Keeping your teeth in top shape requires regular visits to the dentist. However – good dental hygiene starts at home. Brushing your teeth the right way is important to maintaining healthy gums and teeth but most people are not caring for their teeth properly.
Check below to see if you are making these mistakes that are easy to correct.
#1 Not letting Your Toothbrush to retire early
With consistent use (twice a day for seven days a week) – the average life of a toothbrush is about three months.
After a couple of months of daily use – bacteria and food particles begin to accumulate on the toothbrush causing more harm than good.
More so after about 200 uses the bristles are bound to be worn out and damaged.
Bent or broken bristles won’t clean your teeth properly.
Change your toothbrush once the bristles lose their flexibility or at least once every 3 months.
#2. Cutting Short on Brushing time
Two minutes is the recommended duration for a tooth brushing session.
The average person’s brushing time is ONLY 45 seconds.
We are routinely missing out on clean teeth by not brushing our teeth long enough. Often some “uncomfortable” parts such as sides of the teeth or those in the back of your mouth get neglected.
Some electronic toothbrushes with timers will help you go the distance. If you don’t have one, use stopwatch on your phone or hum the tune of a song that lasts for two minutes.
#3 Rinsing Your Mouth With Water After Brushing Teeth
Yes – don’t rise your mouth with water after brushing your teeth.
You can spit the toothpaste out, but the moment water enters the mix – it cuts down the efficiency of your toothpaste.
Some of you will want to rinse your mouth out of habit.
Use a mouthwash or mouth rinse instead of water. Rinse, gargle, spit out the mouthwash and that should be enough. But don’t use water.
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Wait at least half an hour after brushing your teeth to drink water or consume beverages.
#4 Not Using Dental Floss
Flossing daily should be your habit – just like brushing your teeth. Flossing is required at least once a day to remove plaque between your teeth, where your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
Check for yourself and do some flossing after you finish brushing – you will be surprised how much more plaque is removed through flossing difficult areas between your teeth – a haven for bacteria thriving on food bits.
There is also a simpler and more effective solution available these days called Water jet or Oral Irrigator. Its an absolute must have for people with gum problems and crowded teeth.
#5 You’re Not Cleaning Your Tongue
After brushing your teeth – clean your tongue to prevent bad breath and remove bacteria.
You can use a tongue scraper on the opposite side of your toothbrush or just use the bristles of your brush to clean your tongue after brushing your teeth.
#6 Using a Hard Bristle Toothbrush
Hard bristles plus some force can hurt your gums and remove the protective enamel coating your teeth. This results in sensitive teeth and gums that hurt when you drink something cold.
Go for soft or extra soft bristles. All you need is a brush to dislodge food particles that are stuck in between your teeth. You’re not looking to shine them to a buff.
#7 Using Incorrect Brushing Technique and Motion
The correct way to brush your teeth is in circles – don’t go back and forth.
Circular motions are more gentle and effective at cleaning the gaps between the teeth.
The tooth brush should make contact with both the teeth and the gumline. Use a lighter touch, don’t press down too hard. Tilt your brush vertically behind the front and bottom teeth and use gentle rolling strokes using just the front half of the brush.
Avoid brushing so hard that the bristles bend on your teeth.
#8 Brushing Teeth More Than Twice A Day
There is no need to brush your teeth more than two times a day. Some people think it’s okay to brush three or four times a day – usually after every meal.
Brushing more than two times a day can actually damage your gums and erodes the enamel on your teeth and that’s not something that you want.
Most people don’t wait after eating an acidic meal to brush their teeth. After eating – the pH levels in the mouth drop and your saliva has a higher acid content. Brushing your teeth can rub these acids deeper into enamel of your teeth.
You need to wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth.
It takes about three weeks to learn a new habit. Include one change to your teeth-brushing routine every week. You’ll notice that your mouth feels fresher. Regular visits to the dentist and avoiding these teeth-brushing mistakes will ensure the long-term protection of your teeth and gums.