9 Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Might be Making When Brushing Your Teeth
For most of us, brushing our teeth is something we do in a jiffy. A few back and front strokes and we are done. We figure if the teeth aren’t discoloured or our mouth smelling then we are brushing the right way, right? Wrong.
Apparently, there are a number of things some of us do wrong when we brush our teeth and while these things may not be so glaring, they do come with some consequences in the long run.
Here are ten tooth brushing mistakes some of us make when brushing:
10 Tooth Brushing Mistakes that are Quite Common
1) You Use One Toothbrush for Too Long
Most of us don’t see anything wrong in it; we buy a toothbrush, use it and keep doing so since it still looks perfectly fine. However, research has shown that you should change your toothbrush every 2-3 months. This is because as you use this brush, it becomes more and more brittle and can no longer clean your mouth effectively, leaving you prone to bacteria buildup and bad breath.
Also, the more you brush your teeth, the more dirt accumulate at the bottom and these easily attract bacteria onto the brush.
Ideally, you should change the toothbrush after every 200 use ( mornings and evenings), which comes down to every three months.
2) You Don’t Brush for Long Enough
In a hurry to make that meeting? You still should take out that time to brush your teeth properly.
This is yet another tooth brushing mistakes some of us make. You see, brushing properly ensures you eliminate all acid from your mouth (yea, you do have acid in your mouth. We all do and that’s because the sugary food we eat mixes with the bacteria in our mouth to produce this acid).
You should brush for at least two minutes to rid your mouth of this acid. Brushing this long will also give the fluoride enough time to get to work to protect your teeth enamel from harmful bacteria.
3) You Rinse with Water
Raise your hand if you rinse with water after brushing. Don’t we all? I never knew there was an option to water, neither would I have considered it, if I hadn’t found out using water to rinse the mouth after brushing actually washes away the fluoride that’s supposed to protect the teeth.
So what should you use instead?
A fluoride mouthwash. Rinse your mouth with a strong fluoride mouthwash, giving it a few swish around before spitting out. Doing this will help strengthen your teeth and build up enamel that might have been breaking down.
4) You Keep Your Toothbrush in the Bathroom
Yet another tooth brushing mistake most of us make is keeping our toothbrush in the bathroom. I mean, it makes a lot of sense; you brush your teeth and then drop the toothbrush in the brush stand, ready to be used in the evening or morning, depending on when you’re brushing.
However, doing so makes it hard for the toothbrush to get dry and we all know a wet toothbrush is a magnet for bacteria.
Where should you keep the toothbrush instead?
You should keep it by your bedstand, or any other place where the brush is sure to get dried.
5) You Keep Your Brush Covered
Anyone who keeps their toothbrush covered does so with the mindset of keeping rodents and other small households insects away from it.
There are times when rodents, cockroaches and other household insects have been found on a toothbrush, however, while you might be tempted to cover the toothbrush to keep it away from these unpleasant house insects, doing so is one tooth brushing mistake that makes it stay wet, making it possible for bacteria to breed and grow.
You would need to find a way to keep it open and away from rodents also looking to brush their teeth.
6) You Don’t Clean Your Tongue
We brush our teeth, but forget to brush our tongue and so some of the bacteria or acid we are trying to eliminate survive and get transferred right back onto the teeth when we are done.
That’s why it is recommended we also brush our tongue after brushing the teeth for two minutes.
You should get a tongue cleaner or get a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner on the opposite side. If you’re unable to get this, then using your toothbrush is just fine and works just as well.
7) Your Toothbrush is Just Too Hard
Brushing too hard won’t clean your teeth any better or faster. Instead, it will injure your gum, making you uncomfortable and in pain. You should brush your teeth in gentle to moderate strokes, going in circular motion for two minutes so the fluoride gets to work.
8) You Brush Too Many Times in a Day
Brushing twice a day is good hygiene. Ideally dentists recommend everyone should brush in the mornings just before meal and then again at night just before you turn out for the night. Doing so ensures you eliminate any acid that might have been produced, leaving your teeth protected. However, there are people who would like to brush every time they eat to prevent any acid buildup.
Doing so, however, does nothing for your hygiene. If anything, brushing too much is one tooth brushing mistake that gradually erode at your enamel, leaving you prone to tooth sensitivity and teeth cavities.
You should brush your teeth twice daily and no more. At any other time you feel you want to get rid of food particles from your mouth, you should rinse with water or gargle with a mouth wash.
9) You Brush Immediately After Eating
Most people make the mistake of brushing right after a meal, especially if they want to turn out for the night. Now while this habit might seem harmless, it actually isn’t.
When you brush your teeth immediately after a meal, what this does is that it pushes the acid that gets produced from the mixture of food and bacteria deeper into you enamel, eroding it. So instead of getting rid of this acid, you actually help it further into your tooth enamel.
You should wait at least 20 minutes after every meal to give the fluoride in the toothpaste enough fighting power to get rid of this damaging acid.
10) You Don’t Make Use of a Fluoride Toothpaste
This is the last brushing mistake people make, however it certainly isn’t the least.
A fluoride toothpaste is your teeth best friend as it helps build or repair damaged enamel and you should make use of one when brushing teeth.
Fluoride is an active ingredient in most toothpastes that strengthens your natural enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
You should use a toothpaste with fluoride, brush your teeth twice daily and ensure to do so for at least two minutes each time to keep your teeth, gum and enamel healthy and in top shape.