We all know that we should be brushing our teeth twice a day but did you know that without the correct technique, you could be putting your mouth at risk.
If you do not successfully clean your teeth when you are brushing, you could be letting plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth which can increase the chance of you developing tooth decay.
You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but we see a large number of patients make the same mistakes. Here’s a list of the most common mistakes that we see and how to resolve these.
Picking the wrong brush
There are a large range of toothbrushes available on the market. This can make it difficult to decide which one will suit your needs. A brush that is too big can make it difficult for you to clean the hard to reach areas of your mouth. Hard bristled brushes can cause damage to your enamel.
The right brush for you can be either electric or manual, they are both effective in removing plaque and debris from the mouth. Your toothbrush must have soft bristles that can easily bend, in order to get under the gumline. You should use a brush that is suitable for the size of your mouth. They are lots of different sized toothbrush handles and heads available now, pick the one that feels comfortable for you.
Brushing too hard
A lot of patients believe that if they scrub their teeth as hard as they can, they will be cleaning them better. This is not true.
Plaque is a soft substance and loosens from the teeth very easily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. A tip for you to remember when you are brushing your teeth is to massage the surfaces, rather than scrub.
Not brushing for long enough
You should be brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice per day. If you are either skipping these or cutting them short, you will not be cleaning your teeth correctly. Make time to take care of your oral health – those 4 minutes a day could save you hours in the dentist’s chair.
A great way to make sure you are brushing for the correct amount of time is to use the timer on your mobile phone. Set it for 2 minutes and don’t stop brushing until that timer goes off.
Keeping hold of your brush
If you find a brush that suits you, you may find it difficult to give it up. However, you should change your toothbrush, or brush head, at least every three to four months. If you see changes in the bristles including discolouration or fluffiness, it is time for a change. When bristles become frayed or dirty, it loses its ability to clean your teeth as effectively.
We would also recommend changing your brush after you have been unwell to prevent any bacteria from spreading.
Forgetting the gum line
It is extremely common for people to forget to clean their gum line when brushing their teeth. We all remember to clean the surfaces of our teeth but the gum line is just as important. Bacteria and plaque can collect just under the gum line and this can led to gum disease. Gum disease causes bleeding and inflamed gums, receding gums and even tooth loss.
When brushing your teeth, try to direct the bristles just under the gum line (where the tooth meets the gum). Using a 45-degree angle against the gum line will help you to do this. Your gums may bleed a little to start with, but persevere with it and they will get better.
If you would like more advice on the best way to clean your teeth or any other aspects of oral hygiene, ask your dental hygienist or dentist at your next appointment. To book an appointment with Gwersyllt Dental Care, call us on 01978 757409.