Brushing and flossing are both important if you want your teeth to stay healthy, and avoid any dental issues. But it isn’t just enough that you brush and floss your teeth – if you want them to say in good condition, you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way.
What is the right way? Well, the best place to start is to avoid some of the more common mistakes that people make when brushing or flossing their teeth.
Not Replacing Your Toothbrush Soon Enough
Arguably the most common mistake that people make is that they overuse their toothbrush. After a few months of being used every toothbrush is bound to get frayed and will be far less effective. On top of that there is the risk of bacteria and food particles gradually accumulating.
Assuming you brush twice a day for seven days of a week, your toothbrush will not last any longer than 3 months. To be safe you may want to replace it every two months.
Brushing Too Quickly
Another very common mistake is not spending enough time brushing. If you cut short the time that you spend brushing, it won’t be as thorough as it should be and you’ll probably cut corners.
To check if you’re making this mistake, start to time your brushing sessions. If it is anything under 2 minutes, you need keep on brushing and force yourself to get into the habit of brushing for longer.
Brushing Too Vigorously
It may seem that brushing your teeth vigorously is a good thing – but it really isn’t. The goal when you brush your teeth isn’t to ‘scrub’ the plaque off them, but instead to gently massage it off.
Keep in mind that plaque is soft, so force really is not a requirement to remove it. And although tartar is harder, all the brushing in the world isn’t going to remove it.
By brushing too vigorously all that you’ll be doing is increasing the risk of damage to your teeth and gums – which is not what you want.
Using the Wrong Toothbrush
The other common mistake that may damage your teeth and gums is if you use the wrong toothbrush to begin with. People often feel that using medium or hard bristles is more effective to clean their teeth – but that simply isn’t true.
As a rule you should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush. That way you will be much less likely to damage your enamel, or injure your gums.
Ignoring Your Tongue
When you brush your teeth – you should also brush your tongue. People often don’t realize it, but a lot of bacteria can accumulate on the tongue, and it is one of the main causes of bad breath.
If you find it uncomfortable or difficult to brush your tongue with a toothbrush, try using a tongue scraper. As long as you’re cleaning it instead of avoiding it, you should be able to improve your dental hygiene.
Using the Wrong Brushing Technique
Many people brush regularly, but not very effectively because they use the wrong technique. The proper technique is to angle your brush and use circular motion so that you are able to clean your teeth thoroughly.
If you brush your teeth horizontally or vertically, some parts won’t be covered. Over time plaque will accumulate there, and cause various other issues.
Flossing Towards the Gums
If you move your floss towards your gums, you could put pressure on them and damage the gum tissue. Over time that damage could even become permanent if you aren’t careful and use too much force.
Always floss away from the gums to avoid this problem. In other words for your top teeth you should move the floss downwards, whereas for your bottom teeth you should move it upwards.
Flossing Too Frequently
Although flossing is important and you should definitely floss your teeth at least once a day – you should be wary of doing it any more than that. Flossing too frequently can do more harm than good, and may irritate or damage your gums.
Generally it would be best to stick to a daily flossing regiment – either in the morning or at night. At most you could up it to twice a day if you really want to.
If you feel that you need help with your brushing or flossing technique, talk about it with your dentist Liverpool Street. After inspecting your teeth your dentist should be able to identify any shortcomings, and provide specific advice on how to fix them.
To be honest there are many other mistakes that you may make when brushing or flossing, but the ones listed above are the most common. If you can avoid them it should help put you on the right track.