Six Mistakes You Could Be Making When Brushing Your Teeth – The Experts
Whether it’s the amount of time you dedicate to brushing your gnashers or the way you handle your toothbrush, what oral health flaws are you creating?
not brushing your teeth long enough
“I usually recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes,” suggested Bhalla.
“Splitting the two minutes evenly between the upper and lower teeth, as well as focusing on the front, back and chewing surfaces, ensures a comprehensive clean.”
Bhalla added: “It is important to note that two minutes is a general guideline, and some individuals may require more or less time depending on their specific oral health needs.”
avoid the tongue
When you are brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, you need to make sure that you are cleaning the tongue.
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“The tongue is a haven for bacteria, food particles, and dead cells, making it a potential breeding ground for bad breath and oral health issues,” warns Bhalla.
“Bacteria on the tongue can contribute to plaque formation, tooth decay and gum disease.”
Gently cleaning the tongue, or using a tongue scraper, can ensure that bacteria are removed and your breath is more likely to freshen.
brushing too hard
“When you brush your teeth vigorously or use excessive force, it can damage your gums and tooth enamel,” warns Bhalla.
“Enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth, and if it wears away, it can lead to tooth sensitivity, an increased risk of cavities and tooth decay.
“Aggressive brushing can also irritate and damage your gums, resulting in gum recession, gum sensitivity, and even gum disease.”
The best technique is to use “gentle and circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush.”
not changing your toothbrush
Another oral fault is not changing your toothbrush (or toothbrush head, if electric) often enough.
“It is advisable to replace your toothbrush every three to four months,” advises Bhalla.
“You should change the pattern of brushing your teeth,” said Bhalla, “otherwise, you may end up missing the same spot over and over again.”
Payal Bhalla is the lead dentist and clinical director of Quest Dental.