We all know the importance of good dental hygiene. This is especially critical for those of us wearing orthodontic braces. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean is imperative for long term oral health, and its that really what we all want.
If we are paying attention, its well known that you should brush twice daily….at a minimum. This article was recently published at worldental.org, and gives some great information on common mistakes surrounding brushing your teeth. Even though brushing is a regular habit for most of us, if you don’t do it correctly, you are missing out on the full benefits. Check the article out to make sure you are on the right track:
“Brushing your teeth; it certainly sounds simple! But the fact is, a lot of people simply get it wrong.
With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the five most common mistakes that people make when brushing their teeth.
1) Not Brushing For Long Enough
Let’s face it, brushing our teeth is not the most exciting activity in the world! For that reason, quite a lot of people simply don’t brush for long enough.
Dentists recommend that you clean your teeth for two minutes each time. You’d be surprised how long two minutes can actually feel.
The best way to make sure your teeth get their full two-minute brushing, is to use an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. Then, you’ll get a signal when you’ve been brushing for long enough.
Another common mistake, is that people brush too hard.
It’s understandable why people do this. When they clean their teeth, their goal is usually to whiten them and remove stains. When you want to remove stains from a carpet, you give it a good scrub! However, your teeth deserve much more delicate treatment than your carpet!
Using too much pressure when you brush, can actually damage the enamel which surrounds and protects your teeth from bacteria. Not only that, but the enamel is actually the whitest part of your tooth. Damaging it has the opposite effect of whitening!
Brush in small concentric circles, and do so gently. That is all that is required to remove plaque bacteria and stains. Again, electric toothbrushes can help. Modern brushes are equipped with a pressure sensor, which triggers a warning light when you press too hard on your teeth.
3) Not Giving All Teeth Equal Attention
Timing presents another common problem. People often begin brushing enthusiastically enough, before getting bored and quickly brushing over the remainder of their teeth. This means that the teeth they begin with get a good brushing, whilst the rest get progressively less attention.
Ideally, you should spend 30 seconds on each quarter of the mouth. That way, you’ll make sure that all of your teeth get a good balanced brushing. Yet again, electric toothbrushes can be a big help here. Some brushes have a quad-timer built-in, reminding you when it’s time to concentrate on another part of your mouth.
4) Brushing Straight After Eating
After eating sugary snacks or fruit, people often rush to the bathroom to clean their teeth straight away. This is a big mistake, particularly after eating fruit. Fruit is extremely acidic, and this acid temporarily weakens the protective enamel which surrounds your teeth. If you brush whilst the enamel is compromised, you can actually damage it. Clearly, you don’t want to do more harm than good in your eagerness to keep your teeth clean!
If you want to clean your teeth after eating, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you should wait at least 30 minutes before doing so.
5) Forgetting To Rinse
Rinsing is a really important step, and a lot of people don’t do it.
The reason rinsing is so important, is that it gets rid of particles of food that have become dislodged as you brush and floss. Plaque bacteria thrive on these food particles. If you leave them in your mouth, you’re exposing your teeth to more plaque bacteria than necessary. You should always floss before you brush. After brushing, give your mouth a good rinse with clean, cold water.
Your toothbrush is a valuable tool, but like any tool you need to use it correctly. Avoid these five mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way toward the kind of dental health that you can be proud of.”
It really is this simple. Follow the advice from this article and your oral health and dental hygiene will surely improve.