You’ve been doing it twice a day (hopefully) for most of your life. So you probably think you’ve got brushing your teeth down to a tee – so much so that you pretty much do it on autopilot. But are you really brushing as well as you think? With reports that four in ten people don’t even brush their teeth on a daily basis, we are a bit concerned about our nation’s dental health. Especially when the same study found that 41 per cent say they don’t show their teeth in photos as they’re concerned about the state of them. Here are the most common mistakes we all make when we brush our teeth – and how to avoid them.
Because who doesn’t want the best smile they can have?, i need it too!
1) You don’t brush long enough
Just how long do you think you need to brush your teeth for? 10 seconds? 30 seconds? A minute? A full two minutes actually. A 2010 survey by the British Dental Health Foundation found that on average people only brush their teeth for 45 seconds, so less than half the recommended time. Two minutes. Time it if you have to.
2) You use toothpaste with little or no fluoride in it
Not all toothpastes are made equal. Fluoride is important for keeping our teeth clean and helping to prevent tooth decay. It occurs commonly in water, but it’s also put into toothpaste. Some toothpastes, particularly children’s toothpaste, will contain a lesser proportion of the mineral. There are even some fluoride-free toothpastes for those who are allergic to it.Make sure to check the fluoride content of your toothpaste before you buy.
3) You rinse after brushing
Just because you’ve finished brushing your teeth, it doesn’t mean the fluoride is done with them. You should avoid washing out your mouth with water if possible. Fluoride helps to prevent, control and even stop tooth decay – but rinsing the mouth out dilutes the concentration of fluoride. So no rinsing – keep that grin minty-fresh.
4) You don’t clean your back teeth well enough
It’s a pain having to reach all the way to the back of your mouth. But think about how much you use them – namely for chewing – and you’ll concede it’s a necessary pain. It’s essential to clean all surfaces of the teeth, including hard-to-reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns or other restorations, Dentist recommends concentrating cleaning teeth into sections: brush the outer surfaces first, then inner surfaces and finish on brushing the chewing surfaces of the teeth, aka your molars.
5) You brush too soon after eating
Time to rethink your morning routine and put down that hot tea you like so much. Or at least, don’t brush your gnashers shortly after drinking it. Cleaning your teeth close after eating, particularly food and drink high in sugar and acids like citric fruits, could put you at risk of damaging the vital enamel on your teeth that protects them. Enamel on teeth is softened after eating food, especially if it contains sugar, It’s best to wait an hour before brushing.
6) You brush too hard
It’s important to brush your teeth thoroughly. But sawing away at your mouth is doing more harm than good. This can damage the soft tissues in the gum. The bristles should lightly sweep the tooth using circular movements. Use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline.
Bonus: Is an electronic toothbrush better than a manual?
Scientists say it doesn’t matter which you use, as long as all of your teeth gets brushed. They’re both equally as good, as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth and you use fluoride toothpaste. Some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best.