Brushing your teeth is great for keeping your mouth clean, fresh and healthy. But here at Somerset Dental Care, we hear about lots of tooth brushing mistakes and mishaps that should be avoided.
Below, we outline what you should and shouldn’t be doing when you pick up your toothbrush!
Mistake 1. Brushing Too Quickly
Are you in and out of your brushing routine within less than 60 seconds? If so, you’re brushing too quickly. You should spend at least 2-3 minutes brushing each time. If you’re unsure how long you are brushing for, use a clock or timer!
Mistake 2. Not Brushing Twice a Day
The Australian Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least 2 times per day – morning (after breakfast) and night (before you got to bed). If you don’t brush regularly, your teeth and gums can become susceptible to decay and other diseases. As a result, you may end up requiring treatments like fillings, root canals and even teeth extractions.
Mistake 3. Brushing Too Hard
Brushing too hard is a common brushing mistake and can actually wear away your tooth enamel. You should be placing enough pressure on your brush to effectively wipe away the grime on your teeth, but not so hard that it causes pain, soreness or bleeding.
Mistake 4. Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Is your toothbrush right for your mouth? Remember, your brush should fit easily inside your mouth and should be able to reach all your teeth and gum areas. In terms of bristles, choose a brush that is soft yet firm and that won’t damage your teeth and gums. If you’re unsure, ask your dentist to recommend a brush.
Mistake 5. Using Incorrect Brush Strokes
You might be brushing regularly, but brushing the wrong way can also harm your teeth. Brushing correctly means holding your brush at a 45° angle against your teeth/gums and using vertical or circular strokes. Avoid horizontal brushing strokes, as these can damage your teeth/gums and wear away enamel.
Mistake 6. Forgetting Fluoride
Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride! Fluoride is essential for oral health and helps to build up enamel and prevent decay. If you use whitening toothpaste for your teeth, ensure that it also has the right level of fluoride. Drinking tap water (especially for children) is also great, since it also contains fluoride.
Mistake 7. Ignoring Inner Tooth Surfaces
Forgetting to brush the inner surfaces of your teeth is a big mistake! These are the areas that your tongue presses against and plenty of bacteria and plaque can accumulate here. Make sure you brush the inner sides of all your teeth, including the teeth right at the front of your mouth!
Mistake 8. Failing to Floss
Flossing with quality floss is a vital part of the teeth cleaning process – leaving this out is a huge oral blooper! Make sure you floss before you brush, especially after you’ve been eating. If you’re unsure about how to floss, ask your dentist to show you or read our article on flossing here.
Mistake 9. Not Cleaning the Brush
Dirty brushes can breed bacteria and other germs, meaning you’ll be putting these back into your mouth the next time you brush. Yuck! Make sure you rinse your brush thoroughly after you use it and ensure it dries fully before using it again.
Mistake 10. Using an Oldie
Old toothbrushes (that look like a scruffy pet) won’t do a good teeth-cleaning job, simply because the bristles have become to worn and soft. You should replace your toothbrush about every 3 months or as soon as the bristles appear bent and frayed.
Somerset Dental Care is dedicated to making sure your teeth are the best they can be! Book an appointment with us today on 02 4648 0909 or email us here.More