisdom teeth is easier.
An electric toothbrush has a sensor that indicates when you are brushing your teeth and gums too hard and a timer feature to monitor how long you brush. However, whether you have a manual or electric toothbrush, ensure the bristles are soft.
While cleaning your teeth, do it gently. Always opt for a toothbrush with a small or medium-sized head as it helps you clean your tooth surface, one at a time, not all at once like a toothbrush with a large head.
Using an old toothbrush
If the bristles of your toothbrush are frayed or worn out, it will not be effective in cleaning your teeth. Ensure you change your toothbrush every three months. You should also change your toothbrush if you have been ill or had bacteria growing on your toothbrush, as this can prevent re-infection.
Flossing only your front teeth
Some people preferflossing between only their front teeth, but it is important to floss between all your teeth. Flossing does not only remove food but biofilm and plaque between your gums and teeth. Plaque and biofilm build-up can lead to gum diseases and cavities.
Not using interdental toothbrushes
Dental professionals recommend using dental floss and interdental toothbrush. Even with proper use, dental floss cannot clean the sides of your teeth like an interdental toothbrush. Interdental toothbrushes reach areas of your mouth that flossing and brushing can’t.
Replacing flossing with mouthwash or brushing
A toothbrush head with floss action does not substitute flossing. This toothbrush cannot reach between your teeth, and using a mouthwash will not remove plaque on your teeth.
The above are general mistakes people make while cleaning their teeth, but if you need a suitable brushing technique and routine, visit your dental hygienist. Based on your lifestyle, oral health and dental history, your dental hygienist can recommend the right oral care routine for you. To see a dental hygienist in London, visit Dental Hygienist London today or call 020 3137 5055 to schedule an appointment.