We all know the importance of keeping our teeth clean but there are some common mistakes people make when cleaning their teeth.
The first common mistake is not brushing for long enough. Can you say that you regimentally brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day? The majority of the population brush their teeth for just 25-35 seconds, which is the time that you should be spending on one quadrant of your teeth. A quadrant is one of the 4 sections of your mouth; upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.
2 minutes is a lot longer than it seems, why not use a timer during brushing if you use a manual toothbrush, many of us have a smart phone with a stop clock on it. For those that have an electric toothbrush you may notice that the brush vibrates after 30 seconds, this is an indication to move onto the next area of your mouth.
From a young age, brushing twice daily is often instilled into us. We are advised to brush our teeth in the morning when we are in a rush to get to work and in the evening before bed when we are tired. If the time of day that you are brushing your teeth means you are taking less care of them, then it may be beneficial to change when you brush. Please note that you should avoid brushing within 30 minutes of drinking anything other than water or eating anything sweet or acidic as you need to give your protective layer of saliva time to recover and ensure any acid has been washed away in your mouth.
Night time cleaning is most important as this will help to remove any deposits that have built up in the day as well as removing bacteria from your mouth.
One of the biggest things we hear as dental professionals is people rinsing their mouths after brushing or using a mouthwash. Toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride, by rinsing your mouth you will be rinsing away the protective fluoride leaving your teeth unprotected. We advise people to ‘spit not rinse’.
Mouthwash is also not a substitute for tooth brushing, it won’t get rid of food deposits and it is not something we usually recommend, mouthwash is a good mouth freshener and is helpful in some cases. However, the most important thing is to use a good toothpaste and a regularly changed toothbrush.
Toothbrushes or electric heads should be replaced every 3 months. As the bristles wear down, they become less effective at cleaning. You should also replace your brush following illness to prevent bacteria from growing on the toothbrush.
A bad brushing technique can cause your mouth more harm than good. If you brush too hard you can damage your gums. You can also cause toothbrush abrasion indents on the teeth that can become sensitive and require fillings to protect them. You should be brushing at a slight angle rather than square to your teeth and focus on each individual tooth.
Interdental brushes and flossing should be a part of everyone’s oral health regime. If you fail to clean between your teeth you miss 35% of the tooth surface. Flossing is a great way to remove stubborn food and plaque build up from the spaces between your teeth that toothbrushing alone cannot reach. Cleaning between teeth will help to prevent gum disease and cavities.
If you have any concerns regarding your gum health please free to contact our reception team who can book you an appointment with one of our hygienists to assess your gum health and advise you on how to best look after your oral health.
- Looking ahead - 15th July 2021
- Laura the Dental Therapist - 1st June 2021
- The importance of hygiene visits - 6th May 2021
- Teeth Straightening with Invisalign - 19th April 2021
- Smile Anxiety - 7th April 2021
- Common tooth brushing mistakes - 8th March 2021
- The importance of attending regular dental appointments - 2nd February 2021
- New Year habits - 18th January 2021
- Caring for your Child’s Teeth - 6th November 2020
- Tooth Whitening – the ‘White’ way - 21st October 2020