If you are not the type of person who appreciates theory, perhaps you will better resonate with these common mistakes. Are you making any of these?
- Using the wrong type of toothbrush
Harsh bristles that don’t bend enough, too big for your small mouth, not flexible enough are a no-no. You might think that hard bristles will do a better job, but softer bristles are way more effective. They are also less harmful and dangerous for your tooth structure. Ideally, you should find something that benefits from the approval of the American Dental Association.
- Using the wrong teeth brushing moves
Brushing your teeth is nothing like cleaning the grout from the bathroom tiles. The plaque is actually soft and loose, which means you don’t have to scrub hard on it. The moves that dentists usually recommend, for both adult and kids teeth brushing, are the gentle massage of the teeth.
You were probably used with the classic rapid left-to-right moves, in the sawing motion. This is completely wrong – bristles won’t find their way into the spaces between the teeth. They won’t be able to remove plaque from there or to prevent gum diseases. And the whole friction will damage the enamel and weaken your teeth.
To sum up, harder isn’t better. Dentists recommend using small, circular or even up-and-down moves instead of left-to-right strokes. Combining the right moves with the right pressure and the right amount of time is the key here.
- Not brushing long enough
In theory, teeth must be brushed twice a day, for at least 2 minutes each time. In practice, almost nobody does it that way. Being always on the run, late at work or school, too tired or just lazy – reasons are numerous. Some complain it is difficult to count the minutes.
Once again, dentists come with a useful piece of advice: brush your teeth while you’re listening to a favorite song. Most songs last at least 2 minutes. If you make it until the end of it, it should be more than enough. There’s also the benefit that you’ll better tolerate this activity when it comes with a song that lifts up your mood.
- Not brushing all the teeth parts
Some will focus too much on their teeth and ignore other parts, such as the gum line. Others are reluctant to brushing that area where teeth meet the gum, fearing that they might hurt the gums. Even so, the right toothbrush, flexible enough to slightly enter underneath the gum for 1 or 2 millimeters, will work fine.
As suggested, people often forget about the tongue-side part, which has to be brushed just the same. Dentists can tell when you are skipping this part. It’s not just the line of inflammation that occurs, but also the calculus that develops from the unwashed plaque.
Brushing all the teeth parts, the tongue included, is a teeth brushing best practice, remember?
- Starting too early after a meal
Out of too much care, some people will rush to brush right after a meal. Dentists think it’s not all right, recommending us to wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Only then you can go brush your teeth, as the acids in the mouth have dispersed a bit. The wrong teeth brushing moves combined with acid remnants from food can actually contribute to the erosion of the teeth. Rinsing the mouth with some water to remove part of that acid faster also helps.
- Not changing the brush often enough
It is hard to find a good toothbrush. And just as hard to realize or accept that you should change it for a new one, sooner rather than later. These oral hygiene instruments can be used for 3 to 4 months in a row, no longer than that.
Nevertheless, did you notice its bristles start to bend, discolor or look dirty? You might have to change it earlier than that. How you store it is another essential aspect. If you keep it in tight, closed and wet spaces, bacteria and mold will thrive. Better to keep it on open air.
- Doing just that, teeth brushing
It sounds confusing and still, the right oral hygiene involves a lot more than the actual teeth brushing. Are you taking the time to brush properly? Why not put in the extra effort of flossing and using the mouthwash at least once a day?
This isn’t always easy to achieve. However, if you do brush your teeth twice a day, at least once you should go through the whole process. It helps you remove food traces between your teeth, freshen up your mouth and make you feel better about yourself.
Also, if you manage to do it steadily for a while, you will get used to it. Those days when you will barely find the time to eat, not to mention to clean your teeth? You will begin feeling uncomfortable for not doing your full brushing, flossing and rinsing session.