5 Common Teeth Brushing Mistakes
Like most of us, you probably know that you should brush your teeth twice a day. The question is whether you’re doing it right or not. While it would be easy to assume that it was an easy job, even the most diligent amongst us can get it wrong. You could be using the wrong technique, subconsciously rushing or missing hard-to-reach spots. The fact is that very few of us deliver comprehensive dental care and there’s a good chance you’re making at least one of the following teeth-brushing errors:
1. Not Brushing Enough
If you speak to your dental practice in Canberra, your dentist will no doubt recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Brushing for the full two minutes and focusing on every part of your mouth is fundamental to remove plaque and avoid tartar buildup. The problem is that two minutes is often longer than you realise. If you’re just taking a guess at how long you’re brushing for, there’s a good chance you’re cutting it short. To solve the problem, use a timer or invest in an electric toothbrush that buzzes at timed intervals to keep you on schedule.
2. Rinsing Not Spitting
Have you ever thought about what you do once you’ve finished brushing? You’re not supposed to swallow toothpaste, so you might find yourself rinsing your mouth out with water. The problem is that you’re rinsing away all the enamel-protecting goodness of fluoride. What you should actually be doing is spitting the toothpaste out but not rinsing. If you rinse with water, or mouthwash for that matter, you dilute all the effort that you’ve just put in. Rinsing is a great idea if you’ve just eaten but if you are brushing your teeth, try to avoid it. After all, if you keep the fluoride in place, it has more chance to work its magic.
3. Not Using the Right Tools
Not all dentists will agree as to whether an electric or manual toothbrush is better for teeth brushing. The one undeniable benefit of an electric brush though is that it can flash at you to warn you if you’re applying too much pressure. Otherwise, whatever style of brush you use, it’s all about ensuring you have either soft or medium bristles, so you don’t damage your teeth while brushing. You’ll also want a small head so you can ensure each tooth gets the attention it deserves. And, finally, you should get a new toothbrush every three months to make sure your bristles are effective and your brush isn’t a haven for nasty bacteria.
4. Adopting the Wrong Technique
You’d think brushing your teeth would be simple, however, there is most definitely a knack to it. To get the right brushing technique, you first need to make sure you don’t brush too hard. Brushing with all your might won’t actually make your teeth any cleaner and, if you overdo it, you can end up with receding gums. Then it’s down to ensuring you use small circular movements at a slight angle and that you cover each surface of the tooth carefully. You shouldn’t rely on brushing alone, however. Flossing is vital too as it can remove hard to reach plaque from along the gum line. It’s best to floss before you brush your teeth as it’s more effective and results in greater fluoride retention between teeth.
5. Not Having a Routine
If you don’t make tooth brushing a daily habit, it’s easy to forget from time to time. To make sure you brush your teeth twice a day at the right time, you need to incorporate it into your general routine. First thing in the morning and before you go to bed are ideal. The end-of-the-day brush allows you to remove the day’s food and bacteria rather than letting it cause havoc while you sleep. Another point to remember is that brushing your teeth in the middle of the day isn’t always beneficial. If you brush immediately after eating acidic foods, brushing can become too abrasive. Always make sure you wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve eaten. In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth out with water.
What is Preventative Dental Care?
If you can correct all of these teeth brushing errors, then you’re certainly on the right path to preventative dental care. The next thing to bear in mind, however, is that simply brushing your teeth, even if you do an amazing job, won’t necessarily stop plaque from doing damage. To make sure that you’re completely on top of your oral health, visiting your dental practice regularly is vital. Your Woden dentist can boost your care by checking for any problems and putting preventative measures in place before they escalate. And remember, your dental check up cost will be far less than the cost of treatment to repair damage afterwards.