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8 Mistakes You Make When Cleaning Your Teeth

As long as I brush my teeth twice a day my teeth will be healthy, right? Not necessarily. This is a common misconception. This post will walk you through some of the mistakes people make when brushing their teeth.

1. Not Brushing For Long Enough

It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, once before going to bed and at least one other time in the day. If you struggle to tell how long you’re brushing, try setting up a timer on your phone.

2. Rinsing Your Mouth After Brushing

When you rinse your teeth, you wash away the fluoride and enamel-protecting properties of the toothpaste. This also means don’t rinse with a mouthwash after brushing. You should use your mouthwash at a different time of day to brushing as it will contain a lower concentration of fluoride.

3. Using The Wrong Toothpaste

Make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride, and make sure it contains enough. For adults, this is between 1,350 ppm to 1,500 ppm. Fluoride is key in helping prevent tooth decay.

4. Brushing At The Wrong Time

You should always wait at least thirty minutes after eating before you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth before this, the acid from your food will wear down your enamel, weakening your teeth, and making them more susceptible to decay.

5. Brushing Too Hard

Using the wrong technique when brushing can cause wear on your teeth and could lead to receding gums. A lot of electric toothbrushes have a sensor that will flicker a light if you’re brushing too hard.

You should brush at a slight angle and focus on each tooth, instead of brushing side to side using a scrubbing motion.

6. Using The Wrong Toothbrush

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease. However, electric toothbrushes can be more effective at cleaning the harder to reach areas, such as your wisdom teeth.

You should also consider the toothbrush bristles. They should be soft or medium, instead of hard. This is because you want to clean your teeth gently, without damaging your teeth and gums. The same goes when choosing a toothbrush head size. A larger size isn’t necessary as you want to cover the surface one tooth at a time.

7. Using An Old Toothbrush

Your toothbrush won’t be as effective if the bristles become worn. You should change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months. You should also change your toothbrush if you have been ill as bacteria grow on the toothbrush and could cause you to reinfect yourself.

8. Replacing Flossing With Brushing Or Mouthwash

Even if you try to brush in between your teeth, your toothbrush won’t be able to reach those areas effectively. Mouthwash is also not an alternative to flossing as it can’t remove the plaque.

These mistakes are a good starting point to find out how you can improve, however, it’s best to see a hygienist regularly who will be able to give advice and demonstrate techniques. To book an appointment with one of our hygienists, call us on 01723 670500.

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