“A smile is the best make-up a woman can wear”, Marilyn Monroe.
We guess it goes the same for everyone, right?
But what can ruin that smile? Poor dental hygiene habits.
And guess what…Most people don't have good oral habits, so unless you’re a dentist – you probably haven’t heard of most of these mistakes before. You may have decades of experience brushing teeth with no dental issues – but we’re willing to bet you are making at least one or more of these mistakes:
↪️Not Brushing Your Teeth Long Enough
Two minutes is the recommended duration for a tooth-brushing session.
The average person’s brushing time is ONLY 45 seconds.
Anything shorter than 2 minutes doesn’t give the fluoride in your toothpaste enough time to attach to the enamel in your tooth enamel.
↪️Using Your Toothbrush For Too Long
With consistent use (twice a day for seven days a week) – the average life of a toothbrush is about three months. Frayed or broken bristles won’t clean your mouth properly. Change your toothbrush once the bristles lose their flexibility, even if it's earlier than 3 months.
↪️Rinsing Your Mouth With Water After Brushing Teeth
Yes – don’t rinse 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 the fluoride from your toothpaste. Use a mouthwash or mouth rinse that contains fluoride instead of water.
↪️Not Using Dental Floss
If you don't already – make it a habit to start flossing daily. Flossing is required at least once a day to remove plaque between your teeth, where your toothbrush doesn't reach. Plaque that is not removed through brushing and flossing turns into hard calcified deposits on your teeth.
↪️You’re Not Cleaning Your Tongue
It's important to clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
Clean your tongue to prevent bad breath and remove bacteria.
A tongue cleaner scrapes the residual bacteria off your tongue. If you don't want to do that – get a toothbrush that has a tongue scraper on the opposite side.
↪️Brushing Teeth At The Wrong Angle
You should always hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and make short circular strokes. That's the angle for the most effective clean.
Pointing the bristles at this angle guarantees superior cleaning beneath and above the gum line. Use the centre row of bristles to clean between be the teeth and gums. Cleaning the gumline correctly avoids discolouration and more importantly – cavities and gum diseases, this is the reason why you'll see some toothbrushes with angled bristles.
↪️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.
My dentist disagrees. 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.
How Long Should You Wait After A Meal To Brush Your Teeth?
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 the enamel of your teeth. You need to wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth.
Conclusion: 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 gums.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.